Encinitas 101 MainStreet taps new CEO

Encinitas 101 MainStreet taps new CEO
The Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association names Thora Guthrie the organization’s new executive director. She is replacing Dody Crawford, who retired last fall. Courtesy photo

ENCINITAS — The Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association has tapped an Escondido woman to serve as the organization’s executive director.

Earlier this month the downtown group announced that it had selected Thora Guthrie to replace Dody Crawford, who retired last fall after helming the organization since 2007.

“I am honored and thrilled to be chosen to help guide the downtown 101 corridor through the upcoming years of growth,” Guthrie said.

“My passion for Encinitas drove me to seek the director position. It’s an exciting time here, with lots of new opportunities to enhance business, while carefully preserving our unique beach town atmosphere.”

Guthrie comes at a time when many in Encinitas feel that downtown is at a crossroads.

Long known for its beach-town charm, the presence of several large bars on the street has sparked concern that some of the alcohol-related and nuisance issues associated with the nightlife scene are threatening the character of the historic core.

101 MainStreet officials touted Guthrie’s extensive communications and, community leadership and marketing experience, which included a stint as the CEO of the Escondido Downtown Business Association in 2009, where she also served as editor of the Escondido City Magazine.

“We are excited to have Thora join us and look forward to her leading us into the next decade,” said John DeWald, the president of the Encinitas 101 board of directors. “She brings a great deal of relevant experience as well as a strong passion for Encinitas.”

DeWald also praised Crawford for her service.

“We have been lucky to have Dody Crawford’s leadership these last eight years and thank her for her hard work,” DeWald said. “She will be stepping back but not away from an active role in downtown.  We have many challenges facing us and are lucky to have a great staff supporting us during these exciting times.”

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