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Downtown Lawrence Inc. director to step down; search for new leader begins

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Sally Zogry, director of Downtown Lawrence Inc., is stepping down from the position she has held for nearly a decade.

After about 16 years in nonprofit work, and the last 9 1/2 of those at DLI, Zogry said she’s ready for a change. She’s also hoping for a better work-life balance.

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She said this role has given her a perspective on the evolution and life cycle of small businesses. She’s also gotten to know many community members and learn what their priorities are, and see “the huge contributions they make — usually very much behind the scenes — to the overarching mission of our community and to individual organizations, in particular, and to the economy.”

Sally Zogry

“I believe in Downtown Lawrence. I support small businesses, unequivocally, and I will continue to do so,” she said. “The part that small businesses play in our economy cannot be overemphasized.”

She said the work has been challenging, but exciting and fun. At this point in her life and career, she’s open to a lot of different ideas and different ways to contribute to the community. There’s a chance she’ll still end up in the nonprofit sector — even though it’s “definitely not for the faint of heart,” she said.

She values the countless interactions she’s gotten to have with people out and about downtown, including folks who have come to visit Lawrence from all over the country.

“I think it’s time for new eyes, maybe,” she said. “But it’s time for me to move on and do something else.”

It’s also a time of change in her life — she has a daughter who is going to graduate high school in the spring, and a sophomore son who isn’t far behind.

The board of directors will oversee a search for the next executive leader of the organization. Zogry is expected to work through the end of the holiday season and assist with DLI’s transition to new leadership, according to a Friday news release from the organization. 

“Our board and our membership is exceptionally grateful for Sally’s dedication to the Downtown community over the past decade,” Mike Logan, an elected member of DLI’s board, said in the release. “Sally covered so much ground for our organization. We have big shoes to fill. And, of course, we wish Sally well on her future endeavors.” 

Downtown Lawrence Inc. is a membership organization made up of downtown businesses, and the release describes its mission as “to preserve, protect, and promote Downtown Lawrence as the retail, service and professional, governmental, entertainment, and social center of our community.”

A job posting will be added to the DLI website, downtownlawrence.com, and applications will be accepted through Indeed, according to the release. The search is expected to extend through the holiday season.

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Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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