The Wenatchee Downtown Association (WDA) is in the middle of a transition as longtime executive director Linda Haglund leaves after 12 years and Rosa Pulido has been named as her successor.  The WDA board selected Pulido in mid-January after an extensive process.  She served as Business and Community Relations Manager with the Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce and was already a frequent partner with the downtown business group.  Pulido started her new role Feb. 1st and Haglund departs at the end of February so the pair are working closely on the transition.

After a dozen years, Haglund is leaving quite a foundation and Pulido says that is what attracted her to the position. "I think Linda was the person who really intrigued me. I just love her passion for the community and being able to work with her over the past few years on events and projects. It's been wonderful. And so I definitely knew that I could see myself in that position. And I just want to continue embodying everything that Linda has done and her energy and her love for the downtown" Pulido said.

"Linda was not joking when she said every day is going to be different.   But we've been going through all of the things you can imagine like our committees or boards or our events. Also some of the hot topics that are going around with businesses and how to  best mitigate those and who to partner with. So I'm counting on Linda a lot right now for all of that information".

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From her perspective, Haglund says "I think organizations like ours in order to grow and go to the next level has to have fresh perspective. And I could have done this a lot longer. But I recognize that this organization is in a pivotal time where we can grow and it's going to take someone with different vision. And that's what I love about Rosa she has this fresh vision coming in. So my job in this is to try to give her a paper trail or where to find information.".

Haglund admits her 12 years of experience can't be fully conveyed in a month or even three months. "I'm gonna give her the basics the best I can to get her at least to know where to go for the answers. But she's already making a difference with new and fresh ideas. So I'm not worried about the organization at all"

Haglund believes Pulido will bring a different perspective to the events and the initiatives that WDA undertakes "She'll just look at it differently" Haglund is proud to pass the baton to Pulido and considers her part of Wenatchee's future leadership. "If we don't allow this generation to lead, Rosa doesn't get a chance to make a difference. Somebody stepped aside and gave me a chance. And so now it's her chance. She doesn't fill my shoes, she gets to bring new shoes, and that's what we need is some new shoes".

Pulido says she wants to draw on her experience and volunteer work with the underrepresented population.  "I've had the opportunity to work very closely with the homeless, and our farmworkers and our veterans, and I hope to continue bringing that representation to the table and making sure that everything is inclusive, our events, our board our committees, and to make sure that I'm not missing anybody's voice".

While Pulido and Haglund work side by side this month on a smooth transition, the Wenatchee Downtown Assosciaton will host the annual Appreciation Dinner on February 22nd at the Wenatchee Convention Center.  On March 18th, WDA's Wine and Cider Stroll will visit 14 venues. More info 

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