All Good Things Must Come to an End

By Trish Watlington, Board President, Mission Hills BID

Trish WatlingtonAs we round the corner headed into the holidays, I am rapidly approaching the end of my tenure as President of the Business Improvement District. It’s a bitter-sweet time. I love Mission Hills and I’ve loved being at the head of the table for the last two years. I’ve met creative, entrepreneurial and energetic new friends who are passionate about this neighborhood.  I have had the pleasure of working with two talented Executive Directors and a very dedicated Executive Board. And I’ve learned so much.

It’s been a time of enormous growth in both business and programming. Our membership has gone from just over 400 to more than 520 businesses. Steadfast supporters of the neighborhood have maintained Word-from-our-presidentand expanded their contributions of time and ideas. New, fresh faces with new energy have appeared on the scene. And a more collaborative spirit has been forged with the Mission Hills Town Council.

Under the leadership of Susan McNeil Schreyer, Executive Director, we launched or expanded programs like Bike-In-Movie day, a bigger and better Taste, joint meetings on development, crime and homelessness, an important survey conducted by the City of San Diego’s Economic Development Department and successful quarterly business mixers.  I’ve had the joy of watching these events grow, of promoting them and being part of them, and seeing neighbors come out to play, learn and share their input.  With more involvement from our local business owners we are aware of the endless possibilities for neighborhood enhancement and engagement and are aligning ourselves to use our very limited budget in ways that can best help our businesses and improve our community.

In the last two years the neighborhood has also changed. Mission Hills has grown as a dining and shopping destination. Our demographic is somewhat younger and I’ve noticed we’re far more likely to see the streets bustling on weekend mornings and summer nights. It’s exciting!

And I’ve changed too. I’ve become much more mindful that when we try to work on one project, accomplish one task or pick out anything by itself we find that it, and we, are joined with everything else in the universe. That realization has led me to focus on collaboration and connectedness as I move forward in both our restaurant business and the other charitable organizations and causes that need my time. Mission Hills is a neighborhood resplendent with residents and business owners who have talent, energy and drive. Our flourishing community is the result of unique personal resources, talents and compassion becoming manifested through interpersonal relationships. I count myself privileged to be part of this community and even more privileged to have held this special role on the board.

All that said, I will be continuing on as a Business Improvement District board member.  Therefore I would be remiss if I didn’t remind all of the business owners that Wednesday November 4th is our annual BID meeting and mixer to be held at Pizza E Birra, starting at 3:30 p.m.  We will be voting on new board members and officers, we’ll have fabulous food and great raffle prizes. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins will be our special guest speaker. This is an ideal opportunity to let her know your concerns for business and neighborhood issues.

Finally, where would my last column be without one last quote? After all, it’s been two great years of learning. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. I look forward to all that is to come.

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”  ― Herman Melville

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