Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is seeking its next President & Chief Executive Officer, a premier position in the City of Dallas and North Texas Region. The successful leader will be both visionary and pragmatic, a change agent and consensus-builder with the ability to lead a diverse constituency of Downtown property owners, elected officials, large corporations, small and mid-size businesses, merchants and hospitality partners, residents and community organizations.
The CEO will drive the trajectory of Dallas’ Center City with a passion for urbanism, subject-matter expertise and shrewd business and financial management. The CEO also sets the internal culture of the team as well as the external culture of the Boards.
A summary of the essential responsibilities of the CEO includes the following:
- In a “Strong CEO” model, in concert with the DDI Board of Directors and Board of Governors, lead the organization’s vision, strategic plan and program of work, along with daily business management.
- Manage a $17MM consolidated annual operating budget and reserves.
- Oversee 100+ total employees, including 24 management office and 80 in-house operated field employees with a keen eye on culture, professional development and accountability.
- Lead three boards supported by eight committees.
- Lead the Downtown Dallas, Inc. Foundation (DDIF) with the DDIF Board as its CEO, setting the vision and steering priority contributions.
- Ensure DDI and DDIF operate with transparency and compliance related to the Public Improvement District (local and state regulated) and IRS non-profit guidelines.
- Maintain steadfast commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, including hiring practices, Board development and DDI programs and services.
Economic Development, Planning and Mobility
- Ensure implementation of The 360 Plan, working with the public and private sectors.
- Engage with the City of Dallas Office of Economic Development, Planning and Urban Design department and Transportation Department to ensure Downtown priority projects move forward.
- Engage in corporate recruitment initiatives in the North Texas region and lead national and international business marketing efforts for Downtown Dallas.
- Work directly with commercial and residential developers on site selection, and facilitate public participation in the form of incentives, permitting and other development issues requiring public-private partnership efforts.
- Promote DDI as the leading market information resource for the Center City.
- Work with local and state agencies to advance transportation projects in the best interests of Downtown, balancing regional and local interests, including plans for freeway decking and removal, the addition of a second light rail line and expansion of modern streetcar.
- Advance Downtown’s pedestrian and bike plans, including demonstration projects and permanent capital improvements.
- Collaborate with educational institutions to grow the area as an epicenter for talent and opportunity.
- Stand up as the face of DDI to voice the collective priorities of stakeholders to local, county, and state elected officials and agencies, resulting in housing, economic development, transportation and public safety policies that are in the best interest of the community.
- Collaborate with multiple City of Dallas departments daily.
- Create the organization’s annual state legislative agenda.
- Alongside fellow Texas Downtown CEOs, drive the Texas Metro Downtown Coalition to advance urban priorities at the state legislature.
- Collaborate with other Downtown management organizations to affect federal policy that aids city centers.
Clean, Safe and the Public Realm
- Direct internally operated Clean, Security and Homeless Outreach Teams comprised of 80 employees.
- Collaborate with local law enforcement to affect positive perceptions of public safety in Downtown Dallas.
- Work alongside Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, the City of Dallas Office of Homeless Solutions, and other social service providers to address issues related to homelessness in Downtown, like advancement of a new $70MM rapid rehousing program established by the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, City of Dallas and Dallas County
- Collaborate with the current Dallas County District Attorney to marry business sector interests and criminal justice reform, for example the creation of Dallas Deflects.
- In partnership with the Dallas Police Department, create special enforcement initiatives to proactively address crime trends, like the 2021 Summer Special Operations plan and the 2020 “30 Days to Brighter, Safer Streets.”
- Run emergency communications for Downtown on behalf of the City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management.
- Program and provide supplemental maintenance for 11 Downtown parks by contract with the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department.
Membership, Marketing and Community Engagement
- Prioritize member retention and recruitment with meaningful engagement and best in class services and programs.
- Ensure membership revenue goals are met.
- Position Downtown Dallas, Inc. as a leading organization locally and nationally.
- Promote Downtown Dallas as a place for business, consumers, and community, driving investment, job creation, living and enjoying the Center City.
- As “the face” of the organization, highly visible in media through interviews, byline editorial, on-camera interviews, radio, and podcasts.
SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE OVERVIEW
Essential experience of competitive candidates:
- Significant executive level private sector business experience, and/or relevant experience involving city planning, preferably in the areas of government, real estate development, finance, membership development, marketing, or business management.
- Extensive and favorable project management and team leadership experience.
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively with government entities both at the administrative and elected levels.
- Success in managing public/private partnerships.
- Professional background where excellence in financial management, setting and executing strategy, and organizational/departmental management were essential, and demonstrated.
- Favorable experience leading and managing a large staff.
- Demonstrated experience managing board committees and cultivating board relationships, strongly preferred.
- Passion for and demonstrated commitment to urbanism, city building, and/or placemaking.
- Master’s degree preferred in related field of business, economics, public policy, urban planning, or an equivalent combination of education, training and expertise.
Nominations and applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Downtown Dallas Inc. CEO” in the subject line. Interested individuals please send a resume and cover letter.
Victory Search Group (VSG) is honored to lead the recruitment for the President and CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc. VSG is a senior level retained executive search firm serving a select group of clients from six offices across the United States. Highly collaborative and focused on customer service for over 18 years, Victory Search Group prizes our partnership with clients and their trust in our judgment, integrity and responsiveness.