With busy schedule coming this fall, The District begins search for executive director
QUINCY — The next few weeks are going to be a little busier than normal for the Traeder family.
Jason Traeder is the vice president of TNT Golf Cars and Motorsports at 930 Maine, but he’s also the president of The District, which is looking for a new executive director after announcing Wednesday that Emily Lombardi is no longer employed there.
Traeder’s wife, Jamie, is the assistant director for The District. However, Jason says Jamie has no interest in becoming the executive director.
“She likes putting on events, and she likes coordinating things,” he said. “She enjoys the District like I do. I’ve been on the board for eight years now, and she came on just as a helper to Emily, and it kind of turned into the assistant director. I think she would probably enjoy getting a new executive director in there so she could go back to kind of her assistant director duties.”
However, the upcoming schedule for The District means there’s no time to rest. On tap in September are a concert, the weekly Farmer’s Markets, the Feast community dinner, the Maker’s Market and the downtown cleanup. Other big events are the Early Tin Dusters and Trick or Treat in the District in October and the Christkindl Market in November.
“We don’t have an interim director, so the board has stepped up to kind of overtake a lot of the day-to-day operations,” Jason Traeder said. “The assistant director is kind of the caretaker of everything else that the board members can’t handle.”
When he became president last year, Traeder said his goal was to change how The District operated under former executive director Bruce Guthrie, who took a new position with the Quincy Chamber of Commerce in November 2021.
“He was a one-man band,” Traeder said. “The chamber is lucky to have him, but what we learned upon him leaving was that this can’t be a one-man band to operate in the way that it needs to be operated and not burn people out. The board kind of looked in the mirror and said, ‘OK, this is probably a two-person show.’”
Traeder also created committees filled by members of The District’s board.
“My goal was to give make really strong committees that kind of report up to the executive director, so the executive director and an assistant would not be having to do every single part of the day-to-day operations,” he said. “Each member of the board has kind of taken control of each one of those events and is kind of handling them, so the executive director is not having to be the last person.
“As unfortunate as it is to be without an executive director, The District is in a perfect position to continue forward. We have strong committees to manage the operations that we have going forward, so there’s going to be no lag in what The District needs to do and what The District has planned for itself.”
Meanwhile, the search for an executive director is under way.
“We’ve already received a handful of qualified candidates who we’re going to take a really close look at,” Traeder said. “We encourage anybody who’s interested in the position to apply or, by all means, come sit down and talk to us in more detail about what the position entails.
“We’ve got a lot of local business individuals with a lot of different backgrounds and a lot of different specialties who are going to step up fill that void. In the meantime, hopefully we can find a new director who is willing to take back the reins and take us in the direction we need to go.”
The District is a non-profit volunteer-driven organization devoted to growth, preservation, and economic vitality of downtown Quincy.
Other members of The District’s board are vice president Tieraney Craig, secretary Spencer McKeown, treasurer Kevin Ballard, Colin Ash, Tom Hendren, Morgan Parker, Meegan Fischer, Blake Scheer and Ben Reinhardt.
Lombardi came to Quincy from Milwaukee, where she previously worked in sales in the utility industry. She originally was hired as The District’s director of economic development but shortly thereafter replaced Guthrie as director.
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