MutualOne and Robert Mitchell - Making a Difference for Downtown

MutualOne and Robert Mitchell - Making a Difference for Downtown

January 10, 2019

by Courtney Thraen, Executive Director of Downtown Framingham, Inc.

DFI’s Business Development Manager, Robert Mitchell, second from right

DFI’s Business Development Manager, Robert Mitchell, second from right

As first reported on the Framingham Source, the MutualOne Charitable Foundation provided an impressive $5,000 grant to Downtown Framingham, Inc. (DFI) through its annual Checking for Charity program.

Robert Mitchell, the DFI Business Development Manager, boasts a multi-faceted skill set that includes everything from small business technical assistance to photography and video production.  With this critical funding, Robert can increase his presence downtown from 10 to 15 hours per week. 

bobby's accomplishments-01.png
Robert Mitchell presents his findings to the City Council’s Economic Development sub-committee in June 2018.

Robert Mitchell presents his findings to the City Council’s Economic Development sub-committee in June 2018.

Robert, who earns his B.A. in Communication Arts this May from Framingham State University, completed an unpaid internship with DFI during the summer of 2018.  Now a lead staff member at DFI, Robert has canvassed businesses on critical policy matters such as the sign bylaw, parking meters, banning of nips, the impact of shifting City Hall hours upon downtown business revenue, and the 2018 business climate survey, among others. 

Robert helped property owner Brian Li, left, use the City’s Sign and Facade Subsidy program to install 8 new awnings this Spring

Robert helped property owner Brian Li, left, use the City’s Sign and Facade Subsidy program to install 8 new awnings this Spring

In the sweltering heat or frigid cold, this Air Force Veteran loves building authentic relationships with downtown businesses.  In turn, Robert’s relationship-building has generated enthusiastic business participation with DFI-led events, including the Taste of Downtown Framingham and the Downtown Oktoberfest.

Additionally, Robert has stepped up to take on several cultural projects, including producing great photos of downtown storefronts for the 2018-2019 Holiday Storefront Contest.  He’s currently collaborating with the Framingham History Center and the Framingham State University design team to produce wraps on 7 utility boxes.  Next, he’s measuring the specifications to install a functional art gallery at a downtown business.   Meanwhile, he has even photographed our downtown sidewalks to support the forthcoming Central Business District sidewalk usage ordinance.

Robert canvassed businesses to encourage local participation in the inaugural Oktoberfest.

Robert canvassed businesses to encourage local participation in the inaugural Oktoberfest.

The first installment of Downtown Live! will feature participants in the Taste of Downtown Framingham

This spring, Robert will produce the first installment of Downtown Live! on Access Framingham.  This DFI-hosted show will help the community discover the best of our area; the first episode will showcase all participants in the Taste of Downtown Framingham!

This fall, Robert plans to start his Master of Public Administration at Framingham State University, and thankfully, he will still have time to support Downtown Framingham, Inc.  Although Robert lives in Plymouth, he truly enjoys commuting to downtown Framingham, where he helps shape a great community!