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Downtown Raleigh Alliance Board Announces President / CEO Leadership Changes

For Immediate Release: January 16, 2019

Primary contact: Neil Gray, Chair, Downtown Raleigh Alliance Board of Directors | (919) 612-0345

Secondary contact: Pam Blondin, Vice Chair, Downtown Raleigh Alliance Board of Directors | (919) 414-5466

Tertiary contact: Bill King, President/CEO-elect, Downtown Raleigh Alliance | (919) 821-6980


Downtown Raleigh Alliance Board Announces President / CEO Leadership Changes 

RALEIGH, NC (January 16, 2019) – The Downtown Raleigh Alliance announced today that Kristopher Larson will be stepping down as President/CEO, and the Board has named Bill King, previously Senior Vice President, Economic Development and Planning, as the organization's new President/CEO, effective February 8, 2019. 

Larson submitted his resignation to the Board of Directors last week, informing them that he would be relocating for family reasons. The Board immediately initiated a process to identify new leadership. After thorough assessment and screening, the Board unanimously selected five-year DRA executive staff veteran King as the new President/CEO.

“For the first time in the Downtown Raleigh Alliance’s history, we have the opportunity to promote from within,” remarked Neil Gray, Chair of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance Board of Directors. “We are fortunate to have a leadership-ready candidate prepared to take the next step in his career.”

“Bill is the right leader for this organization at this time,” said Pam Blondin, Vice Chair of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance Board of Directors. “He has led the organization’s high-profile economic development work, including attracting two grocery stores, and has deep knowledge of the community’s vision for Downtown. Bill also possesses the skills, style and collaborative spirit necessary to continue the implementation of the strategic plan and lead the organization toward our vision of building a best-in-class Downtown neighborhood.”

Sharon Moe, Past Chair of the DRA Board of Directors, reflected on Larson’s contributions to organization.

"Kris has been an exceptional leader of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance,” said Moe. “In just a short time, he made countless contributions to the organization’s success and visibility, provided us with a new strategic direction, improved financial stability, and forged stronger partnerships. While we are sad to see him go, we know he is doing the right thing for his family."

"The opportunity to lead the DRA in developing a new mission and strategic plan is one of the hallmarks of my professional life, and I will certainly miss working with the talented and dedicated staff, Board, supporters, investors, friends and partners associated with the Alliance," said Larson. "I am very proud of the way leadership came together to help chart a new vision and future for the DRA as it embraces its role as the public-private partnership representing the needs of all Downtown stakeholders.”

Larson continued, "Even though my life and career are changing directions, my commitment to this organization and the many good people of my hometown will passionately continue."

Larson will be leaving the Downtown Raleigh Alliance on February 8 and will relocate with his wife to Los Angeles, CA where he will lead a comparable organization that serves the Hollywood area. King will assume the new role upon Larson’s departure.

"I am deeply honored to be chosen to lead this organization through the next chapters of implementing our strategic plan," said King. "While Kris will be missed, we want to wish him all the best as he enters a new stage in his life and career. His vision helped build the foundation to the threshold of a new era."

King added, “Looking ahead, we will build on the momentum of, and continue making progress on, our 2019 goals of improving stakeholder engagement, fostering a diverse storefront economy, and creating a more balanced public realm. I am confident in our staff and board as we steadily move forward at this juncture of organizational growth and personal opportunity."




Mission of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA): Advancing the vitality of Downtown Raleigh for everyone. The DRA facilitates this mission through five goals: 1) Building a culture of authentic engagement and inclusion with Downtown’s diverse community; 2) Fostering a thriving and diverse storefront economy; 3) Facilitating strategic partnerships to produce positive, balanced activations across Downtown; 4) Improving physical connectivity and accessibility within and around Downtown; 5) Positioning the DRA as a reliable, responsive, representative, and mission-directed.