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New Executive Director Named for Downtown Improvement District

by on September 05, 2017 4:46 PM

The State College Downtown Improvement District has a new executive director.

The DID board of directors announced on Tuesday that Irene Miller, who previously was development and events coordinator for Centre Foundation, will begin her role as DID executive director on Sept. 18. She succeeds George Arnold, who led the DID for five years before leaving in July to become director of operations at State College Alliance Church.

"It was Irene's energy, experience and passion for the downtown that set her apart from the many highly qualified candidates,” board chair Sharon Herlocher said in a release.

In her role at Centre Foundation, Miller was involved with events such as Centre Gives to engage community members in philanthropy. She hosted training sessions for nonprofit staff members and helped Centre County high school students learn about and participate in philanthropic endeavors through the Centre PACT (Philanthropic Actions Created by Teens) program.

“I’m excited to embark on this new challenge and grateful to the board for this opportunity to work together,” Miller said. “With an infinite amount of amazing ideas out there, I’m looking forward to prioritizing and enacting the ones that we can implement to take downtown to the next level.”

Miller moved to the area six years ago and has been active in the community. She is part of the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County's CBICC Connect program for young professionals, a 2015 graduate of Leadership Centre County and a member of Downtown State College Rotary.

In June, Miller organized the DreamFest 2017, which grew out of her efforts earlier in the year that raised donations for a free screening of the film "Hidden Figures" for 82 Centre County girls.

Miller said she recognizes DID's efforts to strengthen the business and cultural environment of State College as an investment in community.

“A strong, visionary and active DID is vital to the success of State College and the broader area,” Miller said. “When people say ‘shop local,’ what they mean is so much more. It’s really about reinvesting in ourselves, in our community. That’s definitely a worthy investment!”

The State College Downtown Improvement District was established by the borough as a Neighborhood Improvement District. With more than 350 participating businesses, the DID works to retain and attract businesses and enhance the vitality of downtown State College.

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