ACRA announces choice for downtown catalyst |

ACRA announces choice for downtown catalyst

Naomi Havlen

Lisa Baker is Aspen’s downtown catalyst, prevailing against 42 other applicants for the job of improving Aspen’s downtown core.

The Aspen Chamber Resort Association announced Baker’s appointment yesterday, months after the Aspen City Council began discussing hiring someone to coordinate downtown business relations.

Baker, who has lived in Aspen for a year and a half, is employed by ACRA but will answer to a three-member executive committee comprising a member of the Commercial Core and Lodging Commission, an ACRA board member and City Manager Steve Barwick.

She will also report to an advisory board comprising representatives from a cross section of the business community. Her office will be in the former youth center in Rio Grande Plaza.

“I plan on diving in and spending as much time as possible gauging the needs of the downtown businesses so I can accurately understand all the issues and concerns,” Baker said in a statement released Tuesday.

Baker has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina and a master’s in business administration from the University of Virginia. During the past 10 years she has worked in investment management and marketing with firms in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and London.

In Aspen Baker has volunteered with the Aspen affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, 24 Hours of Aspen and Challenge Aspen.

The committee that chose Baker included Aspen City Manager Steve Barwick, Commercial Core and Lodging Commission member Andrew Kole and local business owner Shae Singer.

“It is exciting to have one contact source for all information regarding downtown business,” said Singer, who is also the retail representative on the ACRA board of directors. “Local businesses will now have one source to obtain information on anything from signs to merchandising and special events.”

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