Executive Director – Dawn Mackey

Metuchen Announces Selection of Executive Director

Metuchen, New Jersey – October,17,2022. The Metuchen Downtown Alliance (MDA) is pleased to announce the selection of Dawn Mackey as its new Executive Director, effective October 24th.

Mackey brings years of experience working with downtown management organizations and as an events specialist. Known for her hallmark of innovation, imagination, and engagement, she, created and executed Westfield’s AddamsFest, a month-long festival that includes numerous beloved annual events including a stylized art exhibit, lectures, an electric masquerade ball and ale garden. The festival is designed to celebrate a hometown celebrity, highlight the local businesses, engage the community and brand the town a destination location.

As MDA executive director, Mackey will be the central point of contact for all businesses in Metuchen—existing and aspiring. Dawn will be a full-time, paid executive director and will be supported by the board of trustees and other volunteers. Her duties include retaining and strengthening existing businesses; executing strategies to draw tenants and customers/clients; coordinating joint marketing efforts, advertising and branding, including social media; integrating new developments with existing properties/businesses; leveraging the town’s transportation assets; and acting as a liaison to the municipality, ensuring that new businesses open seamlessly, and existing businesses receive all supports needed to thrive and expand.

Mackey is uniquely suited for this role-with myriad skills derived from two decades as a commercial title examiner in NYC, her municipal event production, and from her active role as a council member in the Town of Westfield, where she is serving her second term. In Westfield, she was the liaison to the Downtown Westfield Corporation. Leading the We Love Local campaign during the early days of the pandemic, Mackey helped raise $250K in support for local businesses, sourced PPE while they were facing supply chain issues,and helped them reimagine their business models to adjust for rapidly changing patterns of commerce. Mackey has also spearheaded ambitious art installations and secured several hundred thousand dollars in sponsorships for public art, including the Art Takes Flight butterfly sculptures and mural projects painted under the NJ Transit underpasses. Most recently, Mackey was instrumental in reimaging the Rialto movie theater and transforming it into a non-profit Center for Creativity in the downtown.

“We are so very excited and proud to have Dawn Mackey join us as executive director,” said MDA Chairman Eric Berger. “Please join us in welcoming Dawn to Metuchen and in wishing her success in her new role.”

“Dawn brings a wealth of experience to Metuchen and an ability to work with diverse stakeholders to build a commitment to the organization and achieve results,” said MDA Vice Chairperson Bobbie Theivakumaran.

Julie Didell, a 25-year Westfield business and property owner exclaims, “If you select Dawn Mackey as the next Downtown Metuchen Alliance Executive Director, your businesses, arts and residential communities will be the recipient of a dedicated, creative, unstoppable, bridge-building, selfless talented person who will give her all to help fulfill your mission and goals.”

And Ms. Mackey herself states, “As a longtime visitor of Metuchen, I have great admiration for the borough, and I am honored and excited to join the community and get to work.”