After two years as the Olympia Downtown Association executive director, Vida Zvirzdys-Farler will step down from that position after she and the board reached a mutual agreement, the board president said Thursday.
Her last day is Jan. 20, board President Dave Wasson said. Board member Becci Welsh will serve as the interim executive director.
Wasson hopes to post the job opening on the ODA website next week and fill it in six to eight weeks, saying he wants a “fair and healthy search” that considers those from inside and outside the community.
“Vida is a wonderful person, but she wasn’t comfortable in all parts of that position,” he said.
Wasson said the association is “looking for more of a crusader,” someone who will “run with the banner of the ODA and downtown businesses and really wave it.”
He said the executive director position pays between $50,000 and $60,000 — that’s in line with other communities of similar size.
The ODA also experienced some hiccups during her tenure. In August, the association announced that it was canceling its 2016 Fall Ball — a major fundraiser for the organization — and then asked its sponsors to make tax-deductible donations instead.
Last year’s ODA board President Farra Vargas said they planned to take a different approach in 2016 with the Fall Ball, but didn’t have enough time to execute it. In the end, they decided to take the year off and focus on 2017, she said.
Zvirzdys-Farler said Thursday that “sometimes you need to make a change.”
“I’m excited about my next chapter and I wish the organization the best,” she said.
Before becoming executive director, Zvirzdys-Farler had worked as the ODA’s event and volunteer coordinator for four years.
The ODA is set to have its annual meeting on Jan. 30.