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Strange named Downtown Association director

Jennifer Strange has been named the new executive director of the Downtown Dickinson Association. Strange, who begins working on Feb. 1, has a background in journalism and marketing, and previously worked for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's Dickinson offic...

Jennifer Strange has been named the new executive director of the Downtown Dickinson Association.

Strange, who begins working on Feb. 1, has a background in journalism and marketing, and previously worked for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's Dickinson office.

"I'm really excited about this opportunity to work with this board and work with the downtown business owners and the Dickinson community at large to do everything we can to promote the revitalization and vitality of our downtown area," Strange said.

Kelly Gillen, DDA vice president, described Strange as "a perfect choice" for the organization.

"I have nothing but good things to say about Jennifer," Gillen said. "She has a vast amount of experience with people and different organizations that will really make her valuable to the (DDA), and she's just a great person."

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Strange's duties as executive director will include increasing membership opportunities and developing DDA projects, such as a proposed town square.

"We'll be working closely with the city's downtown taskforce, as well as Dickinson State University, to continue to realize the city's goals toward what we're calling a 'cultural upgrade' of Dickinson," Strange said, "and partnering with local non-profits, businesses, organizations, agencies and individuals to assure a vibrant downtown culture, and to continue to develop Dickinson as the amazing destination that it is both to live in and to visit."

Strange is also founder of the Dunn County Writers, an educational nonprofit, which recently released its fourth publication and produces a visiting writer series yearly.

"I had the really good fortune of helping to manifest our mission of building community around the cultural arts," she said of the nonprofit. "It's a very natural evolution into this position."

Through the nonprofit, she collaborated with DSU, Dickinson Public Library, Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce and others.

"That was a great way for me to start to build a lot of these relationships that will continue to be built with this new position," she said.

Strange described her time working with Sen. Heitkamp's office as "an amazing opportunity." There, she served as a field representative, doing constituent casework and specializing in immigration cases and higher education.

"That gave me a wonderful opportunity to meet community leaders and to attend lots of meetings," she said, "and I look forward to continuing to work with many of them in this new position."

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Strange said she is ready to take on the challenge of being the DDA's executive director.

"I'm really excited," she said. "I'm going to do my very best."

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