Richmond Main Street Initiative has new executive director

Vivian Wong (Photo credit: Richmond Main Street Initiative)

Vivian Wong is the new executive director of Richmond Main Street Initiative (RMSI), the organization working to revitalize the city’s downtown corridor, RMSI announced on its website.

Wong succeeds longtime ED Amanda Elliott, who accepted a position as senior program officer and director of California programs with the related National Main Street Center.

Wong is a Richmond resident with over 15 years of experience in commercial corridor revitalization, according to RMSI. She most recently served in a senior role at the San Pablo Economic Development Corp., where she coordinated “a suite of technical assistance programs for small businesses, successful shop local and branding campaigns, workforce development programs, and developed place-based economic development strategies,” according to RMSI.

Previous to her work in the East Bay, Wong served as senior urban planner at Chinatown Community Development Center, where she managed business development programs, the award-winning Noodle Fest, Art in Storefronts, transportation and streetscape improvement projects, and created a community benefits agreement based on two years of stakeholder interviews.

Wong earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, Political Science, and Public Policy from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Washington. She’s also a graphic design enthusiast, and with her husband she co-owns a home-based dog training and boarding business, Bay Area Pack Leader and Training, Inc.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with community leaders and business partners to continue this movement to bring back Richmond’s historic downtown in a way that meets the needs of our residents, businesses, and visitors,” Wong said in a statement.

RMSI said Wong plans to focus on ensuring the economic vitality of Macdonald Avenue through “holistic business retention and attraction strategies, activating public spaces with entertainment and art, streetscape improvements, shop local campaigns, and exploring new projects that will attract locals and visitors alike to explore and spend money Downtown.”