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The BPA Annual Conference in partnership with ATCM is now just over a month away so each week we will introduce you to some of the speakers set to make this year’s conference as engaging as ever.

In this week’s spotlight is David Feehan, Hilary Paxman and Martin Blackwell.

For information on the programme including other speakers, please visit the Annual Conference webpages where you will find the Annual Conference Brochure.


Hilary Paxman

Plenary speaker 09:50am

Hilary Paxman is a career civil servant who works in the Department for Communities and Local Government as part of the team taking forward the Government's response to the Portas Review and the wider work into the future of the high street.  She is also working closely with a number of the Portas pilot winners



Martin Blackwell

16:30 Closing plenary, Every Space Counts

Martin joined the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) in 2004 and has been Chief Executive since July 2010. As a former Town Centre Manager himself, he now works everyday towards gaining clear recognition of importance of Town Centre Management, to provide members with the support, opportunities, information, experience sharing, knowledge, skills development they need in order to maximise their effectiveness.

Previously, Martin was Chief Executive of Action for Market Towns after 20 years in the private sector. He has also has been chair of the ATCM’s East Region and Town Centre Manager for Great Yarmouth.  During his time there, he built one of the strongest town centre partnerships in the country – a forerunner to BIDs.  He has also experienced commercial life in retail management and is a Member of the Institute of Place Management.

He has devised and run a number of training course on partnership building and advises locations on creating and maintaining effective partnership working.


 David Feehan

David M. Feehan

14:45 afternoon plenary speaker, A New Parking Parking Paradigm: Rethinking the Parking Experience?

David Feehan will be presented via videolink from the USA. A world recognised expert in downtown revitalization, for more than forty years, he has provided leadership and management to successful downtown and business district organizations, founded and directed a technical assistance centre for community development organizations and a public policy organization, authored numerous books and articles, and taught at two universities.

He is often quoted by news media throughout North America, the Caribbean and elsewhere, and has provided consulting services to many government agencies, organizations and associations. David has served on numerous boards of directors, and has chaired the boards of the International Downtown Association, the Responsible Hospitality Institute among others. As the chief executive of three downtown organizations and one community development corporation, Feehan managed major real estate and infrastructure projects, successful business attraction and retention programs, and an award-winning parking system. As the chief executive of two technical assistance centers, he provided organizational development, marketing, fundraising and other management support to more than 500 nonprofit organizations. As a consultant, Feehan has helped downtown and business district organizations as well as units of government develop visions and missions, strategic plans, innovative programs, and transformational processes.

As an author and professor, he co-edited and wrote the most recognized textbook on downtown management, Making Business Districts Work, and is a frequent writer for journals and trade publications.

President and CEO International Downtown Association 2001 – 2009

President and CEO Downtown Community Alliance 1996 – 2001

Executive Director of Downtown and Community Development Detroit Renaissance 1994 – 1996

President and CEO Downtown Kalamazoo, Inc. 1989 – 1994

Executive Director Citizens League of Southwestern Pennsylvania 1988 – 1989

Executive Director East Liberty Development, Inc. 1982 – 1988

Executive Director Community Technical Assistance Centre 1980 – 1982

Executive Director Minneapolis Communications Centre 1973 – 1979


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