Dianne Frances D. Powell
TERRE HAUTE —
A new leader has been chosen to lead the way in promoting downtown Terre Haute.
In a “unanimous decision,” the board members of Downtown Terre Haute, Inc on Wednesday voted to select Shelley Klingerman to be the new executive director effective Jan. 1, 2014.
Klingerman has served as Downtown Terre Haute, Inc’s interim executive director since mid-October.
“I’m very proud to be chosen,” Klingerman said Friday.
She said downtown Terre Haute has a lot of potential.
“I’m flattered to be chosen to lead the charge,” she told the Tribune-Star.
Klingerman is currently president of a marketing firm, The Stiletto Agency, and formerly served as a marketing and communications executive at Sony DADC.
This year, she was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Junior Achievement. She is married with three kids.
In addition to using her experiences in marketing, communications and event planning, Klingerman also brings downtown business experience to her new role.
She owned a boutique in downtown for six years, until it changed hands this year.
“I have first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities for business owners downtown,” Klingerman said, an experience that the board considered extremely valuable.
“Finding somebody like Shelley, with her background, we feel really excited,” board president Brian Dyer told the Tribune-Star.
“We really felt like she was the person that can take DTH to the next level,” Dyer said of the board’s unanimous decision.
The executive director is “the face of downtown Terre Haute,” Dyer said.
It is the director’s job to know the business owners downtown, what’s important to them and to help bring more businesses to downtown.
“We want the executive director to be the point person for our group,” Dyer said.
Klingerman is excited about the new role.
She said she plans to create a “strategic vision and then apply a plan to that vision.”
She also aims to facilitate more collaboration among businesses in the downtown area “and really look at innovating our downtown.”
“There’s a positive momentum to re-energize downtown,” Klingerman said. “I hope to capture that positive momentum to affect more positive change.”
And she is passionate about Terre Haute.
“I am from here. I have chosen to raise my family here. I have vested interest in this community,” she said. “I just want to make a difference.”
Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or dianne.powell@ tribstar.com.