MANCHESTER — Sara Beaudry, the newly named executive director of Intown Manchester, said one of her goals is to expand the program of decorative banners on street poles to the northern and southern portions of Elm Street.
“We want to focus more on those areas,” Beaudry said Monday, her first day at her new post.
“There’s such energy and activity going on south Elm Street,” Beaudry said. A state liquor store opened there this month, joining other projects over recent years.
Beaudry, who for the past two years served as Intown’s marketing director, said she’s already familiar with the organization, a nonprofit helping to enhance downtown’s vitality and redevelopment.
Denis Dancoes, chairman of Intown Manchester’s board of trustees, said Beaudry “has the skills that we were looking for and the experience working intimately with the two prior executive directors over the past two years.”Dancoes said Beaudry knows the organization, the city and “the knowledge of the workings of downtown Manchester in particular.”
Dancoes said the board didn’t conduct an external search. He said the organization hasn’t decided what to do with Beaudry’s former position, saying it might become a “hybrid” of marketing and other functions.
Beaudry said she has been working with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce over concerns over “aggressive panhandling.”
Beaudry, who has worked in the Manchester-area for more than a decade, praised the police for reacting to the concerns of some downtown merchants.
“The Manchester Police Department has done an incredible job amping up foot patrols,” Beaudry said.Intown Manchester works with an approximate $335,000 yearly budget with about $258,000 coming from an assessment paid by building owners within a defined geographic district that mainly encompasses downtown.
“One of the challenges would be to stretch the dollars from the assessment across a large district and use them most effectively,” Dancoes said.
Beaudry thinks the organization now does a better job of listening than before.
“We’ve really increased our lines of communication with our downtown property owners and business owners,” Beaudry said. “People feel very comfortable coming in and talking to us.”