Downtown Academy

Downtown Academy

Downtown Academy

Downtown Academy

The Downtown Academy is a free education series open to everyone.

Downtown Academies will be held on the fourth Friday from 8:30 to 9:30 am most months in 2014.

Upcoming Downtown Academy program:

Customer Service
Customer service is the heart of retailing. Retailers can keep the customers coming back with customer-friendly policies and by training employees to provide excellent customer service. Learn how to personalize your shop’s customer service, create a loyalty program, use Mystery Shopper services or simply deal with disgruntled customers.

About the Washington Center for Women in Business
The Thurston EDC received designation as an SBA Women’s Business Center by the Small Business Development Center in October 2013. Part of the Business Resource Center, the Washington Center for Women in Business (WCWB) provides entrepreneurial and small business training and coaching to women business owners throughout its service territory, which includes much of Washington State. WCWB will help women, especially those who are economically or socially disadvantaged, to expand their capacity to grow a successful business.  For more information on the WCWB, please contact Program Manager, Victoria Wortberg at or (360) 754-6320.

Please RSVP to or (360) 357-8948.

2014 Downtown Academy schedule:
The Downtown Academy is held from 8:30 am to 9:30 am at the New Caldonia Atrium unless otherwise indicated.

March 28
Creating Artspace in Olympia
Speaker: Kris Tucker, Olympia Artspace Alliance

April 25
Business resources
Speaker: Victoria Wortberg, Washington Center for Women in Business

May 23
Historic Preservation Month – new markers downtown
Speaker: Garner Miller, MSGS Architects

June 27
Visitor perspective of downtown (round two secret shopper)
George Sharp, Visitor & Convention Bureau

If you are interested in being on the email list for the Downtown Academy or if you have a suggestion for a Downtown Academy topic, email

Previous Downtown Academy topics:

  • Sell More, Spend Less
  • Social Media
  • Human Resources
  • Historic Downtown Olympia – Guidelines for Preserving and Restoring Commercial Properties
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CEPTED)
  • Coffee Talk
  • Fraud – Employee Theft and Embezzlement
  • How to Talk to People on the Street
  • Target Marketing – State Workers and Lakefair Attendees
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Initiative 1082 – Proposed Initiative for Privatization of Workman’s Compensation Insurance in Washington State
  • Workplace Safety
  • Small Business Resources
  • How to Benefit from Major Events
  • How to Handle Shoplifting and Unwanted Behavior
  • The Power of Email Marketing
  • Visual Merchandising Displays
  • The Preventable Dangers of Identity Theft and Fraud
  • Doing Business with the City of Olympia
  • PSE’s Energy Efficiency Programs and Services for Businesses
  • City of Olympia planning and updates on initiatives affecting downtown
  • How social media can work for your business
  • How to attract visitors
  • Revitalizing urban transit corridors
  • First Friday think tank
  • The economics of historic preservation and downtown revitalization
  • Guerilla marketing
  • Update on Intercity Transit news
  • Update on downtown projects
  • Tourism
  • Leadership
  • Cross-promotional partnership opportunities with the Hands On Children’s Museum
  • Safety and security
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Social media
  • Law enforcement efforts in downtown Olympia
  • From buddy to boss, five tips on employer/employee relations
  • Creating Artspace in Olympia

Email the ODA to be added to our list to be notified of the next Downtown Academy.

Email the ODA if you have suggestions for a topic for the Downtown Academy.

Are you interested in volunteering for the ODA? Click here to view our volunteer opportunities.