Following a Special Executive Session of the Board of the Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC), Kathleen Miller Prunty has been named Interim Executive Director, effective September 3, for a term of six months. The announcement was made by Patricia Hanigan, Chair of the DWC Board.
“I’m thrilled to bring Kathleen’s visionary leadership to the DWC,” said Hanigan. “She is a seasoned professional who oversaw the widely recognized transformation of Cranford’s thriving downtown. Her vast experience will be a tremendous asset to our DWC Board members and staff, our downtown property owners and merchants, and by extension, all Westfield residents.”
Hanigan stated that, in addition to overseeing the daily operations of the DWC, Miller Prunty will also be charged with re-evaluating the structure and overall strategic vision of the organization, and will lead the search for a permanent Executive Director.
Miller Prunty served as the Director of Business & Economic Development and Special Improvement District (SID) in the Township of Cranford from 1997 to 2018, where she oversaw downtown economic revitalization and transit-oriented development projects generating close to $90 million of private investment. Her business recruitment initiative resulted in an average vacancy rate of 3% for more than ten years. Under her leadership, Cranford received the Best Downtown Award in 2018, and she was named the Union County Economic Development Director of the Year in 2014.
Miller Prunty has served three terms as the President of Downtown New Jersey, and has been a Board member since 2000. In addition, she is a key organizer of the Raritan Valley Line Mayors’ Alliance.
“We are so fortunate to have Kathleen lend her vast expertise at this important inflection point for our Downtown,” said Mayor Shelley Brindle. “Her many accomplishments in Cranford are visible, proven, and innovative. During her tenure with us, we will look to her to shepherd the Master Plan recommendations for Downtown Westfield into a new strategic vision that will accelerate its transformation.”
“I look forward to working with the Downtown Westfield Corporation Board, Mayor Shelley Brindle and the business and property owners to develop a progressive, forward-thinking plan for the downtown business district. Westfield is a wonderful community, and like so many other towns, it is brimming with potential and opportunities that can generate enthusiasm for businesses and residents,” said Miller Prunty. “Downtowns are the heart and soul of a community and often the most recognizable face of a town. There is so much talent and energy in Westfield that I expect will find its way to the downtown.”