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Downtown SLO CEO Bettina Swigger Announces Departure for New Opportunity

Tuesday, September 12, 2023


FROM: Rachel Lackmann
Marketing & Communications Coordinator


After successful five-year tenure, Swigger will depart for Colorado to take the role of CEO of Downtown Boulder Partnership 

San Luis Obispo, CA — Downtown SLO announced today that CEO Bettina Swigger has accepted a position as the Chief Executive Officer of The Downtown Boulder Partnership, a 501c6 nonprofit/membership-based organization that promotes the civic, economic, historic, commercial, and cultural vitality of downtown Boulder, Colorado. 

“While we are very sorry to see her leave the organization that she has led successfully for the past five years,” said Board President Donna Lewis, “We are proud that she was recruited for this national search and that she will be sharing the successes of San Luis Obispo in a community that we often say we would like to emulate.”

This is an exciting time for downtown San Luis Obispo and Downtown SLO, the organization. The 27th Annual Season of Concerts in the Plaza wrapped on September 8, 2023, the beloved Thursday Night Farmers’ Market is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2023, and since January, 23 new businesses have opened downtown. 

Swigger has served as CEO of Downtown SLO since 2018. Her leadership, hard work, and eye for detail have elevated Downtown SLO’s programs and efforts. With a passion for small businesses and the creative, resilient people who run them, she expanded marketing, communication, and social media to highlight downtown experiences to a wider audience. Her partnerships with other community organizations and commitment to state and national best practices have strengthened the organization.

During her tenure as CEO, the Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market was expanded to invite participation from a more diverse group of businesses and serve as an incubator for entrepreneurs. The Clean & Safe Program expanded to include three ambassadors and a part-time contract social worker conducting homeless outreach. Downtown SLO launched a Singer-Songwriter Showcase at Concerts in the Plaza, giving more local musicians a chance to perform, strengthening the local music community.  The organization expanded the annual holiday lights and sights to include dazzling displays in Mission Plaza and around downtown.  Last but not least, she successfully navigated the organization through COVID, working closely with the City to support the local downtown business community through a very difficult time.

“I am so proud of the exceptional team we have in place and I know they are looking forward to building on their existing momentum for the benefit of downtown and the region," said Swigger. "With their dedication and commitment, and the exciting plans in place for downtown with new residential developments, a cultural arts district, and expanded visitation, the future of San Luis Obispo looks bright.”

Swigger has lived in SLO since 2011, and before being CEO at Downtown SLO, she served as Executive Director of Festival Mozaic from 2011-2018. A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Swigger graduated from Colorado College and lived in Colorado for 13 years. She invites all members of the community to visit her in Boulder via direct flight from SLO to Denver.

Swigger's last day with Downtown SLO will be October 26, 2023. The Board of Directors of Downtown SLO has initiated the process of a nationwide search for a new CEO, who will help reach exciting new heights in the next development phase for this outstanding organization. For more information, contact  

About Downtown SLO: Downtown SLO serves San Luis Obispo as the voice for downtown business. Established as a 501c6 nonprofit organization, our mission is to foster an economically vibrant downtown. We advocate on behalf of our membership and participate in City processes to ensure our downtown is positioned as vital to our city, county, and regional economy and identity. Downtown SLO serves the community by working on initiatives like parking and beautification efforts, coordinating special events and the weekly Farmers’ Market, supporting economic activities, and examining Downtown issues.