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John Angelo stepping down as Short North Alliance’s executive director

Posted by Jackie Mantey | March 28, 2013 03:17 PM

The Short North Alliance announced today that John Angelo would depart as the organization’s executive director on June 15, 2013. Angelo has held the leadership title for eight years and is responsible for the creation of HighBall Halloween (which he’ll help produce the 2013 edition of despite the relinquishing of his title). He'll also be known for his championing of infrastructure improvements within the district, garnering national attention for the area and much more.

Following is the letter Angelo sent to his fellow members of the Alliance, which will begin looking for someone to fill Angelo’s big shoes as soon as next week. “Beginning in July, Frank, our daughter Amélie and I will take time to enjoy our family, embark upon some long-anticipated journeys, and explore the foundation of our next chapter together,” Angelo wrote. “Be it in Columbus, elsewhere in the United States or abroad. The opportunities are many, and 2013 is the time to press pause and thoughtfully develop the storyline.”

 

Dear Short North Compatriots:

I am writing to share exciting, yet bitter sweet, news.

After eight years of service to the Short North Arts District, it is time to turn the page and start the next chapter. On June 15th (the eighth anniversary of my arrival on the scene) I will be passing the baton as Executive Director of the Short North Alliance and heading out on new adventures. It was a very difficult decision, but in the end, it was a feeling that the pieces are in place (both professionally and personally), the key goals have been met and the time is right.

Advocating for the Short North has been a passion that has helped shape my sense of community and entrepreneurship. It has given meaning to the term: "authentic destination." The Short North is, in fact, one of the key reasons I have continued to reside in Ohio. It is an anomaly in the Midwest and I feel honored to have had a hand in nurturing it and sharing it with the world.

In June of 2005, I moved from Cincinnati to accept the position as director of the Short North Business Association. Four and half years later, I joined forces with the Short North Special Improvement District to navigate the SID's renewal and help clarify the organization's priorities for the foreseeable future. This included uniting the voices of the property owners, the business owners and the residents along the High Street corridor; launching the district's ambassador program; and elevating the focus on safety and parking. We accomplished these goals with the formation of the Short North Alliance. This past year, as the Alliance's first director, I had the privilege of working with a stellar board, and together we established the direction, priorities and goals of this dynamic organization.

The SNA is now in the position to lead the district into its own sensational, new chapter. The Short North has become an integral part of the Columbus story... epitomizing its brand, its vibe, and its quality of life. This past week, I was interviewed by a freelance writer on assignment for USA Today. A resident of Chicago, she was thrilled to hear how the district factors into Columbus' fashion scene, and lamented how she wished Chicago had such a destination. Truly, the Short North is at a remarkable point in its evolution. Amazing projects such as those spearheaded by Wagonbrenner Development, Elford Development and Pizzuti will continue to evolve the district in brilliant and exciting ways. Comprehensive infrastructure improvements are in the works with our partners at the city. Via the SNA board, property owners and business owners are collaborating in unprecedented ways. The sky is the limit.

Over the coming three months I will be working with the Alliance's search committee to help identify the candidate(s) who will be leading the organization forward. The search committee will soon be announcing its screening process. Our goal is to have completed the selection with plenty of time for cross training and on-boarding.

Because of its potential as a significant source of funding for much needed projects, I have committed to navigate the production of HighBall 2013. It is the Alliance's hope that HighBall could one day generate revenues sufficient enough to fund district-wide initiatives such as major public art installations and spectacular holiday décor that would attract even more visitors from Thanksgiving to New Years.

Beyond the HighBall commitment, however, I will be on my version of a "walkabout." Beginning in July, Frank, our daughter Amélie and I will take time to enjoy our family, embark upon some long-anticipated journeys, and explore the foundation of our next chapter together... be it in Columbus, elsewhere in the United States or abroad. The opportunities are many, and 2013 is the time to press pause and thoughtfully develop the storyline.

I have greatly enjoyed the experience of representing the Short North, developing wonderful networks and partnering with so many inspirational and giving individuals. I look forward to our continued collaborations... in whatever form they may be.

With a great sense of pride and camaraderie,

John Angelo

The shameless Short North promoter in me cannot pass up the opportunity to take advantage of the timing of this announcement. I invite you to join me on Sunday, April 21 at the Short North Gala to share a toast to this wonderful destination we call "the Short North Arts District."


 

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