Bethesda Urban Partnership Still Looking for Permanent Executive Director

Bethesda Urban Partnership Still Looking for Permanent Executive Director

Burton took over the role on an interim basis in June

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The Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP), a nonprofit downtown management group, is still trying to find a new permanent executive director. The interim executive director said he is interested in having the job.

Former Executive Director Rick Ammirato announced in May that he was stepping down from the organization after three years, but did not give a reason or say where he was going. Ammirato’s contract with BUP ended in August, but he took the final few months as leave.

Jeff Burton, the deputy executive director, became Acting Executive Director in June.

The urban partnership is governed by an 11-member board of directors that meets monthly.

In an interview Tuesday morning following the organization’s monthly board meeting, Burton said the board will decide how to proceed and who will take over.

“I have no idea. I know the board is working on a plan for the future and there’s no decision that I’m aware of to date. So I’m waiting until they finish with their plan,” he said.

Asked whether he would want the executive director job permanently, Burton said he would. “Absolutely. It’d be my dream,” he said.

The urban partnership was formed in 1994 and handles activities downtown such as management of the Bethesda Circulator shuttle bus, commuter and transportation programs, trash collection and street landscaping work.

BUP receives most of its funding from the county government, which collects money from parking fees within a specific taxing district. Additionally, properties within the district must pay a special tax that funds BUP.

Burton said he has worked for BUP for 22 years and was one of the first four employees the organization hired. His tenure with the organization has included jobs as landscape supervisor, director of field operations and deputy executive director.

Following the meeting, board Chair Deborah Michaels declined to comment on the executive director search.

Dan Schere can be reached at

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