October 11, 2019
After a nationwide search, the Downtown Boise Association’s (DBA) Board of Directors has chosen Jennifer Hensley to lead the DBA team, effective November 4th. Hensley has strong and diverse skills in downtown development, community engagement, marketing, events, and financial management. She comes to Boise from Saint Paul, Minnesota where she served as the Director of Operations at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, managing a $28 million new addition to the museum which opened last December. She also gained significant downtown development experience in Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado.
“Jenn brings a career of notable achievements and a genuine appreciation for what a vibrant downtown means to a healthy and growing city,” said Kelly Hibbs, President of the DBA’s Board of Directors. “I am confident Jenn has the skills to continue to strengthen the DBA’s efforts that keep downtown Boise a place of celebration, innovation and economic growth.”
“I first came to Boise as a tourist, and immediately fell in love with the distinctive warmth and vibrancy of this beautiful city. The DBA’s initiatives to help attract people, business and investment downtown are already impressive. I’m so excited to help lead those efforts going forward, and to lend my skills and experience to continuing to build downtown’s economic vitality. This community has such a strong sense of identity, and so much to offer—and the city’s promise is only growing stronger,” said Hensley. “I can’t wait to be part of it.”
About Jennifer Hensley:
Most recently, Hensley has served as the Director of Operations at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. At the “M”, in addition to management of the new addition to the museum noted above, Hensley oversaw staff operations, human resources, and organization finances.
Prior to her role with the Minnesota Museum of American Art, Hensley served as Financial Coordinator and Creative Director for the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority. She played an integral role in the renovation of the city’s historic Old Town Square, leading community engagement and managing project finances. In this role, Hensley also organized marketing and community events including engaging with area artists. She was vital in the creation of a new arts initiative; the Fort Collins Mural Project, giving welcome exposure to local talent, while inspiring people to walk the downtown to discover public art and downtown businesses.
Hensley began her career in placemaking and downtown development in Denver as Director of Accounting with a major developer in the city’s growing River North District. She was involved in multiple development projects including mixed-use office buildings and the creation of Denver’s first public market.
Hensley is a native of Texas, with Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from West Texas A&M University. Her volunteer experience includes board membership on the Saint Paul Capitol River District Council and CultureHaus, a program engaging young philanthropists through the Denver Art Museum.
The DBA Board of Directors and staff are excited to welcome Hensley to downtown Boise. Hensley follows Lynn Hightower as the DBA Executive Director. Hightower left the position in mid-September after nearly four years. Hightower is working as a consultant for the DBA and will assist in introducing Hensley to the DBA Executive Director role.