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Downtown Detroit Partnership names former Snyder aid John Walsh as new president

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Posted at 10:37 AM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-08 10:37:05-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The Downtown Detroit Partnership has tapped John Walsh, an aide to former Gov. Rick Snyder, to be the organization's new president. Walsh, who was previously the state's budget director and was once the Speaker Pro Tem of the state House of Representatives, will take over the job effective immediately.

"As DDP has grown over the years in its role not only as a steward of the downtown core, but as an advocate and partner in the advancement of Detroit, adding senior leaders like John with deep relationships and knowledge of the State of Michigan and Detroit is an important part of our vision," DDP CEO Eric Larson said in a release.

During his time working with the state, Walsh helped negotiate Detroit's Grand Bargain, advance the M1 RAIL and helped with other investment projects for Detroit.

Larson also announced that David Cowan, the organization's director of public spaces and programming, will take over day-to-day operations of all DDP-managed spaces. Robert Gregory, the chief planning and public spaces officer, will now "reinforce his and DDP's depth of expertise in the planning, programming and management of parks and public spaces on a broader platform."

“Thanks in large part to Bob’s expertise, Detroit has become a leader in developing and utilizing public spaces that create vibrancy and define a neighborhood’s culture,” Larson added in the release “Through our existing networks and knowledge of the best practices and places internationally, we will continue to innovate and create new experiences for Detroit's public spaces that can be leveraged for the good of visitors and Detroiters alike.”

The organization has also created a new position, chief marketing officer, and named Lauren Rodwan to the position. Rodwan has more than 20 years of corporate nonprofit and agency public relations experience, according to the DDP.