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WBID chooses Belliveau as new Executive Director

Date: 5/9/2012

May 9, 2012

By Debbie Gardner

WESTFIELD — The Westfield Business Improvement District (WBID) has filled the position of executive director left vacant by the recent departure of Lisa McMahon, and it did so by tapping talent within its own business community.

Maureen Belliveau, co-owner of Optimum Health Therapeutic Massage, will take over the reins of the WBID on May 14. From now until she starts her new position, Belliveau said she would be transitioning her Optimum Health clientele into the hands of Christine Bissonnette, her business partner for the past five and a half years.

Bissonnette will be continuing the business, as she moves on to new challenges, Belliveau said.

"It's such a dynamic position and opportunity and being involved with the revitalization of Westfield is very exciting to me," Belliveau, a former member of the WBID Board of Directors said of her decision to try for the position as organization director. "[Downtown Westfield] is near and dear to my heart ... I just decided I wanted to apply."

Westfield Athenaeum Director Christopher Lindquist, a member of the WBID Board of Directors for the past three years, praised the organization's search committee for choosing Belliveau to fill the role of executive director.

"I think she's the perfect person to replace Lisa McMahon," Lindquist said. "She brings all the qualities and skills we're looking for in the next BID director. She's going to pick up right where Lisa left off."

He said, as the former Board of Directors Vice Chair, Belliveau "knows all the ins and outs of what the WBID director needs to do."

Despite her experience in helping to organize the downtown Farmer's Market and "various other things" coordinated by McMahon and the WBID, Bellivieu said she's been "getting her feet wet" before actually becoming executive director by attending a variety of WBID-sponsored events, including the WBID's Kentucky Derby Style Restaurant and Pub Tour on May 5.

A project manager and corporate interior designer for Aetna Life & Casualty of Connecticut in the 1990s, Belliveau brings organizational and management expertise to her new position. Combined with her five years as the owner of a Westfield small business, she said she understands "first-hand the different challenges" facing her fellow downtown entrepreneurs.

"My vision [as WBID director] is moving the downtown district forward, helping the businesses that are already there to carry on and looking to fill in some of the spaces we have, and inspiring the community to participate in our downtown as a place to work, live and play," Belliveau said.

Lindquist said he believes Bellivieu "has a great passion for Westfield and wants to see it thrive."

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