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Bettina Swigger Named Downtown Boulder Partnship's Next CEO

Category: Press Room

With five years of experience in downtown management, and over 15 years in non-profit work, Bettina Swigger will take the helm of the organization on November 27, 2023

BOULDER, CO [November 1, 2023] – The Downtown Boulder Partnership (DBP), along with its sister organizations, Downtown Boulder Business Improvement District (BID) and Downtown Boulder Community Initiatives (DBCI)  boards of directors have appointed Bettina Swigger as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the Downtown Boulder Partnership, effective November 27, 2023.

For the past five years, Swigger served as the CEO of Downtown San Luis Obispo (Downtown SLO), which, like the Downtown Boulder Partnership, is a 501c(6) and is made up of a similar predefined business improvement area.  Maintaining a robust partnership with the City of San Luis Obispo, Swigger has a solid understanding and appreciation for community and civic collaboration.  During her tenure as Downtown SLO's CEO, Swigger led her team in efforts to expand the year-round Thursday Night Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market - broadening participation to create a more inclusive business/entrepreneurial environment. Downtown SLO produces more than 80 events each year, all designed to attract locals and visitors to the downtown corridor. SLO's Clean & Safe Program grew under her direction to include three ambassadors and a part-time contract social worker conducting homeless outreach. Swigger also successfully guided Downtown SLO through the pandemic, working closely with the business community, city officials and local partners. 

Swigger’s appointment comes after a robust CEO search this past summer led by a Transition Team, chaired by Carey Mason, a member of the Downtown Boulder Community Advisory Board.  The team also included representatives from all three board of directors and senior-level staff.  Final interviews involved community partners representing the City of Boulder, City Council, Boulder Chamber, Visit Boulder, University of Boulder and the Community Foundation of Boulder County.  In addition to a series of virtual and in-person interviews, candidates were asked to fill out an extensive self-evaluation as well as a writing exercise laying out high priorities and objectives for the immediate and near future. 

Downtown Boulder is highly regarded within the field of downtown / place management organizations,  and the Downtown Boulder Partnership CEO was a highly sought-after position. “We were extremely fortunate to have many high-caliber candidates interested in this position,” said Nate Litsey, Downtown Boulder’s Business Improvement District board chair and Executive Committee member. “Bettina will be welcomed into the organization by a highly capable, seasoned and well-respected staff.  She will add to the team with fresh perspectives and a wealth of experience and insight from running a downtown district in a community environment similar to that of Boulder’s. We are excited to see what she will contribute!”

An alumna of Colorado College, Swigger worked as an arts nonprofit leader for more than a decade in Colorado Springs. She is delighted to move back to Colorado and immerse herself in downtown Boulder.  “I'm thrilled to be returning to Colorado to work alongside an incredible team and community of hard-working, talented business owners and community partners. Together, we'll continue the important work of creating a hospitable and welcoming environment for businesses and residents, bolstering tourism, enhancing livability, and creating more opportunities for all people to come together."                                         

Swigger will assume DBP’s CEO role on November 27, 2023.  She will succeed Chip, who served as DBP’s CEO for four years and resigned from DBP in June to join Block By Block, an organization specializing in clean and safe services for over 120 downtown districts nationwide, including Boulder where they oversee the Downtown Boulder and University Hill Ambassador programs. “Bettina’s experience and successful track record in place management will make her an invaluable addition to the DBP team,” said Chip. “I am excited for Bettina to join the extraordinary team at DBP and watch them shepherd the downtown Boulder community into its next chapter.”

About the Downtown Boulder Partnership:

The Downtown Boulder Partnership (DBP) is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organized to promote the civic, economic and commercial vitality and well-being of downtown Boulder and to preserve its historic and cultural environment. DBP is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of Downtown as the heart of the greater Boulder community. It supports the overall vitality of Downtown through public policy advocacy. DBP’s 300+ member businesses support the overall vitality of downtown through leadership, community celebrations and public policy advocacy.

 About the Downtown Boulder Business Improvement District:

The Downtown Boulder Business Improvement District (BID) is a quasi-municipal corporation and political subdivision of the State of Colorado formed in 1999 and encompassing a 49-block taxing district approved by property owners to cultivate a cleaner, safer and more vibrant downtown community. The tax revenue is used by the BID to provide maintenance services that supplement those provided by the City of Boulder and to provide a comprehensive consumer marketing program. Maintenance services for the BID include but are not limited to trash removal and graffiti removal. The marketing and promotion of the district to both consumers and investor markets includes advertising, branding, banners, brochures, printed collateral materials, newsletters, public relations, social media, online efforts and market research. The BID funds economic vitality efforts including market research, tenant recruitment for both retail and office and support services for small businesses and educates the public on the value of shopping local to support small businesses and community.

About the Downtown Boulder Community Initiatives

The Downtown Boulder Community Initiatives (DBCI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit created in 2017 to support the civic and cultural strength of Downtown Boulder by funding and facilitating public art, historic preservation projects and community events including free concerts, arts festivals, children’s events and parades. DBCI exists to produce and support diverse and impactful experiences to create community engagement.  The Downtown Boulder Community Advisory Board (CAB) was established under the DBCI umbrella.


Terri Takata-Smith, VP of Marketing & Communications

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