Georgia Petropoulos is an accomplished non-profit executive with over 20 years of experience in the community and economic development industry. As the Executive Director of the Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID), she leads a dynamic organization representing the business, civic, education and medical sectors of Pittsburgh’s largest hospital and university town. Under her guidance, the organization transformed its role in the community from a maintenance model of cleaning and beautification to a visionary model of public space design and management. As the curators of public space, OBID is now responsible for shaping the built environment, as well as, delivering public services to support Pennsylvania’s third largest economic center.
Working across diverse sectors and industries, Georgia spearheaded visionary projects such as Innovation Oakland a design and technology based plan for innovative place making. Under her guidance, the organization raised over $1.2 million – the largest amount ever for one project- to design and build the Forbes Digital Plaza, Pittsburgh’s first public space to showcase art, technology and community happenings. Planning is currently underway to build Pittsburgh’s first pedestrian wayfinding signage program to premiere in four neighborhoods including Oakland. Georgia is a founding leader of Oakland forAll, a collaborative effort advocating for the creation of barrier free accessible communities. To improve access in the business district, Georgia raised over $35,000 to develop Pittsburgh’s first grant program designed to encourage private owners to eliminate barriers at their commercial establishments.
Prior to joining OBID, Georgia was the Director of Economic Development for the Northside Leadership Conference where she managed the business district and workforce development programs. She also served as the organization’s Interim Executive Director. Georgia received formal training in Architecture and worked in the profession involved in the design and construction of various residential and commercial projects, before moving into her current field.
In addition to her executive career, Georgia serves on several advisory committees and boards of directors. In addition to serving on the Board for Community Human Services and for the Oakland Transportation Management Association, she will participate as an advisory council member for the Southwest Partnership for Mobility. Previously, she served on the boards of Mental Health America Allegheny County, Peoples Oakland, the North Side Community Loan Fund and the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh where she served as Board President. Over the past 20 years, Georgia has established herself as an experienced leader in the field of place based economic development and business district management. She is a frequent speaker and presenter at professional conferences and forums, and recently presented at the 2018 National ADA Symposium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Georgia has a passion for architecture, design, film and fashion. Georgia enjoys traveling and she has visited various US cities and several countries throughout Europe and Africa: most notable are her travels to West Africa where, in 2007, she participated in the Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange program to Nigeria and in 2010, she led a team of professionals to Ghana for the First International Cross –Diseases Conference on Disability Prevention in the Developing World.
Georgia completed executive training at the Center for Creative Leadership in San Diego, California and is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies/ French Language & Literature from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters of Architecture from Washington University.
Email: [email protected]
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Before becoming a member of the team at the Oakland Business Improvement District, David worked in several retail spaces as well as with the Crowne Plaza Hotel in King of Prussia. This is David’s first Marketing and Communications occupation, and he is extremely excited to apply everything he has learned in his education (at Oakland’s own University of Pittsburgh) to this position. In his free time, David exercises his passion for music by playing concerts and recording solo projects while being a part of two bands: Zaki and Pinstripe Sunny. David is a guitarist, pianist, vocalist, and amateur bassist, and whenever he isn’t playing music, he is definitely listening to it. He worked as a staff member of WPTS radio’s music department as the World and Jazz genre director. David hopes to learn about the many ways in which art and the community can combine through OBID and the opportunities that allow this to happen. Email: [email protected]
OBID’s Block by Block team
Block By Block, a nationally recognized contractor, provides cleaning and maintenance services for the District. Our crew works seven days per week to ensure that the commercial corridor remains free of litter and debris. We collect more than 24,000 pounds of trash annually!
Of course, litter removal is just the first step in creating an attractive streetscape. Our crew also removes weeds, graffiti, illegal flyers, stickers and staples from our infrastructure. During the fall season, the crew also ensures that the leaf buildup is removed along with the typical litter and debris. The crew also uses a hot-water pressure washer to remove gum, grease, dirt and grime from all of our district’s sidewalks to give our district a special shine.