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Business & Community Engagement

The Business & Community Engagement Committee works to support member business owners and develop the business district to reflect the demographics of the neighborhood by working directly with business and property owners to address their needs and objectives. The Committee works to develop and plan community and fundraising events throughout the calendar year.  Community Events will reflect the goals of the organization and work to create new opportunities to explore the neighborhood for residents of Brookline and the Greater Pittsburgh Area. This committee is also responsible for providing coordination and awareness of member needs. This is done through an annual member survey, dissemination and compilation of evaluation forms from each education program. The Membership Committee is also charged with new member recruitment and members retention. The Membership Committee welcomes all new members to the committee, either personally or through a welcome packet, and coordinates the annual new member event. The Membership Committee is responsible for building and maintaining the organization's membership. The committee will coordinate the organization's membership campaign to fulfill the organization's goal of new members for the upcoming year.

Other specific job responsibilities include:

  • Develop business district design standards.

  • Offer business owner support.

  • Welcome and support new businesses.

  • Create networking and learning opportunities.

  • Act as a liaison for business members to the executive board.

  • Create a business development plan.

  • Working with local government to address business district.

  • Develop a year-end summary of activities and objectives for the current year.

  • Planning and developing one key signature fundraising event per year.

  • Maintaining established community and fundraising events and creating new events, as community needs change and develop.

  • Reporting to board on all committee activities.

  • Setting a fundraising goal for the year and creating a specific plan to achieve that goal.

  • Develop a year-end summary of activities and objectives for the current year.

  • Maintaining a line of communication for the community to the board.

  • Developing marketing and promotion strategies that articulates the primary audiences for the organization, how best to reach them, and what they most care about.

  • Monitoring the presentation of the organization's brand, and ensures that the services and programs of the organization remain relevant.

  • Develop a year-end summary of activities and objectives for the current year.

  • Requesting and approving newsletter articles.

Committee Chair, Melissa Kilmer

Melissa moved to Pittsburgh from Ohio to pursue an Art degree.  After graduating in 2002, she pursued portrait photography and had a photography studio on Brookline Blvd for 10 years, where she became involved with the Brookline Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, while raising her 4 kids in Brookline, she realized she has a passion for community and supporting the local economy. As the Chamber became Brookline Together, she took on larger roles within the organization. After all, if you want to have a great neighborhood, you need to roll your sleeves up and do what has to be done to create the community you want to raise your family in. She has helped to bring several new events to the Brookline community, including Food Truck Tuesdays and Farm Market Sundays, while organizing membership and other inherited events like Breezefest. With the ever-changing landscape in the art world and the recent pandemic, she has since closed the photo studio but still offers photography part-time while working additionally with Waterfall Catering and Cherry Valley Organics. 

At the age of 23, Renee launched her first business, Posh Local which resided right in the heart of Brookline, for 5+ years. Posh Local, a same-day delivery clothing boutique (yes, you read that correctly! Clothing delivered to your door the same day you order it) started just down the road on Pioneer out of her Dad’s sunroom. After about a year and a half of rapid growth growing the brand through social media, she leased a storefront, which she called the “showroom” on Brookline Boulevard for the better half of her days owning the boutique. 


Recently, she took her years of experience in business and entrepreneurship to launch a new venture and better utilize her track record with successfully growing and creating an engaged community via social media on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. During her time as a boutique owner, she freelanced as a social media manager and content creator for several businesses across multiple industries such as beauty, health and wellness, real estate, retail, food and beverage, and the list goes on!


In July of 2024, Renee launched a social media marketing agency, Posh Social Co. aimed to take a boutique-style approach to managing social platforms for other small businesses and help with creating captivating, trendy content that can be used to attract new clients/customers!


Renee will be helping on the Business and Community Engagement committee to activate new residents and businesses joining the Brookline community and giving them a voice. Understanding both residency and being a business owner in this community, she has a unique perspective to understand both sides of Brookline Together’s agenda and aims to use her network and resources to contribute to make our little part of the city flourish in every way we can!

Committee Co-Chair, Renee Kostas
Contact Melissa 

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