Board of Directors

Comprised of downtown residents, our volunteer Board of Directors meets monthly on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 6:00pm. Board meetings are held at the DDA office, 300 Clematis Street, Suite 200, West Palm Beach, FL 33401. Members are welcome to attend.


President - Sitima Fowler

Originally from Rochester, NY, Sitima Fowler visited downtown West Palm Beach in 2018 and never looked back. She has made downtown her home and loves showing off all that our area has to offer to those who might be vacationing, working or just passing through. Besides being a founder and investor in Integris IT, she is a consultant to the technology industry and the owner of a hospitality vacation rental business, Bliss Villas. She began her career as an engineer working for Xerox and then managing the development platform for General Motors fuel cell vehicles before becoming an entrepreneur. Sitima and her company has won many awards including being listed on Inc 5000, Rochester Top 100, and the Business Person of the Year. Besides work, she enjoys mentoring others and investing time and resources on community building initiatives. She enjoys walking the Lake Trail, snorkeling the Blue Heron Bridge trail, painting, and cooking with ingredients from the Greenmarket. She is grateful she gets to live where others vacation.


Vice President - Rick Rose

A second-generation local native, Rick graduated from FSU with a degree in Hospitality Management and worked for major hotel groups for 20 years, based both in the USA and Europe. After leaving the international hotel business in 2004, Rick co-owned and operated the highly rated Grandview Gardens Bed & Breakfast in West Palm Beach for 16 years and is still the co-owner and operator of Palm Beach Vacation Rentals®. With the help of the late,  legendary Florida historian Jim Ponce, he put together a tour for B & B guests so they could learn about local history and see the most important points of interest. Rick eventually became the historian for the Worth Avenue Association and now leads weekly walking tours during Season. Today, an active member of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, the Flagler Museum and the Palm Beach Preservation Foundation, Rick also serves on the Board of Directors of Discover the Palm Beaches, Palm Beach County’s destination marketing organization, having been appointed by the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners. In February of 2022, Rick released the 2nd edition of his popular book, “Palm Beach: The Essential Guide to America’s Legendary Resort Town”.  In May 2023, Rick was awarded the prestigious Judge James R. Knott Award by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, which bestows the award each year to an individual or organization that has contributed to the preservation, promotion, or enrichment of Palm Beach County history.


Treasurer - Danilo Freitas, MAcc, CFA, CPA/ABV, CEIV, FMVA, CFE

Danilo Freitas is a part of CohnReznick Advisory Group’s Transaction Advisory Services practice and is based in Miami. Danilo has eight years of advisory experience, including five years of experience in a valuation and transaction advisory capacity. His valuation and transaction experience includes publicly traded and privately held businesses in a range of industries including logistics and transportation, renewable energy, government contracting, software and IT services, technology manufacturing, professional services, retail, construction, and others.  Danilo is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), Certified in Entity and Intangibles Valuation (CEIV), and was most recently awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. 


Secretary - John Garabo

John has been a full-time resident of Downtown West Palm Beach since purchasing his home at the end of 2018. “I am enthusiastic about the continued transformation of our downtown as capital investment, new residents and tourists continue, in greater numbers, to engage and enjoy our city and all it has to offer. Considering the quick pace of change, however, it is especially important for residents and neighbors to have a thriving organization to represent their interests and ideas. John works as a Senior Managing Director for investor relations and strategic communications firm, Argot Partners, part of the Danforth Advisors family of companies owned by Avesi Partners, LLC, a private equity investment firm based in Stamford, Connecticut, with $880 million of equity capital under management. “I would like to lend my experience as a strategic counselor to the DNA to further advance its programming, communications, processes and branding.”


Director - Nicla Pia D'Emilio

Nicla has been a downtown resident since 2007, when she emigrated from Italy with her family. She has seen downtown West Palm Beach grow (and continue to grow) into the wonderful place we call "home." She graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a double degree in Finance and International Business, as well as receiving a Masters Degree from FAU in Economics in International Business in 2020. Nicla began her career in banking before graduating from college and now works as lead Credit Analyst with FineMark National Bank and Trust, located on the island of Palm Beach. She proudly became an American in January 2021 and actively participates in the community: she was elected President in the HOA community where she lives and is Treasurer on the Board of St. Ann Place Outreach Center. Nicla believes a community is only as strong as the ties it can build between its individuals, and is passionate to be a factor in building these ties. As an immigrant, she prides herself on being adaptable to any situation.


Director - Julia Walters

Julia is an award-winning Interior Designer, Project Manager and Principal of JL Design Associates, with offices in West Palm Beach and Stamford, CT. Prior to founding JLDA in 2002, Julia honed her talents at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Julia has managed client projects from Perth, Australia to Paris, France, and everywhere in-between.  Her penchant for design started in childhood when she "redesigned" her bedroom on a weekly basis. In 2014, Julia was so intrigued by West Palm Beach, she subsequently made an offer to buy a condo in downtown after just 3 days in the city. Julia was the 2023 WPB Downtown Neighborhood Association Events Chairperson and looks forward to continuing her volunteer work as a Board Member and Event Chair.



Director - Lin Luo

Lin is a licensed attorney in both Florida and Washington D.C., residing in downtown West Palm since 2005 where she is a proud homeowner.  Lin’s law firm, Luo & Waters PLCC, has been based in downtown West Palm Beach since 2015 providing legal expertise for business litigation, real estate, and immigration. “Throughout the years, I've had the privilege of serving as legal counsel for numerous non-profit organizations in South Florida, with a notable example being the Florida Asian American Restaurant Alliance. As for my personal interests, I have a deep passion for music, particularly enjoying playing both the piano and zither. Additionally, I find great joy in sports, with tennis being a long-time favorite, and more recently, I've taken up pickleball. I’m eager to bring my skills, experiences, and passion for community development to the association.... working collaboratively with fellow board members to address the needs and aspirations of our neighborhood.