Downtown Little Rock Partnership Celebrates Successful Year, Elects New Board Members
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 15, 2023) – Downtown Little Rock advocates, state and city officials and business leaders celebrated last year’s achievements and looked toward a bright future for ‘Everyone’s Neighborhood’ at the 2023 Downtown Little Rock Partnership Annual Meeting presented by Amazon.
“I feel like DLRP has done the equivalent of five years of work in only one short year,” DLRP Board President Carol Worley told the packed room. “The momentum, support, and cooperation we have toward making our downtown a better place has been overwhelming… Being the eternal optimist, I can only say, hold on everyone. This is just the beginning.”
DLRP Executive Director Gabe Holmstrom also shared information about the city’s upcoming Downtown Master Planning process and called for new ways to boost downtown development.
“When you compare the development incentives available in the surrounding states to what we have here in Arkansas, there is glaring room for improvement,” Holmstrom said. “We need our policy makers to take a hard look at how to make these a reality in Arkansas. The private sector, the state and the city will ALL have to pull in the same direction to keep our downtowns progressing.”
Worley encouraged attendees to get involved in improving the city’s core.
“We need to make sure our downtown will meet the needs of the people who are living, working, and visiting here, along with those wanting to develop here,” Worley said. “As we move forward with the Master Plan process, we will all be asked to provide our ideas about what our vision of what downtown Little Rock should look like in 10-15 years. We want and need your opinions on that.”
The sold-out event at the Statehouse Convention Center Wednesday featured a keynote from Jeff Siegler, a downtown consultant and creator of the blog Revitalize, or Die.
The Top of the Rock Award is presented annually to an organization, business or individual who has worked to shape and elevate downtown Little Rock, and this year the the DLRP recognized eStem for their investment in downtown campuses.
Mike Orndorff’s work to revitalize the Pettaway neighborhood took earned him the inaugural ‘Downtown Mover & Shaker’ award, and the ‘Heart of Downtown’ went to Brandy McNair of Bella Vita Jewelry, recognizing her business that brings unique character to the core of our city.
The Downtown Little Rock Partnership relies on dedicated volunteers to produce our events and activate public spaces in our city and named Mandy Marshall ‘Volunteer of the Year for her work to produce Barkus on Main. The annual Mardi Gras themed dog parade is scheduled for April 16th this year.
The DLRP board class of 2026 was also elected, during the business portion of the meeting. Board members serve 3 year terms.
Kelley Bass - Museum of Discovery
Brent Birch - Little Rock Technology Park
Guy Choate - Garver Engineers
Pattie Davidson - Landmark, PLC
Jacob Fair - Simmons Bank
David Hutchinson - Lyon College
Arlton Lowry - Few
Mandy Marshall - Hounds Lounge
John Martin - Moses Tucker Partners
Lesley Nalley - Empire Financial
Marti Nicholson - AC Marriott
David Sargent - WER Architects
Mark Stodola - Stodola & Associates, Inc
Jeremiah Wood - Friday Eldredge & Clark, LLP
Debbie Shock - Clinton Foundation
James Sullivan - AMR Architects