2 economic development groups merging
IOWA CITY — Nancy Bird, former executive director of the Iowa City Downtown District, has been named CEO of the newly merged Iowa City Area Development and Iowa City Business Partnership.
“These are two great organizations coming together,” Bird told The Gazette. “Leadership on both boards have worked together to bring the two together seamlessly — the team has a bright vision for the future — and I am really excited to get to work with them.”
Boards of the two organizations voted in November to merge July 1 to better focus on economic needs in the community, including child care, workforce shortages and affordable housing.
Bird will start in June and lead the two organizations through a rebranding and in implementing the bylaws and legal structure approved by the two boards last November.
Robin Therme, chair of the merged board of directors, said in a news release Thursday that the board is excited to bring Bird’s experience and talent to the new organization.
“Her broad experience in community development and her track record of executing a clear vision make her ideally equipped to meet the needs of this new organization,” Therme stated.
Adam Keune, former chair of the Iowa City Business Partnership, echoed Therme, emphasizing his confidence in Bird’s ability to lead the new organization.
“As we embark on this exciting new chapter as a combined organization, we have every confidence in her ability to steer us toward growth and heightened impact, furthering our reach and amplifying the positive difference we make in the Johnson County community,” Keune said.
Bird, whose salary was not disclosed, led the Iowa City Downtown District for almost a decade.
With her departure, the downtown district’s board appointed Betsy Potter, the current creative services director, as its new executive director.
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