Downtown Lexington group hires a Kentucky native as new CEO after extensive search
A group dedicated to marketing and bringing more people and businesses to downtown Lexington will soon have a new leader.
Allen McDaniel, a Central Kentucky native who attended the University of Kentucky and also has a Masters of Public Administration from Morehead State University, will start Monday, according to the Downtown Lexington Partnership.
McDaniel, who has 10 years of nonprofit and fundraising experience, was one of more than 100 candidates to run for the position of President and CEO.
McDaniel was one of three finalists interviewed for the position, said Jennifer Taylor, chair of the board.
“The decision was not easy as all finalists brought a lot of experience and energy. We are at a pivotal moment of opportunity and believe we can achieve the most under Allen’s leadership,” said Taylor.
McDaniel replaces Terry Sweeney, who resigned in July to take care of ailing family members. Sweeney was the first director of the Downtown Lexington Partnership, formed in 2017. The new group was an amalgamation of the Downtown Lexington Corporation, which helped oversee and organize events downtown, and the Lexington Downtown Development Authority, which was more focused on business recruitment.
Laura Farnsworth, Director of Development and Events, has served as Interim Director since July.
Allen said he hopes to promote and improve downtown Kentucky’s second largest city.
“I would also like to thank the employees and board members who have been responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations in the interim,” Allen said. “I feel privileged to be part of this great team! I share the passion for downtown and look forward to working with all DLP stakeholders.”
The Downtown Lexington Partnership, a not-for-profit organization, oversees and organizes downtown events, including the popular Thursday Night Live concert series sponsored by the Central Bank, many of the city’s Christmas activities, and the operation of the Triangle Park ice rink during the holiday and winter seasons . It also holds corporate events and programs in the downtown area.