Flint’s new DDA director is the first woman and the first African-American to hold the post


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FLINT, MI – The Downtown Development Authority of Flint has hired a new executive director and made history in the process.

Kiaira May, who worked at Quicken Loans and Bedrock Real Estate in Detroit, was unanimously appointed to the post by the DDA board of directors and began her work this week, DDA said in a statement. release Wednesday June 16.

A graduate of Wayne State University, May becomes the first woman and the first African American to lead the DDA, which was established in 1977 and promotes the revitalization of the city core and manages the downtown paid parking lot.

Former DDA director Gerard Burnash, who had held the post for several years, told MLive-The Flint Journal in a message that he was “removed from his post” on April 1.

Flint’s director of economic development, Khalfani Stephens, had recently served as the executive director of the DDA on a temporary basis, according to the minutes of the DDA board meeting.

“Downtown Flint is full of energy,” May said in a statement released by the DDA. “I am excited to work with and support the businesses and individuals who continue to bring public art, music and festivals to Flint while activating the city’s unique indoor and outdoor spaces.

“Flint is known nationally for its history of producing talented artists, entrepreneurs, musicians and other creative people. I look forward to helping showcase and celebrate all of these talents while making Flint a regional destination for visitors interested in vibrant culture, entertainment and thriving businesses, ”said May’s statement.

In her previous work, May developed partnerships with influential organizations in Detroit, including the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Gucci Changemakers Fund, Design Core Detroit and the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Michigan, according to her announcement. nomination by the DDA. .

These partnerships have helped create more traffic to local businesses in key neighborhoods, showcase art and cultural exhibitions and displays, and create community dialogues and signs, the organization said.

The Journal was unable to immediately reach Mayor Sheldon Neeley to comment on the appointment of the DDA, which will be sent to city council for their consent.

In a DDA statement, Neeley called May “a tremendous asset to our growing city center”.

“I am proud to say that we were able to find the most qualified candidate in a historic movement for the DDA. As DDA’s first female director, Kiaira brings to Flint her passion and desire to continue to make Flint a regional destination for art, music, sports, culture and unique community festivals.

Learn more about MLive:

Flint Appoints New Director of Economic Development

Gerard Burnash could be Flint DDA’s new executive director

Kady Yellow hopes to bring public art and events to downtown Flint in a new role

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