In the span of about eight months, Molly Turner of the Pendleton Downtown Association has gone from intern to director.
According to a Saturday press release, the association has named Turner its first executive director.
A University of Oregon graduate, the association brought Turner to Pendleton as an intern from AmeriCorps’ Resource Assistance for Rural Environments program in September, serving as the nonprofit’s program manager.
“I am absolutely blown away by Pendleton,” Turner said in a statement. “This area is gorgeous and I see a huge potential. I am eager to continue the work we have started and truly see an impact downtown.”
Fred Bradbury, a downtown business owner and the president of the association, heaped praise on the nonprofit’s only employee.
“Molly has been instrumental in creating new promotion events in the Downtown Core, grant fund raising, and assisting the Board and PDA Members as we move forward on a wide array of design and economic projects,” he said.
The association’s operations are primarily funded through the Pendleton Development Commission, a city governing board that oversees the urban renewal district.
Although Turner signed a three-year contract, the commission agreed to pay $55,000 for Turner’s salary and other operational costs for only one year while encouraging the association to find an alternative source of funding.
In an interview Monday, Turner said the association was working toward identifying other sources of funding.
Turner will begin her new contract Aug. 1.
The Pendleton Downtown Association is a member of the Oregon Main Street program and a member organization dedicated to supporting the downtown area.
Originally Published in East Oregonian
333 East Main St.
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