‘I Love the Vision of Hyde Jackson’

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Gerald Robbins, executive director of Hyde Jackson Main Street, speaks at the organization's annual meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.

Chris Helms

Gerald Robbins, executive director of Hyde Jackson Main Street, speaks at the organization's annual meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.

The annual meeting of Hyde Jackson Square Main Streets attracted about 40 attendees, including Luis Cotto, left, executive director of Egleston Square Main Street and Capt. Alfredo Andres, right, leader of the Boston Police precinct in JP.

Chris Helms

The annual meeting of Hyde Jackson Square Main Streets attracted about 40 attendees, including Luis Cotto, left, executive director of Egleston Square Main Street and Community Service Officer Carlos Lara, right,  of the Boston Police Department.

About 40 merchants and residents gathered Tuesday morning for breakfast and brainstorming about the progress Hyde and Jackson squares have made over the past year. Hyde Jackson Square Main Street, the business and community development agency for the neighborhoods, also held its annual meeting during the session at the Julia Martin House.

"I feel a lot more comfortable being a business owner in Jamaica Plain because of what you do," said entrepreneur Yessy Feliz of Tails.

The dog grooming, doggie daycare and pet supply store has grown recently, occupying storefronts across from one another in the heart of Hyde Square.

"We're taking over the neighborhood," Feliz joked.

Gerald Robbins, executive director of Hyde Jackson Main Street, speaks at the organization's annual meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.

Chris Helms

Gerald Robbins, executive director of Hyde Jackson Main Street, speaks at the organization's annual meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.

Gerald Robbins, executive director of Hyde Jackson Square Main Street, structured the meeting so that attendees were able to jump in with their own ideas right from the beginning. Well, after enjoying a breakfast of eggs and tostones catered by Old Havana Restaurant.

Each table brainstormed on topics including economic development, promoting the neighborhoods and design. Here's a feed of ideas, which Main Street encouraged people to Tweet about using the hashtag "hydejackson."


Tom Griffith, vice president of Hyde Jackson Main Street and pastor at River of Life Church, emceed the "community visioning" session.

"I love the vision of Hyde Jackson," said Griffith, who called on the crowd to shout together, "Hyde Jackson!"

"We want to serve, to help the community be safe and run [our organization] on sound business principles," he said.

That phrase was likely a nod to a negative chapter in Hyde Jackson Main Street's history, in which then-executive director Carlos Schillaci was Yessy Feliz, co-owner of Tails, speaks at the organization's annual meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Yessy Feliz, co-owner of Tails, speaks at the organization's annual meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.[/caption]

[Editor's note: A photo caption misidentified a police officer in the initial posting of this item.]

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