Rod Porsche has announced his decision to step down as executive director the Albany Downtown Association, and the organization is seeking a successor.

Porsche, who is moving to Sisters, made the announcement last week. His last day is June 12.

"By and large I've been very happy with my time at the ADA and it's with mixed emotions that I'm leaving, but I feel like it's the best move for our family at this time," he said.

Porsche's wife, Kate Porsche, will stay in Albany and continue to serve as the city's economic development and urban renewal director. She said her role and schedule will remain the same.

Rod Porsche was in charge of group marketing at the Albany Visitors Association before moving to the ADA in January 2014. He said he's been very proud of the work the downtown association has accomplished during his time there.

In particular, he said, he's proud of the growth in the summer "Movies at Monteith" showings. Those began as a parking lot event that brought in about 100 people per show, but now take place on an inflatable screen at Monteith Riverpark, where close to 3,000 moviegoers came to a showing of the Disney hit "Frozen" last summer.

“We've created another fun evening experience for a lot of people in downtown Albany, and we’re really proud of that," he said. 

He said he also was pleased by the response to the "passport event" the ADA created in connection with "Shop Small Saturday," which takes place Thanksgiving weekend and encourages people to patronize small, locally-owned businesses.

The ADA gathered items for gift baskets, which it made available to shoppers who used a "passport" at Albany downtown shops that day. Many of the downtown businesses were newly-opened that year and said they appreciated the attention drawn to their shops.

“There is an energy downtown that isn’t all our doings, to be sure," Porsche said. "But we like to think that through these events, either through events or marketing, that we’re able to bring more people to them.”

Heidi Junge, president of the ADA board, said the board is searching for a successor through the Main Street program, both locally and nationally. A selection committee will interview candidates who meet the criteria, and help narrow the selection. 

Ideally, Junge said, a successor will be named as Porsche exits, so the two will have at least one day to work together.

"We're really sad that Rod is leaving. He's done an excellent job as the executive director for the downtown association," Junge said, citing a 20 percent increase in membership since Porsche took the helm. "He's wonderful. We're sad to lose him. He's got a lot of drive and passion for what he does."

Porsche said he doesn't yet have a new position in Sisters but has "a couple things in the works." 

He said he and his wife would continue to maintain ownership of their Albany home as well as one in Sisters.

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