Starting next week, there will be a new face at the helm of the Downtown Excelsior Partnership.
DEP President Scott Middleton says Megan Atzert will replace Keith Winge as the organization’s executive director. Winge left the post last fall to take a job with the Missouri Main Street Coalition.
Atzert comes to Excelsior Springs from Blytheville, Ark., where she had been the executive director of Main Street Blytheville since August 2012.
“We had a number of well-qualified, experienced and highly talented applicants,” Middleton said, “which is a credit to her to be selected among that fiercely competitive group.”
Atzert’s last day with Main Street Blytheville will be this Thursday, Feb. 20, according to a report by Chris Pinkard in the Blytheville Courier News. The article also stated that Atzert had played an “integral role in a number of programs and events MSB has conducted, including last year’s Mayfest, one of the organization’s most profitable events in recent years; the Ghosts of Highway 61 Bus Tour; regular trivia night; and special holiday events and activities. She has also worked toward seeking grants to be used in the revitalization of the downtown Main Street area.”
Middleton said he felt Atzert would be a good fit for what he sees as the immediate and long-term future of DEP.
“Going forward, some new initiatives and points of focus would be to increase membership and fundraising to be sure DEP is financially sound for the coming years,” Middleton explained. “Also, we are working on adding new events and promotions to drive tourism and foot traffic downtown. Finally, we will be working on business recruitment in order to keep spaces filled and to have a diverse shopping and dining experience downtown.”
Middleton added that DEP would continue to focus on the core goals of beautification, promotion and economic development in the downtown area.
Atzert, a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, cut her teeth on preservation and economic development as a volunteer and intern with Main Street Missouri and the Cape Girardeau Historic District before she started her position with Main Street Blytheville.
Middleton said Atzert would start in her new position with DEP next Monday, Feb. 24.
“That week, she will spend a couple of days with Keith (Winge) familiarizing herself with the office, files and procedural issues,” he said. “Later in the week, she and I have a meeting with the mayor, as well. After she is comfortable in the office and with the Visitor Center staff, she will start getting out of the office to meet the downtown stakeholders.”