Bethesda Urban Partnership Leader Stepping Down

Bethesda Urban Partnership Leader Stepping Down

Group’s executive director to leave in August after three years on the job

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Bethesda Urban Partnership Executive Director Rick Ammirato

Via Bethesda Urban Partnership

The executive director of the Bethesda Urban Partnership, Rick Ammirato, will be leaving the nonprofit downtown management group in August.

Ammirato, who was an assistant city manager for Homestead, Florida, before he was hired hired in 2016, did not say why he was leaving or where he was moving in the prepared announcement of his departure released Monday morning.

“Rick has done an excellent job navigating BUP through a significant time of transition for downtown Bethesda,” Robert Donohoe, chairman of the BUP board, said in a statement. “We are thankful for Rick’s service and greatly appreciate his contributions toward maintaining downtown Bethesda as a premier destination for commerce, residents and local businesses alike.”

The partnership was created in 1994 and handles everything from marketing and promotions, coordinating festivals and events, operating two nonprofit art galleries, trash collection, minor maintenance and landscape work, overseeing the free Bethesda Circulator bus shuttle and commuter and transportation programs.

“Downtown Bethesda has long been the engine of economic growth in the county and a jobs center, but just as important, it is an incredible place to live and raise a family,” Ammirato said in a statement. “It has been a privilege to serve such a wonderful organization and community.”

Ammirato could not be reached for comment. In January, he discussed a five-year plan that included more art in public spaces and adding an east-west route to the Circulator.

The group has 35 employees and most of its funding is provided by county government, which collects fees from parking garages and a taxing district. The partnership, often compared to urban business districts around the county operated with government funds, is governed by an 11-member board that includes residents, businesspeople and developers.

Earlier this year, the County Council renewed a five-year contract.

Revenues for fiscal 2018 totaled $5.1 million and expenses were $5 million, according to a council report.

An audit by the county’s Office of Legislative Oversight found that revenues had increased from $4.6 million in 2014, the last time BUP was reauthorized.

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