Columbus Chamber cbuzz: Betsy Pandora of the Short North Alliance

Photo provided by the Columbus Chamber

The Columbus Chamber and Capital University have partnered to bring the first business-themed podcast to Columbus. During cbuzz, Columbus-based brand journalist Mikaela Hunt will speak with local business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders and allow them to tell their story and highlight their organization, while further inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit that is buzzing in the city.

What does it take to keep the lights on and the streets clean in one of the most attractive and destination-driven neighborhoods in the city? On the latest episode of the Columbus Chamber cbuzz podcast, Short North Alliance Executive Director Betsy Pandora shares the ins and outs of being a major part of a neighborhood going through massive changes.

“As an organization we oversee programming that deals with everything from panhandling to parking,” Pandora says. That includes everything in between – from marketing the district to visitors, and advocating for the 400 plus businesses and over 700 property owners with stakes in the Short North, to a more recent focus on creating more public art.

What they don’t control is development.

“As an organization, we play a support role,” Pandora says. “We’re a service-based organization that in no way has authority over what development happens and where.”

What they can do is react to that growth and development and try to create the best neighborhood possible for visitors and residents alike.

During the podcast, Pandora addresses the two major changes that have swept through the neighborhood in the past few years – the streetscape improvements and new Short North Parking Plan.

The streetscape improvements, which will see final details wrap up early this year, set the Short North up for its future. Pandora says it became apparent several years ago that the amount of visitor traffic and condition of the district were not poised to serve the growth that was on the horizon.

With that growth has come issues with parking. Pandora talks about the years of planning that went into the implementation of the new system and the work that has been done to get the neighborhood on board.

“We are pleased with how everyone has adopted the changes and…really embraced new opportunities for parking in the Short North as the result of some really hard and important and necessary work,” Pandora says.

Click the logo to listen to the full podcast featuring Betsy Pandora of the Short North Alliance

Throughout the podcast, Pandora also shares lessons in communicating with stakeholders about massive, and sometimes difficult, changes. Her three ingredients for success: get the best information you can possibly get, have a crazy amount of patience, and practice an incredible amount of negotiation.

Listen to the full podcast to hear more insights from Pandora and more about her path to the Short North Alliance.

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