Salem Weekly welcomes Salem Downtown Partnership’s new Executive Director, Kathy Henderson!

“Salem is full of opportunity!” Henderson told us recently. “The business mix is healthy, and the buildings in the downtown core are really beautiful.”

It will be Henderson’s task to run the Downtown Partnership, the group that administers funds taxed on downtown business owners and property owners.  She brings experience as the Executive Director of the Umpqua Valley Arts Association in Roseberg and has also served as the Executive Director of the Canby Chamber of Commerce and directed the development of a Main Street Program in downtown Canby.

Henderson is eager to get to know the business and property owners.  She’s also excited to “seek out opportunities to meet with the Mayor, our Councilman and City staff,” as well.”  She says, “I believe a healthy partnership with the City of Salem is vital to the success of our work.”

Thomas Gilbertson, who has served as Program Manager for the Downtown Partnership, is thrilled with Henderson’s arrival.  He says that her appointment means that “the Partnership can now begin to move past the political issues of the past few years while rejuvenating a culture of commerce and camaraderie throughout downtown.”

A Board of Directors has been in place for several months and Henderson says she is impressed with all they have accomplished.  “A dedicated group of 11+ Downtown believers has given countless hours to keep the momentum going.”

Henderson’s position is permanent and full-time and funded in part by Economic Improvement District Funds.  She invites interested people to stop by the office at 155 Liberty Street (downstairs) “to share thoughts and ideas.”

According to Gilbertson, “She couldn’t have come at a better time.”