A person who’s spent much of her life in the Macomb area will be responsible for breathing new life into the city’s downtown. The city hired Andrea Keene to be the Director of Downtown Development.
“She’s invested in the community. Her husband is invested here – he’s a basketball coach for the school district,” said Mayor Mike Inman.
He said Keene previously served as a golf coach at Western Illinois University and most recently was the Administrator & Director of Sales Operations for Grand Prairie Assisted Living in Macomb.
Inman said Keene’s starting pay is $37,400. Her office will be on the second floor of City Hall and she begins work on March 30.
“She’ll have a great deal of autonomy in doing what she needs to do to get the mission and the desires of the council and the city on track with developing the downtown and recruiting businesses to the downtown,” Inman said.
He said Keene will be the “point person” when it comes to filling vacant storefronts on the courthouse square, though he emphasized that’s a team project that will also include others at City Hall plus the Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation and the Chamber of Commerce.
The mayor said Keene will also be involved with event planning for the downtown.
“Andrea has a lot of talent and experience in development, not only financial model development but in sales and marketing. That just made her an ideal candidate for this position because that’s the route we need to go with our downtown,” Inman said.
He said around 10 people from the region applied for the job.
Downtown development operated through of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce for a number of years before the city decided a few months ago to bring the position back into City Hall.
Meanwhile, the Chamber will be looking for a new President. Alex Geisler submitted her resignation, effective April 29.
Geisler said she will be taking a position with her alma mater, Western Illinois University.