A Lawrence resident with experience as a fundraiser for nonprofit agencies has been named the new executive director of Downtown Lawrence Inc.
Sally Zogry has been selected by the Downtown Lawrence Inc. board to replace retiring director Cathy Hamilton. Zogry currently is the development officer for the Kansas Historical Foundation in Topeka and formerly worked as the development director for Lawrence-based Health Care Access.
Zogry will start work July 1. Hamilton has agreed to stay on the job through July 19, which will allow Zogry to receive some on-the-job training during the busy time period of Downtown Lawrence’s annual sidewalk sale, which is set for July 18.
Downtown Lawrence Inc. soon will be looking for a new leader.
DLI Executive Director Cathy Hamilton announced today that she’s leaving the organization this summer to retire.
“I’m fortunate that I am able to retire a couple of years earlier than I had expected,” said Hamilton. “But I have the chance, and I’m going to take it.”
Hamilton said she will stay on through Downtown Lawrence’s big sidewalk sale, which is set for July 18, and she hopes to be able to provide about four weeks worth of training to the next director.
Hamilton has been with the organization — which provides marketing, event planning and other services to merchants and other downtown businesses — for about 2.5 years. Before that, she was a longtime employee and television personality on Sunflower Broadband, back when it was owned by The World Company, which is the parent company of LJWorld.com. (In other words, that’s my way of disclosing that I know a television personality.)
Serving as the director of Downtown Lawrence Inc. could be described as being a chief cat-herder. Downtown Lawrence merchants are an independent bunch, but Hamilton said the job has been a “great job.”
“And for the right person, it will be a great job for them too,” Hamilton said. “I’m nothing but optimistic about the future of downtown.”
Hamilton said the large amounts of new residential development being built downtown — particularly at the intersection of Ninth and New Hampshire — is adding a new level of excitement to downtown merchants.
“There seems to be a real optimism on the street, which is different than when I started,” Hamilton said. Downtown Lawrence Inc.’s board already has begun advertising for a new director on its Web site.