Who is behind the PlaceLeap® System?


National downtown and economic development leaders Place + Main Advisors of East Lansing, Michigan, and branding and urban planning luminaries ArnettMuldrow & Associates of Greenville, South Carolina. In fact, all work done within the PlaceLeap System will be done by principals of these respective firms.


Meaning, your community will get our “A Team” every time.



Joe Borgstrom is an accomplished professional in the fields of Downtown Redevelopment, Community and Economic Development, Main Street and Placemaking. His 20 year career includes executive management, project financial structuring and evaluation, fund development, foreign direct investment recruitment, program management, public speaking and consulting. He and his teams have used state and local incentives to leverage more than $2.2 billion in private investment into communities.


Borgstrom is a principal in the consulting firm, Place + Main Advisors, LLC, which he co-founded with his wife, Kirsten Borgstrom. Place + Main Advisors specializes in downtown and traditional commercial district revitalization using Placemaking techniques and Main Street strategies. Their firm offers services to developers, statewide associations, Main Street Coordinating programs, and local downtowns and commercial districts. Their services include training and equipping developers, downtowns and commercial districts with the knowledge, skills and strategies they need to be successful.


He has been a featured keynote speaker at statewide downtown conferences in Wisconsin, Tennessee, North Carolina and Delaware, presented at the National Main Street Now Conference, and was a featured speaker at the White House Placemaking Summit.


Joe was formerly the Director of Downtown & Community Services at MSHDA, which included the national award winning Michigan Main Street program. He was a founding member of the Community Assistance Team (CATeam) and served as its director at MSHDA and at the MEDC. He rounds out his resume with previous positions that include being President and CEO of the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce, Director of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership and as an Account Manager for the Flint-Genesee Economic Growth Alliance (now part of the Flint-Genesee Chamber of Commerce.)


Ben Muldrow is a community branding and marketing expert who has nearly 15 years of experience in helping communities develop and build new identities through hands-on assessment, strategic planning, and innovative implementation.


As a partner at Arnett Muldrow & Associates, Ben works with communities to create engaging new identities that encourage investment from private and public organizations. Attracting investment is the first step towards building community development projects that lead to long-term economic vitality, environmental stewardship, and social advancement.


In more than 450 communities, and across 35 states and 3 countries, Ben has become a global leader in designing creative community branding and marketing systems. His award-winning community branding systems are recognized for their ability to combine strategic planning, brand development, interactive marketing, public relations, and social media capabilities to yield impressive results.


Ben engages teams of non-profits, government agencies, and development corporations — uniting them to work towards a single goal of successful community enhancement. His mission is to lead each project through a strategic process that exceeds projected goals, meets targeted deadlines, and falls within set budgets.


As the lead community branding strategist for the Greenville, South Carolina, based urban planning firm — and their Mid-Atlantic office in Milford, Delaware — Ben has adopted an open-process strategy. This approach uses public design sessions and collaborative small groups to ensure that the vision and expectations of the community and project leaders are being met, each step of the way.


Ben is the founder of Downtown America, a growing national organization that fosters innovation in downtowns across America. He is also a popular speaker for State Main Street Managers Trainings, Tourism Conferences, and National Main Street Town Meetings.


In addition to being a principal with Place + Main Advisors, Kirsten Borgstrom also owns her own successful public relations firm, PubHound Public Relations, LLC. With more than 20 years of experience in the public relations and marketing fields, she has performed all aspects of these industry activities. Her diverse background includes marketing and media efforts in travel and tourism, economic development, real estate development, and sports marketing. Her varied expertise includes success at the local, regional and national levels.


Her current or past clients include the Mackinac Island Convention & Visitors Bureau; Marquette County Convention & Visitors Bureau; Coldwater Country Conference & Visitors Bureau; and the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula.


Prior to launching PubHound Public Relations, Kirsten was the Media Relations Manager for Travel Michigan. Her responsibilities included development and implementation of local, regional and national media relations programs to support the Pure Michigan campaign. Under her direction, Travel Michigan realized a more than tenfold increase in total media placements and generated positive media in national outlets such as USA Today, National Geographic Traveler, The Today Show, Good Morning America and CNBC, in addition to numerous in-state and regional placements.


Prior to moving back to Michigan, Kirsten was responsible for marketing, public relations and special events for Chicago’s Greater North Michigan Avenue Association. From planning to implementation, Kirsten successfully led a team of volunteers to execute The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, an annual holiday event attracting more than 500,000 visitors to the area for the one-day celebration. She also worked as a marketing coordinator for The John Buck & Company, a large, Chicago-based real estate development firm, and worked with major national tenants like DisneyQuest, ESPNZone and Homewood Suites by Hilton.



Copyright 2019 Place + Main Advisors, LLC

Phone: (517) 614-2733