What's New

ADHDA Announces New Executive Director and Restructuring of Staffing

Wed, Dec 01, 2021

The Astoria Downtown Historic District Association (ADHDA) is pleased to announce the hiring of Jessamyn Grace West as the Executive Director (ED) of the organization. Jessamyn was asked by the ADHDA Board of Directors to step in as an interim director from July through December this past year after a failed search for a new ED. Her leadership during the interim term impressed the board, membership, and community partners which lead to the board offering the position to her without reopening the search for a new ED. Jessamyn’s permanent role as ED begins January of 2022.

The current ADHDA Board President, Julie Kovatch recounts the board’s decision to move forward with asking Jessamyn to remain in the ED role, “We debated on if we needed to go through a hiring process because we said we would open the search at the end of the interim term. But there in front of us is Jessamyn who is doing the work and leading the organization and already has a solid understanding and love for our community, is connecting to the Main Street Oregon network, and is offering new ideas for how to make ADHDA more efficient and strengthen the organization. The Board unanimously approved to forgo the formal hiring process and offer the position to Jessamyn based on her stellar work she has shown us over these past months.”

Hiring the ED is not the only change the board approved. During the October and November Board meetings, a restructure of staffing was presented by the Organization Committee and approved by the board which will result in the hiring of an additional full-time staff member. Currently ADHDA has a full-time staff of an Executive Director and a Market and Downtown Promotions Manager who runs the Astoria Sunday Market and leads efforts in downtown promotions. Other ADHDA staff consist of part-time or contract work employees. With the approved restructure, the ED position will remain with slight alterations to the job description. The Market and Promotions position, currently held by Shelby Meyers, will transition to Arts and Market Manager which will focus on cultural events, Artwalk and downtown design, which still includes the running of the Astoria Sunday Market. The third full-time position, an Events and Promotions Manager, will focus on business development, fundraising events, and marketing.  Applications open December 3rd.  The Community Outreach Officer position remains a part-time position in collaboration with the City of Astoria and is not affected by the restructuring of the organization.

“ADHDA is an incredible organization that I am honored to be a part of” expressed Jessamyn.  “Having formed in 1985, there is a strong foundation built by inspiring previous leadership and volunteers to build from. I am looking forward to focusing on strengthening ADHDA’s infrastructure to better serve members, visitors, downtown businesses and organizations, as well as this community I love. This restructuring will ensure that this happens, creating a strong and vibrant outlook for 2022 that Shelby and I are super excited about. I can’t thank the ADHDA board and the previous Executive Director, Sarah Lu Heath, for believing in me and giving me this opportunity”.

For information on the Events and Promotions Manager position and information on how to apply please visit:


View All News