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Brunswick Downtown Association hires new executive director

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Brunswick Downtown Association hires new executive director

BRUNSWICK — Following a three-month search, the Brunswick Downtown Association has hired Debora King as executive director.

King started last week.

"We found that she had all of the qualifications that we were looking for," said Dee Perry, BDA chairwoman. It also helped, Perry said, that King was familiar with the area and has been a resident since 2010.

King was selected from eight candidates, Perry said, and will replace Stephanie Slocum, who will continue working on some projects for the group.

King had been executive director of the Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce since December 2010.

"It was a brand new chamber, so one of the challenges was to get it on its feet. It was more of a start-up mode. It was a lot of fun," King said. "I live in Brunswick, so one of my goals was to work in the community where I live, and I see a lot of similarities with the Brunswick Downtown Association and the chambers I've worked with in the past."

Before moving to Maine in June 2010, King said she lived in Kodiak, Alaska, for about a dozen years and worked for the chamber of commerce there as the executive director and economic development specialist for a total of eight years.

"I'm really familiar with business development, business training, working with municipalities on funding issues and issues as they relate to business development in the communities," King said.

The new executive director was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, and became a U.S. citizen about 14 years ago. King said she and her husband bought a house in Brunswick in 2002, where they lived seasonally until moving in as permanent residents.

"It was exactly what we were looking for, Brunswick especially," King said. "It was a community that seemed to have all of the necessities while still being close enough to a larger city and obviously the eastern seaboard."

The BDA "coordinates downtown improvement projects, sponsors public programs and organizes special events," according to its website. The group also helps market member businesses through its monthly "Brunswick Blast" e-mail newsletter.

King said one of her primary duties will be to help build relationships for businesses, but she will also continue the BDA's work with the Maine Development Foundation to maintain Brunswick's Maine Street Maine designation.

"The whole intent of the program is to revitalize downtown and make it an attractive place," King said, "not just for tourists, but for the local resident to really appreciate and enjoy coming down and participating in events, and getting the merchants excited about being in an area that they can really be proud of."

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or dmartin@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.