The Central Square Business Association Announces Robin Lapidus As New Executive Director

Robin Lapidus is the new Executive Director of the Central Square Business Association, hired by a unanimous vote of the association’s Board of Directors at a special board meeting on June 8th, 2011.  Lapidus is well-known in the Cambridge community for her creativity and expertise in forging business and city partnerships.  George Metzger, President of the Central Square Business Association says hiring Lapidus as Executive Director “is a triple play for the Association – the right person for the right job at the right time.”

About The Central Square Business Association (CSBA)

The Central Square Business Association (CSBA), established in 1931, represents dozens of vibrant and diverse businesses in the square; bringing them together for events, public policy and community awareness.  In partnership with the City of Cambridge and MIT, CSBA has spent this past year engaged in a lively monthly community discourse on “the delights and concerns of Central Square” as part of a year long discovery process of the city sponsored “Red Ribbon Commission.”  The recent hiring of the firm Goody Clancy to study Central and Kendall Square and the “transition area” where they intersect, along with proposed developments by Novartis and Forest City, plus the addition of several exciting new business openings in Central Square, led to an increased movement to hire a highly skilled Executive Director for the CSBA. The next meeting of the “Red Ribbon Commission” will take place on Thursday, June 30th in the Sullivan Chambers from 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. and the public is welcome.

The CSBA turns 80 this year and plans to turn up the volume on its mission “to maintain and support a lively commercial and business area and to enhance the quality of life in Central Square.”  The CSBA advocates for and represents the interests of businesses, creating a welcoming, interesting and energetic sense of place for working people, visitors, students and residents of all ages.

About Robin Lapidus, Executive Director, Central Square Business Association

When asked about Central Square’s new business leader, Cambridge Mayor David Maher said “For many years Robin’s work has positively impacted the City of Cambridge. I am excited that she will be bringing her warmth, her enthusiasm and her expertise in the business community to the Central Square Business Association as the Executive Director.”

Robin Lapidus served as the Executive Director of the Harvard Square Business Association, 1999-2006, and as the Director of Marketing and Events, 2006-2010. Lapidus is a seasoned event creator, producer, and marketing communications professional, with solid experience building consensus in entrepreneurial business communities. She was instrumental in creating and producing signature events in Harvard Square, including the “Dare to Wear Harvard Square Fashion Shows,” “Sampling the Square Concierge Tours,”  “Harvard Scare,”  “Winter Carnival” events, “Mayfair”, “Oktoberfest,” “Honk Parades”, and the unforgettable “Wizard Rock” concert on the steps of Memorial Church celebrating the last and final Harry Potter book release.

Richard Rossi, Deputy City Manager said “The City of Cambridge is delighted with the CSBA’s hiring of Robin Lapidus. Robin brings great energy and creative talent which will help Central Square continue to grow and prosper. The City has enjoyed many years of positive collaboration with Robin in her capacity at the Harvard Square Business Association and through her work with our Cambridge Office for Tourism.”

Daniel Goldstein, CSBA Board Member and Owner of the Clear Conscience Café described Central Square as “A place where all members of the community: residents, landlords, business owners, business managers and city officials join together to improve the neighborhood.  It is a part of what makes Central Square the ever evolving hot spot that it is.”

As for future plans for the CSBA, Lapidus said that membership growth and increased partnership between the association, the Central Square businesses and the city, plus more communication about Central Square events and activities are top priorities. “The people here have been so welcoming and wonderful to me. Every time I turn the corner I find something new and exciting that I want to explore further, and I can’t wait to spend more time in Central Square. The energy, people and resources here in Central Square are unique and I am delighted to be a part of it” says Lapidus.

Coming Soon:  Lapidus will help put her creative stamp on plans for a “multi-generationally-cool” music, dance, and performance series called “Central Swings” to take place every Thursday this August in the Jill Rhone Brown Park. More details will be announced soon.

Lapidus earned a B.A. from the Eugene Lang College, New School for Social Research in New York and an M. Ed from Harvard University. She can be reached at robincentralsquare@gmail.com

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