New Plymouth DDA Director perfect for job, excited for 2023
Sam Plymale may not be powerful enough to ensure sub-freezing temperatures for February’s annual Plymouth Ice Festival, but the lifelong resident of Plymouth (and Canton) has proven he’ll do everything in his power to maintain the city’s robust quality of life.
Plymale was named the director of Plymouth’s Downtown Development Authority in May following the death of Tony Bruscato, his predecessor, and good friend.
The DDA is responsible for improving and promoting the downtown district, the borders of which are roughly Wing Street to the south, Church Street to the north, Union Street to the east, and Deer Street to the west.
“An important part of the DDA’s mission is to improve infrastructure in the district and market the district,” said Plymale. “Every day is an adrenaline rush.”
A former student at Pioneer Middle School and graduate of Canton High School, Plymale worked as a communications specialist for the City of Plymouth and a coordinator for the DDA for close to a decade before accepting the director position. He served as the DDA’s interim director for several weeks in late 2021 and early 2022 when Bruscato was on medical leave.
His roots in the community run deep as reflected by his volunteer role as a game scheduler for the city’s Miracle League field…
Working with Bruscato: ‘Priceless’
Working directly with Bruscato for several months proved to be priceless preparation for the director’s job, Plymale asserted.
“Tony taught me invaluable lessons about this job, including how to handle myself at city events, how to build relationships,” Plymale said. “Tony was a natural at this. He left big shoes to fill, but I’m truly honored to be the one chosen to pick up where he left off.”
With ongoing construction of the city’s parking deck, deepening discussions about parking in downtown Plymouth and helping to coordinate the city’s menu of crowds-pleasing special events, Plymale’s director’s plate is full, but that’s the way he prefers things.
“Although I grew up in Canton, myself and my friends used to hang out in downtown Plymouth as teenagers, so serving as the DDA director is a dream job for me,” he said.
Plymale embraced the DDA’s recent hiring of Max Jenkins, a native of Plymouth Township whose job as an administrative assistant includes the redesign of the organization’s website.
Always searching for ways to enhance the downtown area’s look and feel, Plymale has played a role in the recent installation of artwork in Plymouth alleyways.
He is also excited about the return to the city of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Inside Out program, which will strategically place reproductions of DIA artwork throughout DTP from April through October.
“I’m excited about the continuation of our artisan’s market in April,” Plymale said. “We started it during the pandemic as a way to get more people back downtown. It has proven to be very popular. It’s kind of like an enhanced farmer’s market as we welcome in food trucks and other features people enjoy.”
Plymale said there are no major changes on tap for the city’s three major 2023 attractions — the Ice Festival, Art In The Park and Fall Festival.
“But that could all change tomorrow,” he said, smiling.