Friends and Colleagues Honor Richard H. Bradley

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

By Roquois Clarke

Esteemed colleagues, friends, and leaders of various industries joined together at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on June 16 to celebrate the DowntownDC Business Improvement District’s founding executive director Richard H. Bradley and his 20 years of leadership in transforming DowntownDC.

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Council member Jack Evans and other members of the city council announced a resolution honoring Bradley, who served as the executive director from 1997-2016, for “his tireless commitment to the revitalization and development of downtown D.C., positioning it as a regional economic powerhouse through public space operations, economic development, partnerships, promotion, outreach, communication and branding.” This included his creation of the DowntownDC BID, the first in the D.C. area, as well as the DC BID Council and DC Surface Transit, early and sustained support for homeless services, the National Cherry Blossom Festival (NCBF), FRESHFARM Farmers Markets and the creation of a Downtown developer roundtable group.

Tom Sherwood of NBC4 Washington led the evening’s brief program as the Master of Ceremonies. His anecdotes and signature bold attitude kept the crowd entertained as he spoke about his experience with Rich and the transformation of Downtown D.C. Presentations were offered by the DowntownDC BID Board of Directors Chairman Randall Boe and BID Chief Administrative Officer Eileen Andary, who spoke of their experience working with Bradley and how his leadership positively changed Downtown. Speakers reminded guests about how much ground work it took to develop the DowntownDC Business Improvement District and how much dedication was required to evolve the neighborhood block by block.

Neil Albert, Bradley’s successor as the DowntownDC BID president and executive director, expressed his appreciation for Bradley and his excitement in leading the DowntownDC BID into a new era.

Guests, including D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Ward 2 Council Member Jack Evans, and Council Member Mary Cheh enjoyed lobster from Bradley’s second favorite location after DowntownDC, Maine, flowers provided by a vendor at FRESHFARM Farmers Markets, which Bradley has long supported in DowntownDC, wine pairings with wine from First Vine and a collection of fresh and eclectic food experiences.

The evening’s backdrops included before and after shots of the streets of DowntownDC and footage from a 1997 video “The Case for the BID” featuring Tom Wilbur (DCBIA), the late Bob Gladstone (Quadrangle Development), and Kwasi Holman (D.C. Chamber of Commerce).

The event was made possible by Akridge, Boston Properties, Clyde’s Restaurant Group, Gould Property Company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Property Group Partners, Quadrangle Development Corporation, and ThinkFoodGroup. 

This event was officially organized by a host committee:  Co-Chairs Michael McCarthy and Elise Rabekoff, Quadrangle Development Corp; Eileen Andary, Downtown BID; Anne-Marie Bairstow, WC Smith; Karyn LeBlanc, Stratacomm; Diana Mayhew, National Cherry Blossom Festival Inc.; Joe Sternlieb, Georgetown BID.