Letter to the editor: Leaving WHDA in a better place

Published 4:35 pm Monday, January 25, 2016

To the Washington Community,

It is with mixed emotions that I announce that I am leaving my position as executive director of the Washington Harbor District Alliance (WHDA). The WHDA Board has indicated that they are implementing a change in tactics.

Since moving to Washington 10 years ago it has been a personal passion to promote and develop downtown Washington in pursuit of our town reaching its full potential. While this remains important to me, I am excited about new opportunities and eager to pursue fresh challenges.

I look fondly on my start with WHDA as the volunteer chair for the initial Pickin’ on the Pamlico in 2007. In 2008 I was offered a position as administrative assistant, an opportunity that led to my promotion to executive director in 2010. It was an exciting time for the Harbor District, and rewarding for me personally to be part of the growth of the organization. During that period, what was then known as DWOW experienced a total organizational transition to the successful advocate for downtown that WHDA is today. I am pleased to have had a hand in that forward progress, and thrilled that in the process WHDA was able to earn the difficult-to-achieve “National Main Street” accreditation.

I am very proud of the work that has been accomplished during my tenure. It has truly been an honor to work with the many people who are as passionate about the well being of Washington as I. There have been many dedicated volunteers who have given of their time and energy to help WHDA reach its goals, and I could not claim any success without their support. I’d like to thank them for all they have done.

Also deserving of special recognition are the wonderful corporate sponsors who have supported WHDA by donating the many dollars that it takes to bring 17-plus annual events to the Washington community. The City of Washington has also provided ongoing support of the Harbor District Alliance, and it’s my hope that they continue to stand behind WHDA so that their support of the many small businesses that make downtown their home will remain strong.

The future is bright in downtown Washington. I feel I’m leaving the Harbor District in a better position. Please do your part by remembering to shop local, it is the best way to continue to nurture our flourishing downtown.


Beth Byrd