Skip to Main Content

There’s a New Chip in Town - Downtown Boulder Partnership Appoints New CEO

Category: Press Room

With more than two decades of experience in downtown management, Chip brings a wealth of knowledge in business improvement district strategy and operations, community outreach, government relations and creative public-private collaborations

BOULDER, CO [May 22, 2019] – The Downtown Boulder Partnership (DBP) board of directors has appointed Chip (not the one you might imagine) as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the Downtown Boulder Partnership, which includes the Downtown Boulder Business Improvement District and the Downtown Boulder Foundation, effective early August.

Currently, Chip is executive director of the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz, CA, which, like the Downtown Boulder Partnership, operates a merchant-based business improvement district (BID) that serves 500+ businesses and focuses on place-making and experience management, brand management and district marketing, and advocating for the success of businesses in the district. As a downtown management professional, he is seasoned in district operations, destination marketing, creating and enhancing public-private partnerships, tenant mix strategies and retail recruitment. Chip has advocated for downtown interests at the local and state levels. He was an integral part of launching the Santa Cruz chapter of Downtown Streets Team to provide work experience and support for men and women who were experiencing homelessness while working on beautification projects in the downtown district. Chip is a member of the International Downtown Association and a director of the California Downtown Association. He also serves on the board of directors for Homeless Serves Center, Santa Cruz and Downtown Streets Team.  

Boulder’s downtown is highly regarded within the field of downtown management, and the Downtown Boulder Partnership CEO was a sought-after position. “We were fortunate to have well-qualified applicants,” said Alan Rogers, DBP board chair and co-chair of the search committee. “Chip comes into the position with fresh perspectives and a wealth of experience and insight from running a business improvement district in a community sometimes referred to as Boulder-by-the-Sea.  Chip’s colleagues in Santa Cruz, ranging from business owners to former elected officials, gave unwavering testament to Chip’s strategic thinking and problem-solving, creativity and dedication.  We are confident that Chip is the right person to build upon the successes of the last decade and ensure an ever more successful and sustainable downtown Boulder.”

Having grown up in Colorado Springs and visited Boulder as a youngster, Chip looks forward to moving back to Colorado – and to downtown Boulder, ideally -- with his family and fully immersing himself in the community. “I have been following downtown Boulder, and specifically the work of the Downtown Boulder Partnership, for many years. I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to join an amazing staff and three strong boards of directors as we team up with small business owners, community members and partners to lead downtown Boulder into the future as one of the strongest, most vibrant downtown districts in America.”

Chip will assume DBP’s CEO role August 5, 2019.  He will succeed Sean Maher, who served as DBP’s CEO for 10 years and resigned from DBP in late April to become CEO of RRC Associates, a national market research and consulting firm headquartered in Boulder.  “I have known Chip for years through the International Downtown Association and related conferences. We have talked often about the similarities in our respective communities and downtowns and I have been impressed with his passion, insights and personal warmth,” said Maher. “I think he will be a great fit for Downtown Boulder.” Susan Connelly will continue in the role of DBP’s Interim CEO until Chip’s arrival later this summer. The University of Colorado’s Chip could not be reached for comment.

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 and provides staff to implement the missions of the Downtown Boulder Business Improvement District and the Downtown Boulder Foundation. DBP’s 400+ 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 pubic on the value of shopping local to support small businesses and community.

About the Downtown Boulder Foundation:
The Downtown Boulder Foundation (DBF) 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. DBF exists to produce and support diverse and impactful experiences to create community engagement.

Terri Takata-Smith, VP of Marketing & Communications
303-449-3774 |