Downtown Somerville Alliance welcomes new executive director

Downtown Somerville Alliance, the downtown management corporation in Somerville, recently welcomed Olivia Manning as its new executive director. Manning will lead the company’s efforts to drive innovation, foster community engagement and accelerate growth initiatives.

With over 20 years of diverse marketing experience, Manning’s appointment reflects DSA’s commitment to excellence and its dedication to empowering dynamic leaders to shape the future of our downtown community.

Manning’s career took a significant turn in 2018 when she founded Downtown Bernardsville, where she spearheaded forward-facing marketing initiatives, community engagement efforts and achieved a remarkable 3.4% growth in visitors year over year since 2020.

“I am thrilled to join DSA as the new executive director,” Manning said. “My passion for community development and innovative marketing strategies align perfectly with their vision for growth and impact. I am eager to leverage my experience to enhance pride and foster continued growth within the Somerville community.”

In her previous role as founder and executive director of Downtown Bernardsville, Manning successfully established a 501(c)(3) and local Main Street program, securing over $250,000 in grants and funding independently. She developed transformation strategies through community engagement, data resource gathering and collaboration with the National Main Street Center. Manning also forged strategic partnerships with local leaders, organizations and publications, while implementing creative placemaking initiatives such as murals and historical tours to support local businesses.

Prior to her work in community development, Manning served as marketing director at Wavelength Cos., where she played a key role in relaunching company websites, executing communication campaigns and managing marketing operations. Her extensive background also includes managerial roles at Park Hyatt Riveria and FSB Associates, where she honed her skills in customer service, communication and business development.

Manning holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University, graduating magna cum laude with a minor in advertising. She is also a recipient of the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission Excellence in the Arts Award and has been recognized by the Somerset County Business Partnership as one of the Top 40 Under 40.