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Downtown State College Improvement District Names New Executive Director

by on April 18, 2018 12:05 AM

A longtime local businessman has been named the new executive director of the Downtown State College Improvement District.

Rob Schmidt, who has decades of experience in the media industry, has been appointed by the DID's Board of Directors to lead the organization's efforts to retain and attract businesses and enhance the vitality of downtown State College.

Schmidt's career has spanned wide variety of positions in print media, television, radio, advertising, marketing and management. Most recently, he was publisher of Barash Media and Town&Gown Magazine as well as the Centre County Gazette.

“Rob’s years of management in the media industry will serve him and our organization well in this role," said DID Board Chair Sharon Herlocher in a release. "He understands the challenges in the current business climate. He understands what it takes to be an effective collaborator both as a volunteer and as a leader. Mostly he understands this community. We are extremely excited to have him with our organization.”

Schmidt becomes the DID's third executive director in the past year. George Arnold, who held the position for five years, left in July 2017 to become director of operations at State College Alliance Church. Irene Miller took over the role in September before leaving earlier this month.

Miller hasn't gone far. In fact, she moved next door in the Fraser Street plaza to CBICC, where she recently became vice president for membership engagement.

As DID's new directory, Schmidt will work with the board and its committees to implemen marketing programs, maintain a welcoming environment in the district and advance capital projects to support businesses.

“A thriving downtown is essential to our community,” Schmidt said. “What all improvement districts have in common is their underlying purpose to improve conditions for businesses; attract and retain businesses; and improve the overall experience for those who use the district. I look forward to working with all stakeholder’s who collectively determine which services to provide to meet the district’s unique needs.”

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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