FARGO - The Downtown Community Partnership has begun a search for a new president and CEO, the organization announced Wednesday, April 21.

Melissa Brandt, who had helmed the DCP for three and a half years, submitted her resignation in March, said Adrienne Olson, chairwoman of the DCP board of directors.

Melissa Brandt is president and CEO of the Downtown Community Partnership. Forum file photo
Melissa Brandt is president and CEO of the Downtown Community Partnership. Forum file photo

Shelly Gompf has been named interim CEO and will start work May 3. She will help lead efforts to hire a new president and CEO, as well as handle preparation and coordination of the annual Downtown Street Fair.

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Gompf is a business consultant and a professor at Concordia College, directing the healthcare leadership program.

“This was unexpected. We did not say goodbye to Melissa on purpose. She did submit a letter of resignation in March. We accepted that letter. I would rather let her talk about the reasons," Olson said. "There was nothing nefarious on either side. We're looking for a new leader and we appreciate everything she did. I think we had a really strong run at the DCP under Melissa’s leadership.”

Olson said Brandt worked with the DCP to smooth the transition.

“We look to the future with a renewed sense of urgency to introduce new leadership that will build upon the strong foundation in place and increase positive impacts going forward," Olson said in a news release. "Shelly brings experience in executive recruitment and placement and we’re eager to have her leading our assessment of future leadership needs.”


Olson said the decision to hire Gompf was unanimous. The board of directors will meet with Gompf on Friday, April 23.

"She is a longtime member of the community. So we’re very lucky to have her," Olson said.

Shelly Gompf
Shelly GompfSubmitted photo

Olson said the DCP is looking forward to a summer of successful events downtown.

“This is the year of the return of the street fair. It’s a big year for us. We’re real excited. Nothing is getting dropped. Everything is going to keep on going as planned," Olson said. “We’re going to focus on making this the best event summer downtown has ever seen. We’re all coming back after a year away and we’re excited to invite people down for lots of things this summer.”

The Forum has attempted to contact Brandt for her comment.