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The Hollister Downtown Association has a new executive director
who hopes to continue the organization’s efforts of making downtown
Hollister a vital, lively place for residents and tourists
alike.
Hollister – The Hollister Downtown Association has a new executive director who hopes to continue the organization’s efforts of making downtown Hollister a vital, lively place for residents and tourists alike.

Brenda Weatherly, a mother of three who lives with her family in San Juan Bautista, beat out about 12 other applicants for the job and started this week as the HDA’s executive director.

“I love downtown,” she said. “I love the challenge it presents. I love the people and businesses.”

Weatherly replaces former HDA Executive Director Liz Sparling who resigned from the position to become the Executive Director of the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce in March.

“Liz Sparling built this organization to where we now have a significant presence in downtown,” said HDA President Jeff Welch. “We brought Brenda in because she is highly qualified, very well connected and very respected.”

Welch said he is confident that Weatherly has the skill and desire to further the organization’s mission to revitalize Downtown Hollister and make it the hub of social and economic activity in the city and the county.

“She’s the right person to make that happen,” he said.

The HDA executive director is responsible for developing strategies to promote downtown Hollister, choosing the direction of the organization, reaching out to HDA members and working with HDA staff.

“I think she’ll (Weatherly) will be wonderful,” said HDA member Dorothy McNett. “She knows most of us and has been part of downtown for a long time.”

Weatherly’s constant challenge – the challenge faced by everyone involved with HDA – will be continuing to promote community awareness of the downtown area, McNett said.

Weatherly, who worked in downtown Hollister for many years as an advertising representative for the Free Lance before taking time off to be with her children, has fond memories of her time in the downtown area where she was able to shop at the unique stores and talk with her fellow residents.

“I always enjoyed working downtown,” she said. “I like to be able to walk from store to store. I still miss stores that aren’t with us any more.”

Preserving the buildings and businesses of Downtown Hollister and, even more importantly, drawing people into the area holds both historical and financial importance for the city, Weatherly said.

“It’s important that our community has a vital downtown, that it doesn’t deteriorate to empty buildings block after block after block.”

During her short time as HDA executive director Weatherly has spent time visiting downtown businesses to talk to owners about what they feel is important for Downtown Hollister.

“It’s still brand new,” she said. “I’m trying to get a feel for the needs of the community.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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