By Megan Kelley
OXFORD – Oxford’s Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors is working to fill an open board position and is seeking applications from members of the community who are interested in contributing their time and knowledge into helping continue the DDA’s mission.
The board has had an open seat since the resignation of Dorothy Johnson, who served on the board for 13 years, in December of 2023.
The DDA Board meets once a month, but in addition to the regular board meeting, members also are a part of one of four committees: economic vitality, promotions, design and organization. Board members also often volunteer at events or promotions.
“We’re looking for somebody who is willing to give the volunteer hours. We’re a board that definitely is all in,” said Kelly Westbook, Oxford DDA Executive Director. “The people that are on the board, they’re not just coming to a board meeting and sitting through a two hour meeting once a month. They’re on a committee – they have to be on a committee and be on the board. And then they’re also volunteering other hours in some other capacity. So, it is something that people have to commit to. But we find that once we sit down with them and we understand what they’re passionate about, we can usually find them something where they don’t mind volunteering or they want to be a part of things.”
Westbrook also noted that though there is only one spot on the Board of Directors open, there are still plenty of opportunities for people to get involved.
“The nice thing is that if somebody has an interest in the board and we meet with them and maybe it’s not what they thought, they might be interested in one of our four committees,” Westbrook said. “We’re always trying to add people to our committees because those meet once a month and usually people can find an interest in one of them.”
In the past, the board had been looking to fill a particular role of business owner or building owner, but this time around, they are very open with who could potentially fill the role and are simply looking for someone who has a vested interest in Oxford’s growing downtown. You don’t even have to live in Oxford’s DDA district to get involved.
“We’re open to somebody coming in that has any kind of responsibility in the district or area,” Westbook said.
Westbrook also suggests that if people are interested but still unsure, check out a board meeting. The Board meets on the third Monday of every month at Village Hall at 22 W. Burdick St., in Oxford.
The application process is a relatively easy one. Application’s can be found both on the DDA website (downtownoxford.info) under the “About” section or on their Facebook page and should only take about 15 minutes to fill out.
From there, applications will go to the organizational committee who will make the recommendation to the board. Applicants may also be asked to speak with Board Chairperson Rod Charles or Westbook herself before a final decision is made.
Application deadline is Feb. 26 with the hopes of a final decision and appointment taking place in April.
To have an application emailed to you directly or if you have additional questions, Westbrook is available via phone at 248-628-9941 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This is the best team around. We have the best team of board members and we’re just excited for somebody new to come in and experience it,” Westbrook said.
By Megan Kelley