A Lawrence resident with experience as a fundraiser for nonprofit agencies has been named the new executive director of Downtown Lawrence Inc.
Sally Zogry, a Lawrence resident who currently is the development officer for the Kansas Historical Foundation in Topeka, was named Tuesday to take over the position that will be vacated by director Cathy Hamilton’s retirement in July.
“I think increasing awareness of what downtown has to offer will be key,” Zogry said. “Downtown really is the type of place that makes everyone feel at home.”
Zogry will bring both marketing talents and experience in nonprofit fundraising to the position, said Jim Bateman, president of the Downtown Lawrence Inc. board and an owner of the Yarn Barn. Zogry spent about five years as the development director for Lawrence-based Health Care Access, where she raised funds and also helped organize major events such as the Kansas Half-Marathon.
“I like to put on a party,” Zogry said. “I think that is really fun.”
Zogry will start work July 1. Hamilton has agreed to stay on the job through July 19, which will allow Zogry to receive on-the-job training during the busy time period of Downtown Lawrence’s annual sidewalk sale, which is set for July 18.
Bateman said Downtown Lawrence Inc. had 30 applicants for the director position. He said board members are looking for Zogry to continue to increase the organization’s marketing efforts and to grow membership, which stands at about 140 businesses.
He said there likely will need to be particular efforts made to reach out to bars and restaurants in the downtown.
“We obviously have been a strong retail-based organization historically,” Bateman said. “The downtown has acquired more evening and entertainment-based businesses. Some people like that and some people don’t. But as an organization I think we need to figure out how to best embrace that change and make it work for everyone involved.”