Amalia Ellis takes the reins as executive director of the Hollister Downtown Association, the board of directors announced this week.
Ellis succeeds Brenda Weatherly, who served in the role for the past 12 years.
“I think the Downtown Association will benefit greatly from Amalia’s background and past experience,” said Jan Holthouse, president of the association’s board of directors. “We are very excited to welcome her to Downtown Hollister.”
Ellis steps into the role with a deep background in sales, marketing, public relations and community outreach. Born in the Southern California city of Pacoima, Ellis moved with her family to Santa Cruz in 1989. Most recently, she has worked as owner and principal at Amalia Ellis Design, a company specializing in identity, print and web design, primarily serving local non-profits. She’s president of Hollister Rotary, a Leadership San Benito County alum, and former board member of CASA San Benito. Ellis has been an active member of the downtown association since 2016.
The opportunity to steer the Hollister Downtown Association’s future came at the right time, she said.
“I’d been looking for a new adventure, a new challenge,” she said this week. “I think the needs of the community as it pertains to the downtown area is changing with the influx of new residents. I see a lot of opportunity here for business and entertainment options.”
The Hollister Downtown Association was established in 1984 to revitalize the historic downtown to be the hub of social and economic activity in our community. The group organizes a full suite of events designed to bring people downtown throughout the year, including the farmers’ market, the Lights on Celebration, and the Summer Street festival.
Ellis earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in visual communications and Associate degree in business. Since the start of her career, Ellis has worked in support of reputable building and landscape architecture firms, Paragon Design Group of Los Gatos, and SSA Landscape Architects of Santa Cruz, United Way of Santa Cruz County, and eventually founded Amalia Ellis Design. Through her own design firm, Ellis has supported the marketing efforts of United Way of San Benito County, CASA of San Benito, Chamberlain’s Children Center, San Benito County Fair, Gabilan Kinship, and Rotary Club of Hollister among others.
In her new role, she hopes to cultivate collaborative relationships to further the mission of the downtown association.
“I think we can become a destination place for locals of all ages and tourists” she said. “We could do so much here. Our proximity to the Pinnacles National Park, hiking and biking trails, and wineries are attractive assets for capturing the attention of tourists and bringing them into downtown for dining, entertainment, shopping, and other business services. With the construction of the new Fairfield Inn & Suites, I’m hopeful that more people will begin extending their trips in Hollister and see more that we have to offer in our beautiful area. I look forward to working with the community to accomplish our goals.”
Ellis and her husband, Patrick, reside in Hollister, and are the parents to two sons.