Dominic Tartaglia, a San Luis Obispo-based real estate agent, will take the helm of the SLO Downtown Association when current Executive Director Deb Cash retires in late December, the organization announced on Nov. 19.
“Deb has done a great job here. She’s built a real legacy and is leaving the association in great condition,” Tartaglia told New Times in a phone interview following the announcement. “I’m looking forward to coming in with a new set of eyes and reaching out to the downtown community, to start fresh with the association.”
Tartaglia, a fifth-generation resident of the city, is also a partner and broker associate of Tartaglia Realty in downtown SLO. He’s been active with the association, serving as past president of the board of directors, as well as a member of its Promotions Committee, the Thursday Night Promotions Committee, and the Transient Issues Task Force.
“Through working with different committees and boards, I think I’ve helped open up communication between different entities and a lot of stakeholders through that,” he said. “It’s been a great way to get to know all the great players or could-be players in the future of the downtown.”
Asked about some of the issues facing the downtown, Tartaglia said he looks forward to working with the new Food and Beverage Committee—formerly the Safe Nightlife Association—which is comprised of owners and operators of restaurants and bars who have organized to help find solutions to prevent late-night incidents that are often fueled by alcohol.
“The food and beverage industry is a huge part of downtown,” he said. “It’s obviously very important for it to be a safe, vibrant atmosphere, and it’s also important we [downtown business owners] continue relations with city staff. We put a lot of value in our members, and we want them to leave their stores at night and come back in the morning without damage or any of that.”
Asked what he foresees bringing to the downtown business community, Tartaglia cited his long-standing presence in the community and said he hopes to lead the association in preserving the downtown core’s cultural identity and business-friendly environment.
“I think in downtown SLO, we’ve always been on the more progressive side. We tend to push the envelope to take it to the next level, and we can see it replicated in other communities,” he said. “And I think that comes down to the passion of our staff and our business owners.”
Tartaglia’s first day on the job will be Jan. 2.
“I’m stoked, to be honest with you,” he added.