Howdy hired as WHDA director

Published 9:09 am Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Washington Harbor District Alliance has hired a new executive director with a passion for organization and relationship building.

Washington native Meg Howdy will take on the role of head of the downtown organization that serves as a facilitator and catalyst to renew, restore, rebuild and revitalize the downtown business district, according to the WHDA mission.

The job is right in Howdy’s wheelhouse.

“It’s extremely exciting — the opportunity to help the town I love really grow and to support the merchants downtown and continue to build relationships with my favorite Washingtonians.

It’s a very exciting opportunity,” Howdy said.

Howdy comes to the job from 13 years working with First South Bank, but her community involvement stretches all the way back to childhood: First United Methodist Church, American Red Cross, volunteering for gift delivery at Christmas with Beaufort County Department of Social Services and meal delivery with Meals on Wheels. Currently, Howdy serves as board president of Beaufort County United Way, in addition to volunteering with other organizations.

As a recent graduate of the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce program, Leadership Beaufort, Howdy combines her knowledge of how Washington works with her lifelong experience growing up in town. She expressed strong appreciation for Washington’s history, as well as the people behind the city’ economic development movement.

“Everyone is just really involved and wants Washington to continue to grow and shine but also keep up with the wonderful history we have here,” Howdy said.

Howdy replaces interim operations officer John Butler. The fit was ideal, according to Chris Furlough, the WHDA board’s president.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Meg’s background lead WHDA,” Furlough said. “For the last few years, WHDA has continued its work through the support of several interim directors allowing us to maintain our course and direction. Meg brings the right mix of professional skills and personal connections to propel us further down our strategic path to grow Washington and its economy.”

Howdy said she already has plans for her new position.

“One of the first things I would like to be able to do is continue our efforts working with the city on the streetscapes and helping property owners and merchants downtown share the history of the buildings — where we were before and how the building was shining back then and also where we are today,” Howdy said.

Howdy’s permanent office will be in the future Harbor District Market at 140-142 W. Main St., which is being renovated. Until renovations are complete, she said she plans to spend as much time as possible at downtown businesses.

“I hope people will stop and say hello if I’m working while enjoying coffee at Rachel K’s Bakery, or lunch at any of our great restaurants downtown. Don’t be surprised if you find me tapping into the City’s new Wi-Fi on a bench on Main Street or Stewart Parkway when the weather gets better,” she laughed.

For more information about Washington Harbor District Alliance, call 252-947-1487 or visit