Board of Directors
Randi Lathrop is the president and CEO of RG Lathrop Consulting, based in Boston. Her focus areas are Development Consulting & Government Relations, Retail Overview and Assistance, Community & Business Engagement, Start-Ups and Urban Planning Zoning. She was formerly the Director of Business Development and also Deputy Director of Community Planning for the Boston Redevelopment Authority. A South End resident since 1986, Randi was a founder of Washington Gateway and its board president from 1997-2007. During this time the district saw more than $1 billion invested into development and the organization received A Great American Main Streets Award from the National Trust. Randi is also a member of the Blackstone/Franklin Squares Neighborhood Association.
- Susan King Public Service Award, NEWIRE 2014
- New England Women In Real Estate ( NEWIRE)
- Life Time Achievement Award : November 13, 2014
- REM ( Instutite of Real Estate Management, Boston Metropolitan Chapter
- Henry Shattuck Public Sevice Award 2011
- Boston Muncipal Research Bureau
- Public Service Award given to City of Boston employees for their outstanding work . This is an annual award by nomination process ,given to City of Boston employees to thank them for their dedication and contributions to the city.
Favorite South End spot: Blackstone and Franklin Sqaures: 2 historic parks that were founded in 1849 on Washington Street, Business : Foodies Urban Market , independent, local and family owned grocer on Washington Street.
Michael is a Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending and an SBA specialist at Avidia Bank in Westborough. Michael is the longest serving current board member (13 years and counting) at WGMS and is also the Treasurer. Even though Michael’s career and personal life has moved him away from the South End, he still loves being part of the community through WGMS. “I love informing people about WGMS, our current mission, and everything we have accomplished as a board since our inception in 1997.”
Favorite Places: Foodie’s Urban Market and Brix Wine Shop
Susan Battista lives and works in a row house built in 1850 on Rutland Street. She is a principal at branding and design firm Visual Dialogue where she leads strategy and research. Visual Dialogue creates and activates brands through identities and websites, product design and merchandizing, environmental graphics and wayfinding, advertising and publication design. In 2015, Susan and her partner Fritz Klaetke created 1630 (1630boston.com)—a unique Boston-themed retail shoppe that truly embraces the spirit of our great city. As an extension of 1630 and her placemaking expertise, Susan recently partnered with local artist Pat Falco to create the immersive art installation called “Boston Campaign Headquarters” (bostoncampaignhq.com). Susan is an active member of the Blackstone Franklin Square Neighborhood Association and serves on their Scholarship committee. She also chaired Boston Public School’s Special Education Parents Advisory Council and is an advocate for persons with disabilities in our community
Favorite South End Spot: Flour (though it’s a little too close to my home/office)
Luis Blanco and his dad "Freddy" run Don Quijote Market on Washington street. Their family has been at 1641 Washington street for 36 years and they are currently the oldest Latino convenience store in the Boston area with the same ownership and at the same location. Luis was born in Boston, his father Freddy immigrated from the Dominican Republic while his mother is a New York born Puerto Rican. Luis is actively involved in the family business and is preparing along with siblings for the future of Don Quijote Market. He currently serves as a founding member and spokesperson for the Boston Convenience Store Owners Association. A Business Management graduate of Fisher College in Boston.
Favorite South End Spot: Toro Restaurant
Andrew Childers works as the Director of North American Sales and Marketing for a German-based tradeshow and event provider, von Hagen Design.
Having lived and worked in Germany for 18 months, Childers has international business expertise spanning language, culture, European marketing, foreign contract negotiations, and more. As an active salesperson, he travels to the world’s largest tradeshows in dozens of industries in Europe approximately once every six weeks.
Childers works daily with venue staff and clients based in:
• The US, Germany, The Netherlands, The UK, France, Israel, Spain,
Dubai, Norway and Sweden (in roughly that order, as well as others).
Though primarily a sales and marketing person, Childers is also a recognized professional educator to those seeking the Certified Trade Show Marketer designation. Each year he teaches sessions on several international business topics and facilitates professional round table discussions at the exhibit and event industry’s leading annual conference, EXHIBITORLive in his former hometown of Las Vegas. He is also an active volunteer and political advocate for the LGBTQ community.
Educated at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island with a Bachelors Degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications, Childers has a long standing passion for business and communication—particularly in helping others plan, organize, and succeed in their business ventures.
Favorite South End Spot: Boomerangs Special Edition
Kandace Cummings is the owner of Anita Kurl Salon on Washington Street.
Sheila Grove is a forty year resident, attorney and community activist in the South End that believes that "building community is essential to successful development". As an attorney, she assisted small businesses and developers with permitting and provided pro bono legal services to non-profit organizations. She worked with the Boston Redevelopment Authority to rezone the South End and helped establish the South End Business Alliance. From 1997 to 2007, she was Executive Director of Washington Gateway Main Street, Inc. (WGMS) where she led hundreds of volunteers and partners in the community-based revitalization of Washington Street in the South End/ Lower Roxbury neighborhood, including the development of the Urban History Trail, the 32 panels and 8 medallions at the Silver Line stations that chronicle the history of the neighborhood. That work earned WGMS district designations of “Great American Main Street “(2005) from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and“Great Street” (2008) from the American Planning Association. Currently, Ms. Grove is a volunteer Chair of WGMS Design Committee, which continues to shape the look and feel of area on and around Washington Street.
Julien Levesque is a Senior Manager of Product Marketing & Competitive Insights at SharkNinja, new product development initiatives for the market leading Shark branded upright vacuum cleaners, product line management of the Shark Navigator vacuum franchise, and for providing competitive intelligence on the floorcare landscape that drives changes to retail lineup strategy, advertising claims strategy, and new potential development areas. Outside of his day job, Julien is the face behind the Instagram account @SouthEndBoston, through which he shares photos of local scenery, restaurants, businesses, and more to over 19,000 followers. Julien is passionate about digital marketing and brand development, and helping businesses and organizations create engaging content that drives connections between them and their audience. A graduate of Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business with a focus on marketing, he loves exploring the South End with his fiancé, Kenzie, and their dog, Charlie.
Favorite South End Spot: Changes daily with each Instagram post!
Blair Li is the manager at the newly opened restaurant, Fuji at Ink Block.
Russell is founder of Principle Group planning, design and development firm focused on creating authentic places. He has worked as a developer and urbanist since 1999 on a variety of public and private projects throughout the country. He holds a Masters in Architecture and Urban Design from University of Miami and an Architecture degree from Notre Dame. Russell is a Commissioner for the Boston Air Pollution Control Commission, a board member of the Congress for New Urbanism and a contributor to Tactical Urbanism and Living Urbanism. He is also a working artist and illustrator.