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Downtown Raleigh To Lose Top Booster

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Nancy Hormann, the enthusiastic president and chief executive officer of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance who has championed revitalization efforts in the city's core, is stepping down.

"I'm very passionate about downtown," she told WRAL.com. "It is very difficult to leave."

Hormann said Wednesday that she would resign from the post at the end of the year, citing family reasons.

"My husband (Tom) has an opportunity back in the west," Hormann said. "That's where our family is from. We felt we couldn't pass up this opportunity."

Tom Hormann works for a company called Joystar. His promotion will take the Hormanns to Arizona. They originally are from California. Nancy Hormann said she would stay at her Raleigh post "probably until the end of the year." The Alliance hired Hormann in July 2005.

Her decision to leave comes as revitalization efforts for downtown continue to gain momentum.

As CEO of the private-public partnership, Hormann has been at the forefront of many efforts, with such highlights as the launch of a downtown farmers market and the recent celebration of the Fayetteville Street reopening.

"Those are tangible things that you can see," Hormann said. But she pointed with pride as well to other partnerships and teamwork she has been involved in or helped foster.

"I think we've made a great start in private-public partnerships downtown," she said.

When she took the CEO post, Hormann said she saw the partnerships as being crucial "to help attract more investment for people to live, to work, and to develop downtown."

Hormann had been involved in similar efforts before she and her husband moved to Raleigh.

"I feel good about what has happened downtown and what I've been able to contribute so far," she said. "The effort has great momentum. There is over $2 billion worth of investments in downtown right now."

An example of Hormann's impact on downtown growth efforts was shown in part by how the media reacted. Hormann's departure was big news -- within seven minutes of her announcing it, a reporter called from The News & Observer.

Later in the day, Hormann sent a letter to various contacts explaining her decision.

"After four months of deliberation, my husband and I have had to make a very hard decision. He has been offered a wonderful opportunity in the West; frankly, it is an offer that is too good to refuse. As all of my children and family are still in the West, it made my decision an easier blow to accept. With that said, I am somewhat broken-hearted to let you know that I will be leaving my position in Raleigh," she wrote.

"My plan is to join my husband by the end of this year. I have very much enjoyed working here and getting to know all of you. This downtown is an exciting place to work, and I am sorry I am not able to be a day to day part of its future. I have discussed with my board that I will be available as long as necessary to continue the momentum. I am not taking another job and will be working as a consultant for many different cities across the U.S."

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