Iowa City Downtown District appoints new director

Betsy Potter, newly appointed Executive Director for the Iowa City Downtown District. CREDIT IOWA CITY DOWNTOWN DISTRICT.

The Iowa City Downtown District’s (ICDD) Executive Committee and Board of Directors unanimously approved the appointment of Betsy Potter as the organization’s next executive director on May 26. 

Current Executive Director Nancy Bird accepted a new position as the CEO and president of the merged entity of the Iowa City Area Business Partnership (Business Partnership) and Iowa City Area Development (ICAD). She will begin the new position in July. 

Ms. Potter’s experience in the Director of Creative Services and the assistant ED roles that included managing District communications, marketing campaigns, retail programs, overseeing events like the Downtown Block Party and developing public art programs made her the Board’s natural choice for the position, waving the need for a search.

“We are proud to announce the hiring of Betsy Potter as the new Downtown District Executive Director,” President of the District’s Board of Directors Charlie Nusser said in a release. “Betsy has been a pillar in our organization for over ten years and we are very confident moving her into this new role. Her learned knowledge, skills, and relationships will further advance the mission the Downtown District has set out to achieve since founded in 2012 in a seamless manner.”

More changes in the District’s leadership

The leadership transition has also led to another staffing change to position the organization for success. Veteran staff Christopher Hunter, the organization’s Director of Special Events, will transition into the role of Director of Marketing. 

Mr. Hunter has been assisting in the marketing and promotions for the ICDD over his six years of employment and his years contracting for photography prior to that. The new promotion will allow him to expand his skills in photography and social media management for larger marketing initiatives planned for the upcoming year. 

The reorganization of the Downtown District staffing is not intended to change the nature of the District’s core work. In fact, upcoming plans for the new fiscal year will be revealed on June 7 at the State of the Downtown held outside on the Northside’s closed street on N. Linn Street from 5 to 7 p.m.

“We look forward to sharing more information about where some exciting investments will be made next year as well as celebrating what has been our largest visitation with over 8.1 million people to the Downtown area in our time,” Ms. Potter said in a release. 

The ICDD Board and stakeholders welcome the public to come June 7 to share gratitude, celebrate both Ms. Potter and Ms. Bird, and hear about the upcoming year’s plans.

“Under Nancy’s leadership, the Iowa City Downtown District has experienced amazing success and growth,” Mr. Nusser said. “I speak for the full board in thanking her for helping build the foundation that has made this organization so successful.”