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Colson makes transition to downtown

9/11/2013

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

Downtown Hays Development Corp. wanted to move quickly to find a replacement for executive director Traci Stanford, who resigned earlier this month.

"Our momentum is really, really strong down there, and we didn't want anything to hold that back," DHDC President Sandy Jacobs said. "We had quality candidates come to the table, and it was easy to make a quick decision.

"The real key for us was hopefully have a real qualified person come to the table that could be on board, or around, for Traci to do training with before she has to leave."

The DHDC is a nonprofit organization that promotes downtown Hays. On Tuesday, DHDC announced Megan Colson as its new executive director. Colson, who had been the projects coordinator for Hays Area Chamber of Commerce, starts her new position Sept. 23.

"She's an outstanding young woman," Jacobs said. "She had experience and skill sets far beyond her years. I'm very impressed with that young woman."

Colson, 23, originally from Medicine Lodge, is a December graduate of Fort Hays State University with a degree in communication studies and a minor in leadership.

"I'm so excited, definitely feels like the exact right thing for me," Colson said. "The experience I've had at the Chamber, and living in the Hays community and attending college here, I've fallen in love with the community. I'm excited to continue to live here and grow and give back to the community."

Jacobs said there were a handful of candidates for the position, and Colson and one other candidate were interviewed. Jacobs expects a seamless transition.

"I can't imagine that there will be a bump in the road," Jacobs said. "She and Traci know each other; she and Traci have many of the same skill sets. And the biggest thing they have is a passion for our downtown and the Chestnut Street District. That passion leads us all."