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Aug. 12, 2022

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Vancouver’s Downtown Association announces new director

U of O grad did economic development work in Banks, Ore.

By , Columbian business reporter
Published:
2 Photos
Michael Walker ‘Fell in love with the mission’ in Vancouver
Michael Walker ‘Fell in love with the mission’ in Vancouver Photo Gallery

Michael Walker has been hired as the new executive director of Vancouver’s Downtown Association, succeeding Steve Becker, who retired in late December. Walker’s tenure officially began Aug. 1, according to a press release sent out by the association on Thursday.

The nonprofit association promotes business and commerce in downtown Vancouver, and has its office at 811 Main St.

“With the development of the waterfront, over 220,000 visitors annually are expected to be visiting our beautiful city,” the association said in a statement. “Ensuring the visitors enjoy the waterfront as well as the historic area of our downtown will be a focus of Walker’s work.”

The press release says the association also wants to help visitors and residents learn about entertainment activities offered in the downtown area, and to assist current businesses in remaining prosperous.

Walker, 25, previously served as the lead economic development coordinator for the city of Banks, Ore., a position he held for two years. In that role, he focused on revitalizing the city’s Main Street, conducting business and community outreach and promoting industry and commerce.

He also developed a facade improvement policy for the city’s urban renewal district, and served as the liaison between the city and various regional organizations including the Washington County Visitors Association, Travel Oregon and the Columbia Pacific Economic Development District.

Walker and holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Oregon — one in business administration and one in urban planning. He lives in the Beaverton, Ore., area, but says he hopes to eventually move to Vancouver.

He says he was drawn to the downtown association due to his passion for community development and his appreciation for the association’s role as a promoter of Vancouver’s downtown Main Street.

“I really fell in love with the mission — making good things happen in downtown Vancouver,” he says.

Columbian business reporter

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