City of Flint names Kiaira May new DDA executive director

Shared as a courtesy. A press release from the Flint Downtown Development Authority (DDA):

FLINT, Michigan—The Flint Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors in a unanimous vote has named Kiaira May to serve as executive director of the Flint DDA. May brings to the post extensive experience developing partnerships and revitalizing neighborhoods.

She is the first woman and the first African American to ever lead the Flint Downtown Development Authority. May joined the DDA team on June 14. 

May comes to Flint after helping with Detroit’s revitalization through her work at both Quicken Loans and Bedrock Real Estate. There she worked to develop valuable partnerships between organizations and people in Detroit’s business, nonprofit and arts sectors.

“Flint’s downtown is full of energy,” May said. “I am excited to work with and support the businesses and people who continue to bring public art, music, and festivals to Flint while also activating the city’s unique indoor and outdoor spaces. Flint is known nationally for its history of producing talented artists, entrepreneurs, musicians, and other creative people. I look forward to helping showcase and celebrate all of those talents while making Flint a regional destination for visitors interested in vibrant culture, entertainment, and thriving businesses.”

In her previous roles, May developed partnerships with influential organizations in Detroit,  including the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Gucci Changemakers Fund, Design Core Detroit, and the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Michigan. Those partnerships helped create more traffic to local businesses in key districts, showcased art and cultural exhibitions and displays, and created community dialogues and panels.

“Kiaira’s grassroots and inclusive approach to placemaking and supporting the business community in Detroit will be a tremendous asset to our growing downtown,” said Mayor Sheldon Neeley, who serves as chair of the DDA board. “I’m proud to say we were able to find the most qualified candidate in a historic move for the DDA. As the first female DDA director, Kiaira brings to Flint her passion and desire to continue making Flint a regional destination for art, music, sports, culture, and unique community festivals.”

May is a graduate of Wayne State University.

May started this week and is currently serving as interim director. Her appointment will go before the full City Council for its consent as outlined in the Flint City Charter.