Board Members

Secretary – Elaine Kelley

Owner of Turner Lane, a small business that opened its downtown door in 2009. Elaine is addicted to downtown programming that brings business owners, customers and visitors together for an experience you can only get in Downtown Fayetteville. A proud native of Fayetteville, she is equally proud of her neighbor business owners who work daily to sustain economic development in the downtown community. You can find her most any day at Turner Lane, serving up muscadine slushies.

President – Isabella Effon

Owner of Taste of West Africa (currently undergoing renovations) and Keji Services, Inc. both located on Person Street. Isabella is the President of Downtown Alliance, and the Founder of local non-profit, Culture & Heritage Alliance. Isabella studied nursing at Fayetteville State University, graduating with a BSN in 2008 and more recently received her Doctorate Degree. Influenced by her success in building a local health-centric catering platform, she opened Taste of West Africa restaurant in 2012, and quickly grew it into one of Fayetteville’s most popular eateries. She is involved with several charitable organizations and partners with nonprofits and other businesses to implement programs in sustainable building, quality healthcare, youth development, peace building, education and agriculture.

Treasurer – Joy Powell

Like many others that call Fayetteville “home” the military brought Joy here in 1980 as an Army wife. After working in the private sector for years she yearned to become “her own boss” and create a business from the ground up. The Shops at 123 Hay St opened its doors for the first time in 2011 and it and I have grown and prospered with the help and support of her “downtown family”. Downtown Fayetteville is truly the best place to own a business. “I couldn’t imagine anywhere I’d rather be and I look forward to the great things that are happening in the Cool Spring Downtown District! Thank you for your support and thank you for shopping local!”.

Molly Arnold

Owner of Rude Awakening coffee house, opened on Hay Street in 1999, and White Trash & colorful accessories, opened on Franklin Street in 2005 arrived in Fayetteville the last year that downtown was the retail heart of Fayetteville. After years of lamenting that “they should do something about downtown,” her husband reminded her of one of her own responses “there is no they.” Putting word to action, Molly joined the downtown pioneers that inspired her – The Arts Council, The Women’s Center, Greg Hathaway, Susan Franzblau, Eric Lindstrom, and Diane & Hank Parfitt. Molly’s favorite motto is: “See You Downtown.”

Robin Matthews

Robin is the owner of A Bit of Carolina on Hay Street. She has been in retail for 30+ years and has managed a Corporate Store for 16 years where she was in charge of recruiting, planning, developing talent, growing sales and merchandising among many other duties. She loves having a store in Downtown Fayetteville, where businesses are working together to grow the economic vitality of the area.

Vice President – John Malzone

Owner of C. John Malzone Marketing Inc. and at 108 The Treehouse Loft Event Venue, located at 108 Hay Street. John has had a hand in selling/leasing & planning 75% of Downtown’s properties, with over 45 years of experience, in fact, he began working in Downtown Fayetteville in 1971. John loves to talk to people about commercial real estate and Downtown Fayetteville.