Robert became the Executive Director in Old Town in 2022. He has a long history of community leadership. His energy has sparked new life in Old Town including successful fund raising and catalyzing the organization and it’s focus.
Board of Directors
Old Town Commercial Association (OTCA) Board of Directors are voted into three year terms each February at OTCA’s Annual Meeting and Member Mixer. Board members commit to participating in several ways including sitting on committees, volunteering at events and raising funds for future programming. Old Town is fortunate enough to have so many dedicated volunteers but these board members help create a vision and momentum to a better more vibrant Old Town.
Old Town Board members are nominated by the membership 10 days before the Annual Meeting which will always be held the first week of February every year. Participating on the board of directors is a huge commitment so we encourage all candidates to participate in Old Town volunteer opportunities through the four committees; Promotions, Organization, Design & Business Development.
The board meets at 7:15 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the OTCA office.
Ben Dowd, CEDAM
Ben is a resident of Old Town and works for a statewide nonprofit in Lansing. Being part of the business community has been a passion of Ben’s and working to ensure a strong collaboration between the local district and the city government has been a top priority. Ben has served on the OTCA board since 2017 and will be finishing his term with the organization in February of 2023.
Lynn Ross, Mother & Earth Baby Boutique
Lynn is the owner of Mother and Earth Baby Boutique in Old Town. Lynn has worked hard to bring Old Town into the current age of recognition as a destination for shopping, arts and good food and drink.
Lillian Werbin, Elderly Instruments
Lillian Werbin is President/Co-Owner of Elderly Instruments, a fretted and stringed musical instrument retailer in Lansing, Michigan. One of the founding businesses in Old Town. Lillian is passionate about using open dialogue and honest conversation to forge deeper connections throughout various musical communities. She has leadership in the music community and fostering inclusionary spaces.
Shannon Murphy, MLive Media Group
Shannon Murphy is an editor at MLive, overseeing political, environmental and data coverage. She has been involved with Old Town for nearly a decade, first handling volunteer recruitment for Old Town events. She has been on the OTCA Board for six years. Shannon loves Old Town’s unique shops, restaurants and bars and its focus on arts and entertainment.
Breina Pugh, BWL
Breina works as the Government and Community Relations Manager for the Lansing Board of Water & Light where she works closely with neighborhood, local leaders and elected officials on BWL related issues. She has been involved with Old Town for over 5 years serving on several committees, volunteering at festivals and running the social media pages. She lives near Old Town with her husband and two cats.
Mark Chamberlin, Chamberlin Photography Services
Mark has been a resident of Old Town and owner of Chamberlin Photography Services and SmarterPics Photography school for over 12 years. He has been active on the OTCA all that time. He is the resident photographer for all OTCA events.
Grace Braatz-Opper, Modern Woodman
Grace has been an Old Town Board Member since early 2020. Grace moved her office to Old Town in 2018. In 2017, Grace’s husband proposed in Old Town solidifying it as one of her favorite spots in Greater Lansing. She loves being a part of the revitalization of Old Town and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Samantha Benson, Gillespie Group
Sam works for the Gillespie Group. She brings a wide range of commitment to community organizations.
Daniel Rials – Lansing Chamber of Commerce
Lansing is Daniel’s hometown, and he has lived here multiple times throughout his life. He moved back permanently in 2018. His background includes being the General Manager of a co-working space in Auckland, New Zealand, running a truck rental branch in Jacksonville, FL, and running a sales consulting business for small businesses. He currently works as the Member Relations Manager for the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Beth Herendeen – Twiggies
Beth is the owner of Twiggies, an Old Town retail store, and has a long career as an event planner. Her background and knowledge is an asset to the OTCA Board. She has had similar roles in the Dewitt community.