The Northfield Downtown Development Corp. announced Monday that Executive Director Jenni Roney has resigned, effective Jan. 24.
In an interview with the Northfield News, Roney said she is starting a new job with Northfield School District as the enrichment coordinator, where she will help provide opportunities for inclusiveness within the Community Services Department’s programming. Recently, she noted, she’s been pulled in many directions, and she hopes to move into something a little more steady.
“The NDDC position is 20 hours per week, and I’ve been doing some freelance marketing and a lot of volunteer work on the side,” she said. “I wanted to focus my energies and take one position. The best thing is it’s a position where I can continue improving the Northfield community.”
Roney led the nonprofit development corporation for two years, helping the organization to start a number of new initiatives and programs.
In 2017, she renewed a favorite summer community event, formerly Taste of Northfield, renaming it Downtown Taste Tour. The event now has a format that, according to the NDDC board, has proven to be much more effective for both attendees and participating food establishments. Also in 2017, she orchestrated a project to upgrade the holiday tree lighting in Bridge Square.
In early 2018, Roney guided the DNDDC through a successful application process resulting in Northfield being named a designated Minnesota Main Street community by the state chapter of Main Street America, a national program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There are less than a dozen communities in Minnesota that have achieved this designation.
Also in 2018, Roney helped launch a new event program called First Friday Art Night. Using a combination of indoor and outdoor events, the program has highlighted the artistic talents of the community and attracted residents and visitors alike to the Friday night scene downtown. Most recently, Roney wrote a successful application that awarded Northfield a two-year, $30,000 Artists on Main Street Grant. This program will provide small stipends for 10-15 artists each year to be used to produce public art in the downtown district.
“Jenni Roney has been the NDDC executive director since 2016 and during that time she has had a significant impact on the life of the organization,” said Dan Bergeson, board president. “We will miss her energy and her many talents, but we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
A search for the next Northfield Downtown Development Corp. executive director will begin immediately.
Elsewhere, the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce, which often works in tandem with the NDDC, is also looking for a new executive director after Todd Bornhauser announced his resignation. The Chamber Board is accepting applications through the end of February.