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Published June 24 2010

Hahn to lead Fargo's Downtown Community Partnership

Mike Hahn, director of the University of Northern Iowa’s Small Business Development Center, is the new president and chief executive officer of Fargo’s Downtown Community Partnership.

Hahn, who begins work Aug. 1, replaces Dave Anderson, who left the position in December to join Sanford Health-MeritCare.

“He’s got a great background. He spent years in community development work,” said Steve Stoner, board chairman of the Downtown Community Partnership.

“I have a real passion for downtown development,” said Hahn, who before joining UNI in Waterloo was assistant city planner in Mason City, Iowa.

Hahn said he has been involved in the Main Street revitalization program in Waterloo, which has a population of 70,000, and before that in Waverly, Iowa, which has a population of 10,000.

He has known Anderson, who told him about the open position, for 15 years.

Hahn has visited Fargo several times and said he is impressed with the city center’s business anchors and North Dakota State University’s downtown mini-campus.

“Having that vibrancy of the downtown area really, really turned me on,” he said. “This looks like a great opportunity.”

Hahn said he understands his focus will be working with the downtown areas in both Fargo and Moorhead while also supporting other F-M area business ventures.

He hopes to attend this summer’s Downtown Street Fair July 15-17.

Hahn’s technical and organizational skills “will take us down the path we need to go,” Stoner said.

“It’s a nice complement to where we’ve come,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502