This Friday, June 3rd, the downtown will see a new Executive Director for the Kent Downtown Partnership – Ms. Gaila Gutierrez was selected by a Hiring Committee of the KDP Board, led by Greg Haffner, to seek a successor to current Executive Director, Barbara Smith.

After serving for 10 years, Smith announced her retirement in February. She will stay on through the end of July.

Smith shares that she has had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Gutierrez and is excited about what she will bring to this organization and to businesses in downtown. She and Ms. Smith will share the role in June while Ms. Smith stays on to introduce her to the many people and organizations that they have worked with over the years.

Ms. Gutierrez’s experience is vast:

    • She worked as an Interim Director for Downtown Issaquah Association, as well as an Event Planner for them in previous years.
    • She also served as a Program Manager and Events Director for MotoSoul USA.
    • She worked for the City of SeaTac Economic and Community Development Dept.
    • City of Issaquah’s as their Major Development and Business Manager.

In July, Ms. Smith will stay on, but Ms. Gutierrez will be in charge.

When Ms. Smith was asked why such a long transition period, her comment was:

“This is the type of commitment that the KDP Board has to ensure a smooth transition. They are an amazing Board and care deeply about the downtown. I am confident that Ms. Gutierrez will bring with her new ideas to help the Board make great strides in reaching their new goals for 2019 and beyond. The City of Kent and the Downtown are going to really enjoy working with her. I feel I am leaving the downtown in competent hands and that is important to me.”

Ms. Smith suggests people feel free to stop by and welcome Ms. Gutierrez to the downtown.

The KDP offices are located at 202 W. Gowe Street:

Scott Schaefer

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...