Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance announces new executive director
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance announced the selection of Andrea Dono as its new executive director. Dono will lead the organization in its continued efforts to spearhead downtown Harrisonburg’s growth and vitality.
The selection process included members of the HDR Board of directors, HDR Advisory Board, members of City Council, City staff, the Chamber of Commerce and the Arts Council of the Valley.
“We are utterly confident that such an inclusive and open process vetted our candidate pool fully, and resulted in a terrific hire,” says Andy Perrine, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance’s Board President.
The search committee received nearly 40 well qualified applicants from across the nation for the executive director position. Such broad interest speaks to the nationally known success of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.
“In the final analysis, Andrea Dono distinguished herself as the perfect fit for HDR,” explains Perrine. “She has an extensive background in downtown revitalization and the Main Street Four-Point Approach™”.
Dono’s resume includes more than 13 years of experience working in community and economic development with both national associations and local government. She worked for 10 years at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center and most recently comes to HDR from the City of Manassas, Virginia, a Main Street community where she served as the Economic Development Coordinator.
While working for the National Trust, she helped lead the national Main Street movement and was a passionate advocate for the transformative power of historic preservation-based economic development. She provided technical assistance to Main Street organizations throughout the nation, developed trainings and educational materials, nurtured relationships with state and national partners, and managed innovative collaborations that helped launch the inaugural Small Business Saturday by working with American Express and brought 3D technology to Main Street by working with Google.
As the lead researcher, she analyzed trends and best practices in small business and community development and will bring a national revitalization perspective to HDR.
“I have been following the progress of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance since its inception,” says Dono. “This is an exciting time for Harrisonburg and I am thrilled to be part of its future. HDR has become a nationwide model for downtown revitalization and I am honored to have been selected to work with its committed board; talented staff; and dedicated partners, business community, and volunteers,” she says.
Dono holds a Bachelor’s in Communications from George Mason University, a Historic Preservation Specialist Certificate from Goucher College, and is currently working on her Master of Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Tech. She will assume the position of HDR’s executive director on January 4, 2016.