Historic Downtown Kennewick group hires new executive director

The new executive director of the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership is excited to join the community-focused organization.

The downtown association recently hired Jess Stangeland to the full-time position. Her first day was April 15.

“I love the community down here, and I know a lot of the business owners already,” she said.

Stangeland is a Tri-City native who most recently worked for two years as manager at Fuse SPC, Richland’s co-working community. She helped oversee Fuse’s move into a newly renovated building last year.

Stangeland said she’s excited to join the downtown Kennewick group, as the area is at a tipping point with the opening of Columbia Gardens Urban Wine and Artisan Village, plans for a culinary institute, the opening of the new commercial Red Mountain Kitchen and other building renovations.

“It is imperative that HDKP not only be a healthy, thriving organization but that we have a seat at the table. I plan to increase our revenue through sponsors and membership; build strong relationships with the port, city, regional chamber, and public and private entities surrounding the downtown; and rally this community to form more grass-roots efforts to revitalize downtown,” she said.

Stangeland has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Seattle University. Her career has taken her through the real estate, nonprofit administration and retail management sectors.

Additionally, she has served as a board director for Leadership Tri-Cities and Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and has been involved in numerous community organizations, such as TriConf, Tri-Art for Giving and DrewBoy Creative. She was also executive producer for TEDxRichland and TC Tech Summit. 

“We had a great slate of candidates to review for the position, but one kept standing out from the others,” said Jay Freeman, board president for HDKP, in a news release. “We are very excited to have Jess come work for us. Her skill set will be a good addition to the operational improvements we are making internally.”

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