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Downtown Dickinson Association director resigns, city looks for new leader

Dickinson Downtown Association Director LoAnn Wegh recently resigned from her position. The association now looks for a new director who will lead Dickinson’s downtown area into the coming years. An inside look on the position of the rather new organization.

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Former Executive Director LoAnn Wegh of the Downtown Dickinson Association during her first year of service. Wegh resigned April 3, 2021, for personal reasons. The local nonprofit organization now looks to hire a new executive director by the end of May. (Dickinson Press File Photo)

With the Downtown Dickinson Association’s executive director resignation, the city is currently searching for a qualified candidate to fill the position’s shoes, especially in potentially leading the programming efforts of the Dickinson Downtown Square project.

LoAnn Wegh resigned from her role as executive director from the Downtown Dickinson Association April 3. Currently, the job position is open for applicants to apply through May 7. From there, the Downtown Dickinson Association and the Downtown Improvement District boards will select the new executive director by the end of May.

Commissioner John Odermann noted that the City of Dickinson has had a financial investment with the nonprofit organization Downtown Dickinson Association, Odermann said, explaining that the city funds the executive director position.

“I think it’s an important position because they’ve got a lot of fundraising coming down the pipe with the Downtown Square that’s going to be necessary and that executive director role for the Downtown Dickinson Association… is going to be an (integral) part of that fundraising effort. So I think that is a really important piece of the downtown future,” Odermann said. “... What that position looks like in the future I think is kind of up in the air. But I think the Downtown Dickinson Association has done a lot of really great things over the last couple of years, and I’m sure they plan on continuing to do what they can to encourage businesses to come and move into downtown Dickinson and succeed. If our downtown can succeed, our city as a whole will succeed. So it’s important that we support that group however we can.”

Wegh began working for the city in August of 2019 and reflected on her years of experience as both challenging and rewarding.

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“We have worked hard to help create a vibrate downtown area that will benefit our entire community for generations to come. I have developed lasting friendships with many like minded people who see the benefit and vision of creating a quality place for people to gather with family and friends,” Wegh noted in the press release. “... I am confident under the current leadership of our boards; the organization will continue to grow and make a difference for the city of Dickinson.”

For more than 30 years, the Downtown Dickinson Association has periodically existed, said Director Kristi Schwartz of the Downtown Dickinson Association Board of Directors. There have been periods of time where the entity was dissolved due to lack of interest. However, the current organization has been making strides since 2015 with its first executive director hired in 2017.

“The Downtown Dickinson Association is a membership organization. We have members throughout the community, and it is our main goal to help with the revitalization and activation of downtown to benefit our entire community,” Schwartz said.

Having a vibrant downtown environment allows for the community to thrive and attracts newcomers to the city, Schwartz said.

“The downtown core of any community is key to the quality of life in a city. The more vibrant your downtown area is, the more people look to come and live in your city and stay in the city. It’s a great recruiting tool for companies that are located in Dickinson,” Schwartz said.

The new executive director will hopefully bring excitement and energy as well as the right marketing skills to lead the ongoing efforts of the Downtown Dickinson Association.

“LoAnn did a great job for us. She just had to resign for personal reasons, so we were sorry to see her go and hopefully we can find somebody just as good as her,” Schwartz added.

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A window sticker of the Downtown Dickinson Association is pictured. (Dickinson Press File Photo)

Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
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