DDA director hired to put village on map

Marie Havenga • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:00 AM

The Village of Spring Lake is getting serious about promoting itself as a destination, rather than a town people drive through to reach Grand Haven.

As part of that effort, the village has hired Angela Stanford-Butler as its new part-time Downtown Development Authority director.

Stanford-Butler works about 20 hours per week at a pay rate of $15 per hour.

Earlier this spring, the Village DDA hosted the Village Adventure, an event designed to bring traffic to downtown businesses. Visitors got their Village Adventure passports stamped at local businesses to become eligible for prize drawings.

Village officials, participants and business owners raved about the first-time event, and plans are to continue the “adventure” as an annual event.

Stanford-Butler will work with Spring Lake businesses to coordinate village events and promote Spring Lake as a destination for residents and visitors to do business, live and play, according to Village Manager Chris Burns.

“The DDA actually budgeted for this position last fiscal year, but did not end up filling it,” Burns said. “When Michelle Hanks and Michelle Dixon took on the Village Adventure, it became very apparent that in order for any event to be successful, it takes a lot of people and countless hours to pull it off.”

Burns said the DDA board is committed to establishing the village as a destination and not just a drive-through community for visitors on their way to Grand Haven.

“In order to make this happen, we needed someone dedicated to that endeavor,” she said.

Stanford-Butler worked in retail advertising and brand management in the Chicago area for many years. She and her family moved to Spring Lake Township 11 years ago. She most recently served as the creative director for Gazillion & One in Grand Haven.

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