Hobart and William Smith Colleges - Alums Boost Geneva Business’ Digital Reach
The HWS Update
Henkin Nick

Alums Boost Geneva Business’ Digital Reach

Geneva’s downtown businesses have a new avenue to reach their patrons thanks to a collaboration between HWS graduates and community members.

The Geneva Business Improvement District, led by Executive Director Michael Mills ’96, offers a new interactive technology to engage visitors and boost local businesses through a partnership with Brightr Travel, the destination experience and exploration platform founded by Nick Henkin ’12 and Matt Mason, the son of Trustee Scott ’81 and Lynne Nowadly ’80 Mason P’13.

Brightr’s technology is integrated into the Geneva BID’s new website, with emoji-driven maps, guides and e-commerce capabilities, “to foster greater visitor engagement,” as the Finger Lakes Times recently reported.

Among its features, the new website offers a “one-stop-shop” for property owners and merchants; a page spotlighting local downtown businesses and their services; an updated news page; and a map powered by Brightr’s technology that is updated in real-time to feature all downtown merchants.

Mills told the Finger Lakes Times that with his decades of experience in public relations and marketing, he understands “the power of digital platforms to a consumer-facing organization’s mission.” After taking the reins of Geneva BID last March, he “was keen to upgrade our brand and technology immediately…The Brightr team was going through a pivot of their business, and it coincided with our needs and presented the opportunity to collaborate on this new, powerful tool.”

“Geneva provided me with some of the most memorable moments of my life,” Henkin said. “While it may not be your typical college town, I have yet to come across another area that offers a downtown dining, bar and retail scene framed by the beauty of the lake like Geneva, which is truly a hidden gem. By partnering with the Geneva BID I’m hoping others will get the opportunity to experience the same things that made Geneva so special to me.”

Founded in 2020, Brightr is currently working with 11 destination partners across the country to provide a seamless web and mobile experiences that inspire and excite. Learn more at business.brightrtravel.com.

 The photo above features Nick Henkin ’12