Leadership transition announced at today’s Annual Meeting & Luncheon
March 7, 2016 – At today’s Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) Annual Meeting & Luncheon, CEO John F. Crawford, formerly serving as President and CEO, announced a leadership transition plan naming Kourtny Garrett as President, effective immediately.
The plan calls for Crawford to remain CEO of DDI until January 1, 2017, at which point Garrett will also assume the CEO position. Crawford will become Vice Chairman of DDI and continue on the Executive Committee. The transition plan was approved unanimously by the DDI Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.
“When I accepted the position as President & CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc. in 2007, I committed to several key goals for the organization, increasing our membership and outreach, making DDI financially secure, creating a leadership team second to none, and positioning the-then-50-year-old organization to take on the next 50 years,” Crawford stated at the luncheon. “Most recently, this mission has included working with our Executive Committee to create a leadership transition plan.”
The plan has taken several considerations into account, particularly timing and the right process to identify DDI’s next leader who will follow Crawford after a decade in the position. Crawford assumed the role in 2007 after serving as the organization’s Chairman of the Board. His 35 year history in real estate, economic development, and Dallas civic and business leadership is seasoned and highly regarded, including activity in the greater Downtown Dallas area that dates back to the development of CityPlace and Bank of America Plaza and serving as Board Chair for organizations like the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, and Greater Dallas Planning Council.
“Downtown is not the place it was 50 or even 5 years ago – nor is this organization. Our strong business foundation is now complemented by a complete urban environment filled with residents, parks, restaurants, entertainment, and culture. Dogs are walked; families are raised; and innovation is born. This is the Downtown Dallas of the future. And we have determined that Kourtny is the right leader to move us into the next era.”
Garrett, who has served in many roles with DDI over the last 13 years, most recently was named Executive Vice President in 2012. “I take this job very personally,” says Garrett. “I’ve been a city-girl since before I even knew what that meant, and I’ve often said that my passion for Dallas – why I’ve stayed here in an otherwise nomadic industry of city-building – is the opportunity inherent in our culture to give anyone a chance to be a part of what shapes it.”
Garrett’s career spans 15 years in the development of livable communities. She has forged millions of dollars’ worth of public-private partnerships, led DDI’s advocacy, policy, urban planning, marketing, and place-making initiatives, and currently spends a significant amount of time leading the Downtown Dallas 360 plan and DDI’s education agenda. Jim Greer, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Oncor and DDI’s current Chair of the Board, commented, “From producing some of Downtown’s most notable events, to advancing some of DDI’s most complex urban policy platforms, Kourtny brings an unparalleled breadth, depth, and skillset to this position.”
Garrett is also involved in advancing urban policy at federal and international levels through work with the International Downtown Association, in which she has served in several Board and committee roles, and the German Marshall Fund as a Marshall Memorial Fellow.
Locally, Garrett currently serves on the AIA Dallas, MATA, Dallas Heritage Village, and Dallas Arts District Boards, as well as the Dallas Arts District Infrastructure Committee. She has formerly been a Board member of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Friends of the Santa Fe Trail, Dallas Film Commission Advisory Committee, and City of Dallas Marketing Task Force. She is a 2009 Leadership Dallas graduate and also in 2009 was named to the Dallas Business Journal’s list of “40 Under Forty”.
Prior to DDI, Kourtny gained experience on the development and general management team at Southlake Town Square, and directing community relations initiatives for Children’s Health. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors from Austin College and is nearing completion of an MA in Urban Affairs from UTA.
“I’m grateful to John, our Executive Committee, and Board for their support and confidence, and to our phenomenal team who keeps me excited and inspired every day. Over the years, so much of our success is due to partnerships, and I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of a community of organizations and individuals working toward the betterment of Dallas,” Garrett said in closing.
About Downtown Dallas, Inc.
Downtown Dallas, Inc. is the primary advocate, champion and steward for Downtown, effecting change by developing strategies, setting targets and mobilizing resources that:
- · Stimulate a vibrant and sustainable Downtown environment
- · Improve infrastructure
- · Enhance economic competitiveness
- · Create a culturally inclusive urban center
- · Position the area as a global destination
Our program areas include: public safety; capital improvements; maintenance; economic development; public policy; planning/transportation; and marketing. For more information, visit www.downtowndallas.com