The executive director of the Downtown Organization has resigned, and the organization is looking for her replacement.
Maggie Campbell had worked as executive director of the Downtown Organization since 2014.
The group was tested in the past month as State Street businesses struggled to attract patrons. The rise in popularity of Amazon, the presence of homeless persons and high commercial rents charged by landlords have contributed to the loss of some tenants on State Street.
The Downtown Organization is responsible for promoting businesses downtown. The person who serves in the executive director position is expected to be a friendly, cordial and effective liaison between city government and the Downtown Organization.
The Downtown Organization board will be appoint a search committee to look for a permanent replacement.
The group celebrated its 50th year in existence in 2017. It was perhaps most effective in the era when Marshall Rose served as the longtime director in the 1990s and early 2000s. The Downtown Organization launched its spray-washing of downtown, installed red brick sidewalks and created its downtown flag program.
The group also oversees the Business Improvement District, in which businesses are assessed and the money is used to help maintain downtown and promote their businesses.
The organization has about 1,400 members.
Board President Matt LaBrie said: “Under Maggie’s leadership, existing programs have been expanded, our fundraising efforts have grown, and Downtown Santa Barbara’s signature events have been reimagined and improved. Our management team became stronger, and as a result the organization is more relevant today, with strong funding and community partnerships that we all expect will continue. We wish Maggie the best in her future endeavors.”
In a prepared statement Campbell said: “I want to express gratitude and thanks to all of the business and community members, volunteers, property owners and civic partners that have been supporting our efforts over the last 3-1/2 years.”
Information about the position will be available soon on www.downtownsb.org.