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The North Bend Downtown Foundation has been hard at work this summer, preparing the organization for its first-ever executive director and securing a work home for the foundation.
At the September 19 City Council meeting, board president Beth Burrows introduced Jessica Self, who recently accepted the position of Executive Director. Ms. Self brings to the NBDF a background in customer service and sales, management, business development, and marketing. She has over 11 years of experience serving organizations such as the SnoValley Chamber of Commerce and other eastside chambers, and the Master Builders Association.
Ms. Self thanked Council for their work in allocating funds for the foundation. Her introduction received applause from public attendees, Council, Mayor McFarland, and staff. Mayor McFarland commented, “It is incredibly important that we always look for ways to invest in our community. This partnership instills new connections, and it supports economic diversification. What a great opportunity for our downtown businesses.”
The City continues to support the NBDF in its work to revitalize downtown North Bend. In 2021, Council reserved $250,000 of the City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation for use as seed money to help move the foundation forward in its mission, supporting the hire of staff, obtaining office space, and adding momentum to their work in attaining Main Street Community accreditation.
Next steps for the NBDF include opening their new office space at the North Bend Train Depot, located at 205 E McClellan Street.
In partnership with the City and the SnoValley Chamber of Commerce, the NBDF invites the community to join them for a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 21. Once open, the office will be available for visits by appointment, and the Train Depot will continue as previously operated, in collaboration with the City, Si View Metropolitan Parks District, and the Northwest Railway Museum.
Also in the works is the NBDF’s goal to achieve Washington Main Street designation in 2025.
The Main Street program is an approach to city revitalization through the celebration of a community’s unique heritage and attributes. Main Street Community designation affords cities the opportunity to take advantage of grant and financing opportunities that can fund infrastructure improvements, enhance the historical character of downtown North Bend, and promote the downtown as a destination for tourists, residents, and businesses.
The NBDF is actively seeking dedicated volunteers who are passionate about our local economy and downtown revitalization. “Their commitment will play a crucial role in elevating the [NBDF] to new heights, ultimately contributing to the enhancement of North Bend’s economic vitality and tourism,” Ms. Self commented. Learn more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.