Traverse City News and Events

TC DDA Hires COO

By Beth Milligan | Aug. 15, 2019

The Traverse City Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has hired a chief operations officer (COO), a newly created position that was approved by the DDA board and city commission in the city's 2019-20 budget. 

Harry Burkholder was selected for the position and will start as COO on September 9. Prior to accepting the position, Burkholder was with the Land Information Access Association (LIAA) for 15 years, serving as its executive director for the last four years. As COO, Burkholder will play a key role in the daily operations of the DDA, provide data, research and budgeting support to projects, and assist CEO Jean Derenzy in implementing the DDA's strategic plan. In addition to DDA programs like the farmers market and parking, Burkholder will be involved with the Lower Boardman River project and Eighth Street corridor development.

"The DDA’s key role is to support and improve infrastructure to serve the needs of the community and to develop efficient strategies for creating a vital and livable urban city,” says Derenzy. “Harry knows how to engage and involve community, plus he is highly respected in the areas of land use and planning, not only locally but across the state. We are thrilled to have him join our team.”

Up until accepting the position of COO, Burkholder also served on the DDA board of directors. Derenzy says he has since resigned that role. Three other DDA board members also have terms up for renewal, including Bill Golden, Allison Beers, and Gabe Schneider. According to Derenzy, Golden and Beers will not seek reappointment to their seats, while Schneider has been asked to be reappointed. Traverse City commissioners, who make the DDA appointments, will take applications and make a decision in September on how to fill the three empty DDA board seats and to potentially reappoint Schneider to another term.

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