Mayor G.T. Bynum announced today that Brian Kurtz has been named Executive Director of the Tulsa Downtown Coordinating Council (DCC) effective Aug. 20.
Kurtz served as the Director of Economic Development for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, a non-profit Business Improvement District working with the public and private sectors to make Downtown Pittsburgh a vibrant place for businesses, workers, residents and visitors.
“Brian brings a wealth of knowledge from his work to create a successful downtown experience in Pittsburgh,” Mayor Bynum said. “Downtown Tulsa has seen remarkable growth in the last decade, and we have the stakeholders in place locally to take it to the next level. With Brian on board, we have the combination of local passion and national expertise necessary to make Downtown Tulsa the best it can be.”
Kurtz’s previous experience includes the implementation of Downtown Pittsburgh’s economic development initiatives such as business retention and attraction efforts, place-making and public realm activation, developer coordination, research programs and constituent services.
"I am thrilled to welcome Brian Kurtz as the new Executive Director of the Downtown Coordinating Council. His data driven, yet innovative development style and his hands-on experience in Downtown Pittsburgh are going to be valuable assets to the future of Downtown Tulsa,” Libby Billings, DCC Chair and downtown business owner said.
Prior to his role in Pittsburgh, Kurtz worked for a countywide economic development agency in Buffalo, New York, assisting with urban revitalization projects and managing business attraction efforts with a focus on foreign-market expansion.
“Downtown Tulsa has a palpable energy demonstrated by the significant public and private investments made in recent years,” Kurtz said. “The progress made by the extraordinary work of many in attracting new businesses, residents and culture has set us up for success. By working together we will maximize these efforts towards the continued transformation of Downtown into a vibrant and dynamic neighborhood for all to experience and enjoy. I am excited to work alongside Mayor Bynum and the Downtown Coordinating Council and our family looks forward to making Tulsa home.”
“We at the Tulsa Regional Chamber look forward to working with Brian to accelerate downtown’s renaissance,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. “Pittsburgh is a model peer city for how to develop a thriving downtown and capitalize on an urban waterfront. Brian’s years of experience in Pittsburgh – a city that seized opportunities similar to those ahead of Tulsa – will serve our community well.”
Kurtz holds a Master of Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Gannon University. He is an active member of the International Downtown Association and participated in the inaugural class of the Emerging Leaders Fellowship program, as well as the Urban Land Institute’s Pittsburgh District Council management committee.
Brian was highly engaged in the Pittsburgh community serving on the board of Strip District Neighbors and as a trustee of the Braddock Carnegie Library Association, the first library opened in Andrew Carnegie’s free library system. Brian, his wife Becky, and three children will call Tulsa home beginning in August.
Kurtz was selected from 97 individuals from an extensive national search process led by HRS, Inc., a firm specializing in recruiting economic and downtown development professionals.
Downtown Coordinating Council (DCC)
The Downtown Coordinating Council is an advisory board comprised of downtown property owners, government officials and business owners that provide support and advice for planning and management of improvement, maintenance, and marketing of downtown Tulsa. The DCC works to actively develop downtown Tulsa as a vibrant center of commerce, arts, entertainment and education. For more information, visit: www.downtowntulsaok.com