Monday morning, just 20 minutes into his new post as executive director for the Albany Downtown Association, Rod Porsche was waiting for his email to get set up.
That would give him one more tool to help with his task of promoting downtown Albany to the world.
“We aren’t going to change our approach. We are a leader in the state,” said Porsche, who takes over the position after over two years with the Albany Visitors Association. “Albany is a performing community when it comes to bringing people downtown.”
Porsche takes over the position, which has been vacant since Oscar Hult stepped down in October. His work with the Visitors Association focused on bringing groups to downtown and all of Albany. That won’t change much at the Downtown Association.
He said tourism is a vital part of increasing traffic to downtown.
“That’s what we want to do,” Porsche said. “I believe tourism is a critical component to bringing more people downtown.”
Porsche said he wanted to work with businesses. He said businesses need to make it easy for consumers to find what they’re looking for.
“The message is to let people know that what we have in downtown Albany is really special,” Porsche said.
Porsche already serves on one of the Downtown Association’s committees, its Economic Restructuring Committee. He said he will continue to be part of that committee, which is active in recruiting new business to the area. He said he’ll soon become more familiar with the other association committees, which include design, promotion and organization.
Part of that recruitment effort will be to reach out to existing businesses about adding a second location downtown.
“There are some vacant storefronts that need to be filled,” Porsche said. “We want to increase the percentage that are occupied.”
Porsche, 47, said that it will help that he is already familiar with downtown and many of the restaurants and retailers there.
Along with promotion, Porsche said the Albany Downtown Association hopes to make it easier for local and out-of-town visitors to get around.
“When people come downtown it’s to eat and shop,” Porsche said. “There is a lot that is unique. Signage is already in the works that will help guide people through downtown.”
Porsche is married to Kate Porsche, Albany’s economic development and urban renewal director. They have two daughters, Savannah, 10, and Maddie Jo, 8.
“We want people to shop and visit our downtown,” Porsche said.
“Projects like the carousel have brought state and national recognition. It’s part of our changing face, and I’m really excited to be part of that.”
NEW POSITION: Executive director, Albany Downtown Association
OLD POSITION: Porsche’s last job was with the Albany Visitors Association, where he was in charge of group marketing.
FAMILY: Porsche is married to Kate Porsche, Albany’s economic development and urban renewal director. They have two daughters, Savannah, 10, and Maddie Jo, 8.
Steve Lathrop is the business reporter for the Albany Democrat-Herald. He can be reached at 541-812-6076 or by email at email@example.com.
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.