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MCBD board appoints new director

November 9, 2012
By DAVID ALEXANDER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

The Marshalltown Central Business District has a new director.

Jenny Etter, who recently returned to Marshalltown after having spent seven years in Texas, will take up the position Monday.

"It is fun for me to come back and give back to the community again," Etter said.

Article Photos

Jenny Etter

The Central Business District director position has been vacant since the previous director, Tina Shapley, resigned in August. Since then, former Director and Board Member Wanda Evans has been acting director until the five-member board could decide on a replacement.

Etter's experience with grant writing, fundraising and her organizational skills and public speaking abilities helped her edge out four other applicants for the position, said Mark Rohde, Central Business District board president.

"I have honed my skills all of those things play a key part in this new job," Etter said.

Rohde said the job duties would be the same, but that he would like to see an increase in volunteers to alleviate some of the burden on the director, freeing her up to pursue some broader endeavors like public speaking instead of having nuts-and-bolts type of stuff bog her down.

Etter said Marshalltown's volunteerism is exemplary, and she wants to continue the efforts already underway instead of making overhauls. Most of what needs to be accomplished has to do with getting the word out, she said.

Easing into the job will take a little transition since Etter has been gone for several years. Luckily, she said as a fourth-generation Marshalltown resident, she has many family members here. Many people know her and know her family.

"I think she is going to be great," Rohde said. "I don't think there is any doubt about getting the office organized."

Evans said Etter has many qualities the board looks for in a director. Particularly, she has proven she can work with a board and various committees to accomplish things. She worked in a similar capacity in the mental health field for nearly 30 years.

The Central Business District plans to continue aiding with the Tallcorn Towers' restoration, the Main Street pedestrian walkway between the Tremont and Apgar Studio and Iowa Wholesale renovations as well as helping the owner of the Kibbey Building make that building economically viable again.

"We want to continue making the downtown area a delightful place to be," Evans said. "We are the downtown district, but it is everybody's downtown."

The Central Business District will pay Etter $40,000 a year.



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