DID staffer recognized as ‘Emerging Leader’

March 18, 2019

Frank Howard of Fort Wayne’s Downtown Improvement District will be among a select group of professionals for a week in June.

He’s one of 30 people chosen to participate in the International Downtown Association’s 2019 Emerging Leaders Fellowship program, scheduled June 16-21 in New York. The senior staff members joining alumni of the program will be from three countries and 17 provinces or states from Canada to Colorado and California to Florida, the Downtown Improvement District said in a news release.

“We are happy to have one of our staff selected for the 2019 Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program,” Bill Brown, president of the district, said in a statement.

Howard is director of marketing and operations and has “been important to the success” of the Downtown Improvement District since he joined in 2010, Brown said. Howard and other staff “ensure that downtown Fort Wayne remains an enjoyable, lively and friendly environment which is ready for commerce.”

The Emerging Leader Fellowship is an experiential program for professionals from within the urban district management industry. The fellows learn essential leadership and place management skills and gain practical tools in the areas of place-based economic development, the live-work-play experience and public-private partnerships, the release said.

David Downey, president and CEO of the International Downtown Association, said in a statement the fellowship is the “only program of its kind created specifically for urban place management professionals.”

The International Downtown Association is “looking to build the future of our industry, and these accomplished executives are the rising stars of our profession,” Downey said. “With this program, we’re educating and inspiring the next generation of leaders.”

Howard, who turns 37 on Thursday, said he was honored to be selected and appreciates the support of Downtown Improvement District staff and the community.

“It’s really been a labor of love for me over the last nine years,” he said during a brief telephone interview last week.

Any accomplishments the Downtown Improvement District celebrates are not the result of a single individual, but a team and the community, Howard said.

It’s difficult to pinpoint any one accomplishment he’s most proud of, but said there have been some “inroads into fundraising.” That allows more programming and keeping many activities free.

“Downtown is everybody’s new neighborhood,” Howard said, “and we want people from all walks of life to really engage and enjoy it.”

The DID sponsors activities including BuskerFest, Fright Night and Lunch on the Square with live music.

The Emerging Leaders Fellowship will include instruction from the International Downtown Association’s partners at Baruch College, City University of New York, Times Square Alliance and Coro New York Leadership Center. Professionals from several business improvement district organizations across the city provide technical in-the-field training.

The event takes place at various locations throughout Manhattan.

Through a series of three leadership training sessions, Coro will provide fellowship participants a set of frameworks and strategies to help them develop best practices for leading change.

The local Downtown Improvement District is governed by a board of directors and partners with the city of Fort Wayne and various public, not-for-profit and private sector organizations to make downtown an attractive place to live, work and socialize.

The International Downtown Association represents more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and is growing.

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at lisagreen@jg.net. Lead On also appears online as a blog at www.journalgazette.net/blog/lead-on/