Laura Kirk named DDA executive director |

Laura Kirk named DDA executive director

The Downtown Development Authority has brought on local landscape architecture and site planning firm DHM Design to fulfill its executive director duties.

Specifically, DHM Design President and Managing Principal Laura Kirk, who will remain in that capacity, will also serve as the next DDA executive director.

“I think that one of the things that is really exciting is just all of the projects that have been in the works for a little while that are wrapping up,” Kirk, a Colorado native, said of the Seventh Street Project, the future installation of public restrooms at the southeast corner of Seventh and Colorado Avenue, as well as landscaping at the Sixth Street roundabout.

“That is a great milestone for the DDA, for the city and all of the other partners that have been involved in those projects,” Kirk said.

A tax-funded district established in 2001, the DDA’s region includes the area north and south of the Colorado River, east of the Roaring Fork River and west as far as Blake Avenue. A seven-member volunteer citizen board governs the DDA and works closely with City Council on projects within the city’s commercial core.

“The DDA board of directors unanimously voted to offer the executive director position to Laura Kirk after an extensive search,” DDA board member Christian Henny said. “We are confident that her design and development background makes her a great fit as the DDA moves on to other projects and development work here in Glenwood Springs.

“The board and I look forward to working with City Council on establishing the next priorities for the DDA,” he said.

Last year, three months after announcing her retirement from the DDA as its executive director, Leslie Bethel died following a bout with cancer at the age of 61.

“I knew Leslie, and it was very sad, her passing,” Kirk said. “Our goal is to complete Leslie’s visions for Glenwood and then to keep the torch moving forward. … She was a remarkable person and had a great vision and a remarkable ability to get that vision translated into action. It’s big shoes to fill.”

Kirk earned a master’s degree from the University of Colorado Denver in landscape architecture and has worked as a landscape architect and planner on projects throughout the state.

Kirk’s portfolio includes a number of notable works including that of the True Nature Healing Arts garden in Carbondale, as well as landscape design for the Rocky Mountain Innovation Center in downtown Basalt.

“I am looking forward to getting to know the Glenwood community better, getting to know the City Council, business owners and for people to get to know me,” Kirk said.

“And to work together to continue to bring vibrancy to the downtown core,” she said.

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