NASHUA, NH — The Board of Directors of Great American Downtown in Nashua is pleased to announce that longtime Nashua resident Paul Shea has been selected as that organization’s new Executive Director.
If you’ve attended Nashua’s premiere event, the Winter Holiday Stroll, you will appreciate the fact that Great American Downtown is responsible for pulling off what is one of the largest community events in southern New Hampshire, drawing upwards of 30,000 attendees annually.
Great American Downtown operates much like our Intown Manchester does here in Manchester — a vital behind-the-scenes entity, charged with promoting the best of what the city has to offer, all while organizing some of the key events that bring the community together for shopping, dining, commerce and celebrating life in a big city.
Shea sees his role as the beginning of a new chapter for the Great American Downtown organization. As Downtown Nashua continues to grow and develop, Shea says that he is “looking to shake things up a bit.”
“My first priority will be walking Downtown and connecting with merchants to gain perspective and build on a shared vision for an ever more vibrant, and exciting Downtown. “ says Shea.
“I will also be doing a thorough review of our past events and community feedback to see how we can build on their success. What I look forward to most is finding new and creative ways to build excitement and also create more opportunities for folks to experience Downtown Nashua.”
Shea has been involved in a variety of community initiatives including the Downtown Event series Fancy Friday; iUGO, Nashua’s young professional organization; the Nashua Block Party Committee; the Our City Live Art Battle event series with Positive Street Art; and Nashua Summer Fun.
He sits on the Board of Directors for City Arts Nashua as the volunteer coordinator and is the ArtWalk committee chairman. He was instrumental in developing the Gate City Community Gardens and maintains his own garden in the Tree Streets neighborhood along the Rail Trail.
In January, Shea was recognized in the Union Leader’s annual 40 under 40 for his tireless community building and involvement. Shea assumed the role of Executive Director on Feb. 19. His predecessor, Rebecca Dixon, left in January after three years of dedicated service to the organization. She has taken on a new role as Coordinator of College Events and Ceremonies at Keene State College.
The mission of Great American Downtown is to promote and enhance a vibrant commercial and cultural Downtown Nashua through business partnerships, event promotion and effective marketing. In addition to the Winter Holiday Stroll, Great American Downtown is known for other signature events and programs such as Taste of Downtown Nashua, Restaurant Week, and the Nashua Farmer’s Market.
In recent years Downtown Nashua has undergone a number of significant changes. From Main street infrastructure modernization to the nearly complete replacement of aging Downtown sidewalks, enhanced with planter beds and a new generation of Downtown trees. The heart of Nashua is poised for further change and growth in the year ahead with the anticipated completion of the Broad Street Parkway, potential for improved circulation of automobile traffic, visions for further residential development, and a number of projects in the pipeline to improve livability and walkability in Downtown neighborhoods.
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