The Santa Barbara Downtown Organization recently announced that it has hired Bill Collyer as its new Executive Director. Board Members also announced the restructuring of the executive staffing team to include the promotion of Jennifer Rose to the newly-created operations director position and Mary Lynn Harms as the new marketing director.

“We are excited to welcome Mr. Collyer as head of the organization’s professional staff,” said Bill Duvall, president of the Downtown Organization’s Board of Directors. “Bill brings rich experience in the Santa Barbara community as well as a legendary work ethic to the job. His addition to the team, along with the restructuring of the executive staff, marks the beginning of a new era of service to the downtown community.”

Collyer comes to the organization from the Santa Barbara News-Press, where he has worked in sales and management since 1985. Most recently, he was the Commercial Printing Manager, responsible for coordinating and overseeing all outside print jobs. He has served as the PTA President at both Roosevelt Elementary and Santa Barbara Junior High Schools. An active member in the Rebuild Roosevelt Campaign, he sat on the Steering Committee for the bond initiative and chaired the Safety Committee during the school’s construction. He has served on the PTA Board at Santa Barbara High School for the last seven years and the Measure V Bond Committee for the past two years.

Jennifer Rose, marketing director with the organization for the past four years, will assume the role of operations director. The position was created by the organization’s Executive Committee to help support the burgeoning responsibilities of the Executive Director and Marketing Department. She will be responsible for the organization’s daily operations and will be heavily involved in member development and relations.

Mary Lynn Harms will step into the marketing director role vacated by Rose. Harms has lived in downtown Santa Barbara for eight years and has extensive experience working with downtown businesses and Santa Barbara organizations. For the past five years, she has served as the Development Manager at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. She also owns her own event production company, Premiere Events, with two other partners and has sat on the board of the Santa Barbara Young Professional Club as Special Event Coordinator.

The Downtown Organization is a membership-driven, nonprofit organization whose goal is to maintain and enhance the business and cultural activity in the downtown area bounded by Anacapa, Chapala, Micheltorena, and Gutierrez Streets. Helping keep downtown Santa Barbara clean, attractive, safe, and vibrant goes towards supporting this goal. Presently, there are over 1,400 members who benefit from the Downtown Organization’s commitment to excellence and its ongoing efforts on their behalf. Some of the programs, activities and events sponsored by the Downtown Organization,  include the Annual Downtown Holiday Parade, the Downtown Art and Wine Tour, the decorative State Street Flag Program, 1st Thursday, State Street Safe Trick-or-Treat, and the State of the Art Gallery, a unique collaboration between the City, the County, and the Downtown Organization