The Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board is looking for a new executive director. The search follows current Executive Director Ron Butlin’s Aug. 1 resignation due to family health issues.
“We hate to see Ron go,” DIB Chairman John Peacock said in a statement released Friday, “but we have a lot of initiatives on the horizon and are excited to see what sort of new ideas these candidates bring to the table.”
The DIB is an independent state agency funded by a special tax on properties within its district, which consists of 40 blocks of the downtown core. It is governed by a board of directors made up of downtown property owners and business people.
Peacock said the eventual director would have their hands full, with a number of new initiatives on the horizon.
“They will have to be someone of strong vision,” Peacock said in the statement. “They’ll also need to have the will to push that vision forward and the ability to work collaboratively with other governmental entities. Most importantly, though, we want someone who sees the potential in this community and is passionate about moving it forward.”
A search committee, chaired by board member Jim Homyak, has been created to winnow the applicant pool down to a list of finalists. That list of finalists will be presented to the full board at their Oct. 18 meeting.
Butlin, who came on board in 2013, will leave his post at the end of September. He has presided over a period of growth for downtown.
“This was a difficult decision,” Butlin said Thursday, “but family health issues dictated this was the right time to transition. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made over the last three years and look forward to seeing what the future holds.”
While the DIB looks for a new director, Lissa Dees, the current assistant director, will lead the agency. Peacock describes Dees as “extremely competent.”