Port Huron names new Downtown Development Authority director

·2 min read
Natacha Hayden.
Natacha Hayden.

The city of Port Huron has named a new Downtown Development Authority director.

A marketing specialist for the city, Natacha Hayden is slated to replace Cynthia Cutright, according to a news release. Cutright was promoted to special projects coordinator earlier this year.

City Manager James Freed said Hayden would begin Monday with a salary of roughly $52,000.

Hayden credited a love for downtown, where she’s worked for over a decade, as a big piece in taking the job, calling it “the heart of our city.”

“Being able to begin my career, complete my education, and then, have the opportunity to serve the community I love is very exciting,” she said in a statement. “My time promoting McMorran and the amazing events there allowed me to connect daily with downtown businesses.

“This time working with these business leaders and entrepreneurs has given me good insight on the needs for downtown, both infrastructure- and economic development-wise.”

Previously, Hayden was a senior manager at Casey’s Pizza downtown.

She went on to work in promotions and community engagement for parks and recreation programming and McMorran Place, using a variety of multi-media strategies, according to the city.

Freed emphasized the importance of the working relationship with downtown businesses in making the hiring decision. He said about six applicants came in for the DDA position.

“We are at a critical moment for downtown,” he said in a statement. “We have a lot of projects going and new investment. These developments, coupled with our emergence from the COVID pandemic, required someone for this position that could hit the ground running. Mrs. Hayden has played a huge role in downtown and was a key player in the McMorran turnaround.”

In addition to working with businesses, the DDA director within the last few years has also overseen a variety of events, including Chilly Fest, which was expected to return in 2022 when postponed last January, Blue Water Fest during Boat Week each July.

Contact Jackie Smith at (810) 989-6270 or jssmith@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @Jackie20Smith.

This article originally appeared on Port Huron Times Herald: Port Huron names new Downtown Development Authority director

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