Bettina Swigger Hired as CEO of Downtown SLO

Downtown SLO is pleased to announce that Bettina Swigger, who has successfully helmed Festival Mozaic for eight years, has been hired as the new Chief Executive Officer. Swigger will begin leading the organization starting October 16, 2018 and will work closely with Chief Operating Officer Rachel Maiorino, who has served as interim CEO since May when former CEO Dominic Tartaglia left the organization to pursue a career in law enforcement.

Swigger has worked for 15 years in the nonprofit sector as a manager and executive director. With a proven track record in developing programs, managing events, and establishing collaborative relationships to bolster communities, she is committed to building organizations and creating successful communities.

Previously, Swigger was the Executive Director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs, operating their downtown arts information space and working to advocate for arts, culture, and economic development. Bettina moved to San Luis Obispo from Colorado Springs in 2011 to be Festival Mozaic’s Executive Director. Under Swigger’s leadership, the Festival launched new partnerships and collaborations with artists and arts organizations. Her relationships with donors, businesspeople, and local government and municipalities have leveraged the role a music festival can play as a vital part of the fabric of community identity, and a significant economic driver. Additionally, Swigger has been highly involved in the San Luis Obispo community, serving as a radio host on KCBX, and is a proud graduate of Leadership SLO Class XXI.

Swigger’s rich experience in the nonprofit and fundraising sectors as well as the arts is well suited to both the changing identity of Downtown and of the organization. Downtown’s growth, the development of two new hotels in the area, and anticipated implementation of a Property-Based Business Improvement District (PBID) are highly visible and important projects currently in development. Swigger joins the organization after a relatively recent rebrand, change in organizational identity, and move to ground floor retail space.

Says Swigger: “From the moment I stepped foot in Downtown San Luis Obispo, it captured my heart. I’m thrilled to step into this new position and be of service to my chosen home. With the help and input of Downtown SLO’s 600+ business members, a diverse board of directors, and a strong professional staff, I look forward to continuing the important work of creating a hospitable and welcoming environment for businesses and residents, bolstering tourism, enhancing livability, and creating more opportunities for people to come together.”

As CEO of Downtown SLO, Bettina will continue to advocate for Downtown business, navigate the Downtown Concept Plan, and oversee an update of the organization’s Strategic Plan, among other projects. She will also oversee the organization’s seminal and highly visible events, including the Holiday Parade (now in its 43rd year), Concerts in the Plaza (23 years), and Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market (35 years). These events collectively represent over 100 years of Downtown SLO serving as a catalyst for Downtown tourism, spurring economic activity, and molding community identity. “Bettina will be a great asset to Downtown SLO and our business members, and we are looking forward to having her lead our organization as the new CEO” says Rodessa Newton, Board President.

Downtown SLO is excited to welcome Bettina to her new role leading the organization.