New Ogden Downtown Alliance director has eyes on growth
OGDEN — Who would have thought a cup of hot coffee would lead to a major leadership role in promoting downtown Ogden businesses?
That’s exactly what happened to Thomas Kiernan, who was just named executive director of the Ogden Downtown Alliance.
Kiernan owned and operated Mason Jar Coffee for eight years and eventually became interested in taking his business to the Ogden farmers market.
“I could really see a lot of growth happening downtown so I wanted to relocate,” Kiernan said. “It was from selling coffee at the farmers market that I initially got connected with the alliance.”
Kiernan began working for ODA three years ago, most recently as the fund development manager. ODA board Chair Danette Pulley, who led the selection process for a new executive director, said his passion for ODA’s mission to increase downtown economic vitality and community vibrancy will fuel the alliance forward.
“Thomas brings an entrepreneurial drive, strong business strategy, operational expertise and a focus on the community experience,” Pulley said.
Kiernan said his main focus is the financial sustainability of the alliance to continue to support businesses for the next 15 to 20 years. He said large-scale events such as Farmers Market Ogden, the Harvest Moon Festival and the historical car show will continue to have support.
“An exciting thing we have that’s new is that we just purchased a professional main stage that will really help increase the quality and production of live performances at those events,” he said. “We’re going from a 12-by-16 platform to a 20-by-24 platform with walls and a roof, so it’s going to be a different level of production and we are really excited about that.”
With the Spring Beer Festival just ending last weekend, Kiernan has less than 60 days to prepare for the opening of the farmers market on May 27.
“As people come to downtown Ogden, we want to make sure they have an enjoyable time, and of course we want them to stay a long time and spend money to help support the businesses,” Kiernan said.
Kiernan was born and raised in Washington Terrace. He and his wife, Rachel, have four children, two dogs and a cat that keep them very busy during his time away from his job.
He’s also been known to show up for pickup basketball and enjoys late-night poker.