FARGO — Cindy Graffeo has been named the new executive director of the Downtown Community Partnership.
Graffeo brings to the nonprofit job nearly five years of experience managing and working with the downtown partnerships in Eau Claire, Wis., and she has served in the past as executive director of the Moorhead Economic Development Authority.
Graffeo's work history also includes being named chief of staff of the Dakota Medical Foundation in early 2019.
"Downtown Fargo is such a vibrant jewel in our community and it is on the cusp of some amazing opportunities," Graffeo said in a statement released by the Downtown Community Partnership (DCP) on Monday, July 26. "I am humbled, honored and most of all excited to join the DCP team and have an opportunity to be a part of it."
Shelly Gompf will serve as DCP interim president until July 30, according to the DCP's statement. Gompf has been with the DCP since May.
Graffeo left her position as executive director of the Moorhead Economic Development Authority (EDA) in June 2018 after having served in the position for about two and a half years.
She took the step after the Moorhead City Council voted to transfer her employment contract from the EDA to the city.
At the time, Graffeo didn't offer a specific reason for stepping down but cited issues of control and ego that prompted her decision to leave.
"Effective economic development cannot be driven by control and fueled by ego," Graffeo said at the time. "Uncertainty, instability and inconsistency are, in fact, the antithesis of economic development. That is why I do not believe I can be effective under the city's current leadership."
Shortly before Graffeo took the job with the Moorhead EDA in 2015 the position had been removed from under city manager control to EDA control.