The nonprofit organization Downtown Springdale Alliance (DSA) has hired former Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs as its new executive director.
Dabbs is replacing Kelly Hale Syer, who held the position from May 2017 until late last year. The Northwest Arkansas Business Journal reported in August 2018 Syer was planning to leave the organization, saying the time and energy for her to keep up with the rising tide of development in downtown Springdale was lacking.
“Jill recognizes the regional importance of Downtown Springdale’s success and brings a wealth of experience leading a rapidly growing city,” DSA Board of Directors President Luke Parsons said in a statement. “Her ability to connect with members of the community and understanding of the power of urban development provide new perspectives to our organization.”
Dabbs was a two-term mayor of Bryant in Saline County from 2011 until 2018. She lost her bid for a third term this past November by just 30 votes (3,251-3,221).
According to the DSA news release, Dabbs oversaw investments in capital improvement projects including safety services, parks and roads, as well as managed the city budget and employees for the city of more than 22,000 citizens. Prior to being elected mayor, Dabbs was an owner and business development director for Back and Body Chiropractic.
“I am excited for the opportunity to lead an organization focused on growing Downtown Springdale,” Dabbs said in a statement. “Its rich history and ongoing revitalization makes it a welcoming destination for business and community. I look forward to meeting with local leaders to continue the momentum.”
Dabbs is an Arkansas native and earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.