At this afternoon’s annual Downtown Dallas Inc. luncheon, president and CEO John Crawford announced that he was stepping down as president immediately and will give up his CEO title as of next January 1.
Replacing Crawford, who’s been in charge of DDI since 2007, is Kourtny Garrett, who’s worked for the organization for 13 years. More from the press release:
“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.”