A Kennewick man with experience working in the nonprofit sector and the Latino community has been hired to lead ongoing efforts to revitalize Pasco’s downtown core.
Luke Hallowell is the new executive director of the Downtown Pasco Development Authority.
The board of directors chose Hallowell in a unanimous vote at its June 16 board meeting. He was one of 24 applicants to the nonprofit organization.
“We’re delighted that Luke has agreed to take on this challenging and rewarding position with the DPDA,” Jacob Gonzalez, board president, said in a news release.
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“He was a standout candidate for all the right reasons personally and professionally,” Gonzalez said. “He’s a talented local guy whose experience, passions and interests align closely with the DPDA’s goals, and that will prove critical as we move forward as an organization.”
The announcement comes six months after the former director, Michael A. Goins, was fired for skimming money to cover personal bills, back child support and trips to New Jersey to visit his two kids.
Goins pleaded guilty in January to first-degree theft with aggravating factors, and was sentenced in April to one year in prison.
The downtown organization oversees the Pasco Specialty Kitchen and Pasco Farmers Market, and coordinates Food Truck Friday, Cinco de Mayo, Fiery Foods Festival and the Mobile Vending University with Columbia Basin College.
Hallowell will work with the downtown’s partners, including the city of Pasco, the Port of Pasco, and the Pasco and Tri-Cities Hispanic chambers of commerce.
He also will build on the success of the organization’s adoption of the Washington State Main Street program, the board said.
Hallowell, who is fluent in Spanish, graduated from Washington State University’s Carson College of Business with a bachelor’s degree in international business.
He has served as program coordinator for Fields of Grace, development officer for Kadlec Foundation, and administrative assistant and summer camp co-coordinator at the Center for Sharing in east Pasco.
He also is an active board member with Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve our community as the DPDA executive director and I’m committed to restoring the trust of all of our stakeholders as we move forward,” Hallowell said in the news release.
He thanked the board for giving him the chance to make a lasting impact on the future of the Tri-Cities.
“It’s really exciting to be part of the movement to create a downtown Pasco all of us can be proud of, and I invite you to join us,” Hallowell said.