The Northside Chronicle recently sat down with Tom Rosselot, the Northside Leadership Conference’s new director of business development, to find out what he’ll be up to around town.

Director of business development

As director of business development, Rosselot said his two main functions will be to advocate for local businesses and help them thrive on the Northside.

“It’s about engaging with businesses,” he said.

He has been meeting with area businesses to gain an understanding of what they’re about and then help facilitate growth. That could constitute anything from renovations to helping businesses work with the city to ensure their trash is picked up.

Rosselot is also the Main Street Manager for East Ohio Street, Western Avenue and Federal Street. The Main Street Program is state funded and aimed at revitalizing main streets in Pennsylvania’s cities and towns.

Previous experience

Rosselot is coming from a position with the project management division of PNC Bank’s reality services. He worked on the design and construction of new branch buildings for six years, he said.

He also owned a restaurant and hotel design consulting business for seven and a half years in Boston.

“You know I can relate to a lot of businesses and the frustrations they feel,” he said, “because I can honestly say I’ve been there.”

With PNC he worked to find locations that would make branches competitive.

He’s also aware of what it takes to grow a small business and make it viable. “I think diversification is kind of the key word on that,” he said.

Current projects

Currently Rosselot is working on the Gateway Project. The goal of the project is to make the corner of East Street and East Ohio Street an attractive entrance to the Northside.

He has also been working on major renovations on Western Avenue, which involves upgrading the sidewalks to brick, installing new curbs, putting in new lighting for the benefit of cars and pedestrians and relocating the utility poles and wires to the alley behind Western Avenue.

“We’re really going to clean up what you see down there,” Rosselot said. “It’s pretty unique. It’s not done a whole lot.”

He said he would also like to reorganize the East Ohio Street Merchants Group.

“I think we really need to solidify that,” he said.

Living on the Northside

Rosselot lives on Vinial Street in one of the Brewers Row homes, which was one of the Northside Leadership Conference’s first projects.

“Talk about diversity,” he said about his neighborhood of East Deutschtown. He’s lived there for six and a half years.