Julie Townsend, Executive Director

My career has been dominated by marketing, though that was not by design. I have always been driven to be helpful, trying to make things better for the little guy. I started in non-profits, using my psychology background to run a school-based mentoring program. But non-profits have their own set of issues that, for one reason or another, left me unsatisfied.

My first formal taste into the world of marketing was as a sales representative at my local newspaper – The Ledger. I was lucky enough to get assigned the downtown territory and quickly became involved as a volunteer in the district’s marketing organization. I am a strong believer in buying local and supporting the businesses where the owner is often the one serving you behind the counter. So getting involved beyond the sale of ads was a natural fit for me both professionally and personally.

I quickly joined the organization’s board of directors and worked tirelessly with two local merchants to establish a recurring monthly event – First Friday, now 15+ years strong. I left The Ledger and became the first Executive Director of the Downtown Lakeland Partnership where I spent 5 years, working to promote Downtown Lakeland.

The relationships I built while the Executive Director served me well. My last position was with MIDFLORIDA Credit Union, whose corporate office is in Downtown Lakeland, as their Targeted Marketing Specialist. MIDFLORIDA is no mom and pop small business, I know. But the credit union philosophy aligns strongly with my own – helping its members make better financial decisions and improve their lives.

Since April 2014,  I have been the Executive Director of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority (LDDA).  The LDDA owns and operates the monthly First Friday and the Downtown Farmers Curb Market, an open air market on North Kentucky each Saturday. I get to work with Downtown businesses and property owners to make Downtown Lakeland a more vibrant community for business and residents. I love what I do and I look forward to work each day!

Julie Townsend
Executive Director

Lakeland Downtown Development Authority
117 N. Kentucky Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33801
Cell & Main line: (863) 687-8910
Office: (863) 683-2783

E-mail Julie