The Downtown Association of Yakima is hiring an Executive Director. This is a full-time, high profile position within the community and requires creativity, confidentiality, and professionalism. Candidates should have experience in public/event programming, preferably in areas that address business development, real estate development, historic preservation needs, or improved downtown design. Successful candidates will have organizational management experience, strong writing skills, excellent public speaking skills, and strong organizational, interpersonal, and media relation skills. Preference will be given to those candidates with a Master’s degree in relevant fields such as Communications, Public Relations, Economic/Economic Development, History, Historic Preservation, or Urban Planning. Those with a Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate discipline and at least 3 years of experience in an appropriate field may also be considered with additional consideration given to those with specific Main Street experience.

Critical Skills, Abilities and Expertise: 

  • Ability to manage multiple projects/tasks through to successful completion within budget and within established deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain a well-organized approach to performance and completion of job duties.
  • Ability to lead, supervise and manage staff and community volunteer leaders.
  • Skill in developing rapport among diverse individuals with varied interests to garner and build consensus.
  • Team builder.
  • Proficient computer skills using Microsoft Office Suite is mandatory, experience with WordPress a plus.
  • Professional level writing skills with the knowledge of grant writing, monthly reports, press releases, newsletters, etc.
  • Effective public speaking skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, adaptable and flexible attitude.
  • Effective time management skills.
  • Knowledge of public relations/marketing/advertising/social media/web development.
  • Energetic self-starter with initiative and imagination.
  • Ability to work variable hours on-demand and as needed including days, nights and weekends.
  • Local and regional travel is regularly required.

Full range of duties to be performed:

  • Coordinates the activities of downtown association committees, ensuring that communication between committees are well established; assists committees with implementation of work plan items.
  • Handles marketing through all social media channels and updating website content
  • Manages all administrative aspects of the association, including purchasing, record keeping, budget development and some light accounting. Prepares all reports required by the Washington State Main Street Program and by the National Main Street Center. Assists with the preparation of reports to funding agencies and supervises employees, volunteers, and/or consultants.
  • Manages and oversees downtown clean and safe crew which performs clean up and maintenance in the Downtown Yakima Business Improvement District, including trash removal, graffiti removal, maintenance to hanging baskets and more.
  • In coordination with the City, produces downtown promotional events including Roots and Vines, Blues and Brews, Downtown Summer Nights, and holiday programming.
  • Develops, in conjunction with the downtown association’s board of directors, strategies for downtown economic development through historic preservation utilizing the community’s human and economic resources. Becomes familiar with all persons and groups directly or indirectly involved in the downtown commercial district. Mindful of the roles of various downtown interest groups, assists the downtown association’s board of directs and committees in developing an annual action plan focuses on four areas: design, promotion, organization, and economic restructuring.
  • Develops and conducts ongoing public awareness and education programs designed to enhance appreciation of the downtown’s architecture and other assets and to foster an understanding of the downtown association’s goals and objectives. Through speaking engagements, media interviews, and public appearances, keeps the association highly visible in the community.
  • Assesses the management capacity of major downtown stakeholder groups and encourages participation in activities such as promotional events, advertising, uniform store hours, special events, business recruitment, parking management, and so on. Provides advice and information on successful downtown management. Encourages a cooperative climate between downtown interests and local public officials.
  • Advises downtown merchants’ organizations and/or Chamber of Commerce retail committees on program activities and goals. Assists in the coordination of joint promotional events, such as seasonal festivals or cooperative retail promotional events, in order to improve the quality and success of events to attract people downtown. Works closely with the local media to ensure maximum event coverage. Encourages design excellence in all aspects of promotion in order to advance an image of quality for the downtown.
  • Helps build strong and productive working relationships with appropriate public agencies at the local and state levels
  • Utilizes the Main Street Approach and develops and maintains data systems to track the process and progress of the local association. These systems should include economic monitoring, individual building files, thorough photographic documentation of all physical changes, and information on job creation and business retention

Interested applicants should submit a current resume, a letter of interest that includes a statement of philosophy of Main Street programs, and contact information for three references with personal knowledge of current and past employment performance to Review of applications will begin immediately and run through February 15th, 2017, or until a candidate is selected.


More about the organization and community:

The Downtown Association of Yakima obtained Washington State Main Street status in January 2015 and received National Accreditation in 2016. Since joining the program, the organization has reached many mile stones and is poised in a unique position for continuing ongoing revitalization efforts in downtown. Sales tax continues to grow, new businesses have emerged, several downtown buildings are currently under renovation, and fundraising efforts for a state of the art plaza in the center of downtown are currently at 69%. Highlights of these revitalization efforts include the opening of a new boutique hotel in the historic Masonic Temple building, an award winning restaurant, and several buildings that are focused on multi-use development, including market rate housing.   D.A.Y. program highlights include; a successful façade program (over $20,000 has been awarded), installation of two car charging stations, the creation of new downtown events (bringing an estimated 35k people downtown), light up the Larson Building art installation, the purchase of new holiday lighting, ongoing city partnership to invest in the revitalization of downtown landscaping including hanging baskets and taking over several successful pre-existing events, as well as developing strong partnerships with various agencies and downtown property and business owners.

Mission Statement:

DAY is a private, nonprofit organization committed to the preservation, development, marketing and promotion of Downtown Yakima through focused efforts to build and maintain public and private partnerships that will foster financial and creative investments in our future while embracing and celebrating our history.

Vision Statement:

Our vision of Downtown Yakima is of a unique, vital and vibrant district – a safe, clean, walkable neighborhood that invites one to linger. We envision a district that continues to draw investments both financial and creative by becoming the premier gathering space in Eastern Washington. We see a lively and energetic mix of art, fine and casual dining, commerce and residential spaces that draws local and regional visitors year round to experience our unique combination of historic buildings, strong and diverse cultural heritage, and frequent special events. Our agricultural legacy is unequalled anywhere in the world, and is represented in our downtown not only by our Farmers Market, but also by the fine wineries and craft breweries that make Downtown Yakima their home and attract guests to literally enjoy the fruits of their labors. We envision our downtown as an invigorating area that bursts with color, with public art, with live music and theater; that charms and wows our visitors and draws them in, again and again, and reminds them each time that Downtown Yakima is an exciting place to work, to play and to live.