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BDA president stepping down

Leslie Lloyd - Courtesy photo
Leslie Lloyd
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Leslie Lloyd will leave her post as executive director of the Bellevue Downtown Association, a job she has held for 11 years.

It was never her plan to leave the BDA. But Lloyd and her husband recently brought property in Eastern Washington, to which they were jetting back and forth. Lloyd was fine with this, but then a job opening came up for the executive director position at the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts. It was too good to pass up.

"While a big loss for the BDA, it affords Leslie an exciting opportunity to pursue her passion around arts presenting, and it will allow her and her husband to make the move to the new home they are building in the Wenatchee Valley," said BDA board chair Brian Brand.

She hopes to pull together the various interests in the city, and push for a world-class arts facility that can complement Leavenworth's already thriving tourism industry.

As the year winds down, so will Lloyd's career with the BDA, which has spanned 11 years, in a job she thought she'd be lucky to survive for five.

And in those years, she has helped implement many of Bellevue's top traditions. The Family 4th and the Bellevue Jazz Festival are two of Lloyd's favorite things in this city, and she was proud to be a part of them.

Now, with only a few months left in her tenure Lloyd can look back at everything that was, and forward at everything that will be in the future for this city. From the completion of the Tateuchi Center for the arts, maybe even a sports arena, Lloyd thinks big things are on the horizon for the city.

"I see these as pieces of an ongoing evolution," she said. "We've gone from that bedroom community with neighborhood services in the center to an urban center, to a really evolved and exciting modern American city. I think Bellevue is not a suburb anymore," she said.

She thinks the implementation of light-rail throughout the city will be a large part of the future. It will be painful at first, but Lloyd hopes the end results will sway the opinions of doubters.

She also hopes to see a return to more collegial and collaborative work in planning the city. She said the stakes have gotten higher, and that it appears that some of the long-term thinking, and collaborative spirit has been lost. She hopes people look back at how much planning and cooperation it took to make Bellevue what it has become and recapture that spirit.

Lloyd will remain in her post until Jan. 31, 2013, and Brand assembled a task force from the BDA’s executive committee to recommend a transition strategy to the board.

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