The International Downtown Association is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management.
The International Downtown Association is a world leader and champion for vital and livable urban centers. Through its network of diverse practitioners, its rich body of knowledge, and its unique capacity to nurture community-building partnerships, IDA provides tools, intelligence and strategies for creating healthy and dynamic centers that anchor the well-being of towns, cities and regions of the world.
The International Downtown Association connects diverse practitioners who transform cities into healthy and vibrant urban places.
Kate Borders, LPM
Kate assumed the leadership position of the downtown Tempe enhanced services district in 2014. Her vision for Downtown Tempe is to strengthen the voice of the organization and promote the district as the most urban destination in the Phoenix Valley. Through collaborations with the downtown merchants, property owners, City leaders and ASU representatives, she is working to stimulate a renewal in the attention to Downtown Tempe. She relocated to Tempe from Fresno, CA where she was the President/CEO for the Downtown Fresno Partnership, a similarly structured business improvement district that is working to revitalize Downtown Fresno. Before joining the Downtown Fresno Partnership, Kate spent 7 years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as the Executive Director of East Town Association, a membership-based organization that produces large-scale events that have transformed the local economy and stimulated the residential relocation to Downtown Milwaukee.
Kris Larson is the President & CEO of Central Houston, Inc. He’s held positions on the public and private sides of community leadership and served as the President & CEO for the downtown organizations in Raleigh, NC, and Grand Rapids, MI, where he led TIF and special-assessment districts. He earned an MPA from NC State University, was a Daniel Rose Fellow through the Rose Center for Public Leadership, and was a Vice Chair of the IDA’s Executive Committee. The IDA has awarded four Pinnacle Awards to his projects in the fields and Leadership, Planning, Advocacy, and Marketing.
Kathleen Rawson, LPM
Immediate Past Chair
Kathleen Rawson has more than 30 years of experience in both Hospitality and Destination Management. Before arriving at The Hollywood Partnership, Rawson served as CEO of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., expanding the organization’s role within the halls of influence while also tackling new responsibilities that helped shape Downtown Santa Monica into one of the most dynamic and attractive urban districts in the country. Rawson took the helm at DTSM, Inc. (formerly Bayside District Corp.) in 1997, successfully transforming the placemaking organization into the largest property-based assessment district, by budget, in the State of California, with an annual budget of more than $9 million.
Jeremy Waldrup is President and CEO of Downtown Pittsburgh Partnership (PDP). Jeremy is responsible for working with the Board of Directors, stakeholders and staff to create and implement a vision that ensures Downtown Pittsburgh remains a vibrant and innovative place to live, work and play. Prior to joining the PDP, he worked to support economic development initiatives with the City of New York serving as Assistant Commissioner of District Development for the Department of Small Business Services. In this role Jeremy was responsible for the oversight and capacity building of the City’s 64 Business Improvement Districts and investing in commercial revitalization projects through an annual grant making program to local economic development organizations.
Kevin Green is CEO of Midtown Alliance in Atlanta – a non-profit, 501(c)3 membership organization formed in 1978. The organization also serves as the sole staff of the Midtown Improvement District created in 2000. The area is a 1.2 square mile walkable, urban district that has seen more than 50 large-scale office, multi-family, hotel and institutional projects delivered since 2010. 2018 revenue from property owners and public grants totaled ~$11M. Kevin holds a law degree from Emory University and is named one of the “100 Most Influential Atlantans” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He is married to Karen and has two daughters.
Kate Fenske is the CEO of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and is recognized as a team builder and collaborator. Kate has a strong background in consistently facilitating a path to common ground in highly complex business scenarios where diverse perspectives and long-standing division of interests existed. Kate also worked as a journalist at major local and national media outlets and then as a communications and public relations advisor for various charities, government and private and public agencies before joining the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ team in 2018.
Jessica Lappin is the President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. The organization manages New York City’s and the country’s largest Business Improvement District (BID) and works to ensure that Lower Manhattan is a thriving and dynamic community. A lifelong New Yorker, former elected official, and previous Crain’s “40 Under 40” honoree, Ms. Lappin has a distinguished record in civic life and public service. Lappin took the helm of the Alliance in February 2014. She is responsible for providing core sanitation and public safety services that keep the area clean and safe, manages a free bus service, and has made outreach to the street homeless in the area a priority.
Nicole J. Thompson
Nicole J. Thompson joined Downtown Durham, Inc. as its President & CEO in 2017. Prior to arriving in Durham, Nicole was in Leadville, CO as the Executive Director of the Lake County Economic Development Corporation. However the majority of her economic development career has been in Virginia, her home state, working for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth and King George and Fairfax counties. Nicole began her economic development career almost 25 years ago in Durham, NC working for the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development. She earned an M.A. in City and Regional Planning from UNC-Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Political Science from the University of Richmond in Virginia.
As President and Chief Executive Officer, David is responsible for the overall strategic positioning of IDA as a world leader and champion for vital and livable urban centers. Prior to joining IDA, David served as the Managing Director for the American Institute of Architects’ Urban Design Center and as Executive Director for the Michigan Chapter of the American Planning Association. David has been a city advocate since the 1980s having received his degree in Architecture and Design with a focus on Urban Design. He speaks frequently throughout North America and has delivered talks in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, El Salvador and Japan. David has served on numerous not for profit boards over his career including recently for the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District in Washington, DC and the Responsible Hospitality Institute in California. David is currently on the Mobility Innovation District Advisory Board in Southwest Washington, DC.
Full Board of Directors: Directory link
Past Chairs Advisory Council: Directory link
2020 Strategic Plan
Click here to view IDA’s strategic plan that outlines organizational goals through 2020.
Click here to view IDA’s bylaws. (APS needs to get the bylaws doc)