Lakewood Ranch's Kimberly Dominguez hired to connect new mall, customers
UNIVERSITY PARK -- After a 20-year career working for agencies and corporations from Manhattan to Atlanta, Kimberly Dominguez will now add the Mall at University Town Center to her resume.
Dominguez, the mall's new marketing and sponsorship director, will be responsible for the shopping center's community relations, programs and events including the venue's glitzy grand opening preparations.
As the Mall at UTC comes together and braces for its Oct. 16 opening, Dominguez, 47, is concentrating on connecting with potential customers.
"The focus for us right now is engaging people," said Dominguez, a nine-year Lakewood Ranch resident. "We look into who they are. ... We look at their lifestyle, and we try to find touch points."
Dominguez declined to reveal too many details about the mall's super secret sneak peek Oct. 15, but allowed that there will be food and entertainment throughout and exclusive offers from stores, which are expected to all be open that night.
"It will be the first time that everybody sees the mall, experiences the store lineup," said Dominguez, who was hired in January by Michigan-based Taubman Centers, the mall's operator.
About half of the grand opening tickets, which sell for $100 each, have been sold. Proceeds will go to community organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club, More Marine Laboratory and Nate's Honor Animal Rescue.
Dominguez said the mall has plans to sponsor the 2017 World Rowing Championships set to occupy Nathan Benderson Park.
"It's in our backyard, it's our partner, so we will take a role, but we're not sure what we will do at this point," she said.
Before landing her role at UTC, Dominguez worked 10 years for advertising titan Ally & Gargano in New York City and spent another 10 working for Planet Studio and Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta. Most recently she served as marketing director for Cox Target Media, the direct marketing arm of national, Atlanta-based Cox Media Group.
Octavio Ortiz, the mall's general manager, said Dominguez's sharp credentials and diverse background made her a solid fit for the high-end mall. Taubman began fielding candidates for the position in August 2013. "It is an interesting position that is multi-faceted, high energy and fast-paced, so it was difficult to get somebody with all those attributes," Ortiz said. "(Dominguez) is the right fit for our team and the culture of the company."
Dominguez, who earned a bachelor's degree in communication with minors in marketing and accounting from the University of South Florida, lives with her husband and two children.
Sabrina Rocco, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7024. Follow her on Twitter@sabrinarocco.