Downtown New Bedford Inc. Names New Executive Director

New Bedford Business Owner and Local Events Planner Takes Helm of Nonprofit Organization
The Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Diane Nichols as Executive Director of Downtown New Bedford, Inc., the voice of the downtown business community, its residents and property owners. Ms. Nichols will begin on a part-time basis and assume full-time duties in November 2008.
“We are delighted that Diane is joining our efforts to keep the heart of our city a welcoming place for visitors and a supportive resource for downtown businesses,” says Kevin Pelland, Board President. “Diane’s professional experience reflects strong executive skills in her administration of several of the region’s most high-profile events. We are confident that she will build on our past successes and help move Downtown New Bedford, Inc. forward in our service to our constituents.
“At this time, I also want to commend Arthur Bennett, who has served as Interim Director for the past several months. Arthur’s legendary passion for downtown New Bedford was never more evident than when he stepped in to help lead this organization during a period of restructuring. When we needed someone who knows downtown New Bedford like the back of his hand and has its best interests at heart, Arthur answered the call. We will always be grateful to him for his dedication to our organization and the community at large.”
The owner/manager of Oceans 18 on Kings Highway in New Bedford since 2005, Ms. Nichols is known for her successful coordination of some of the area’s signature events, fundraisers and trade shows.
From August 2008 to the present, she served as Expo Coordinator for the first Go Healthy! Southcoast Expo, a special health and wellness event, for the South Coast Media Group. From January to July 2008, she organized and managed for the City of New Bedford the Great New Bedford Summerfest ’08, an annual, high-quality arts and folk festival that draws an attendance of 30,000 people. During her 21 years at the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Nichols served as part-time consultant (2006-2007) and full-time Membership Director and Trade Show Manager (1986-2006), organizing and managing several events including the Great New Bedford Summerfest ’07, the Southcoast Business Expo and the Chamber’s Night in Monte Carlo fundraiser.
A graduate of Bristol Community College in Fall River, MA with an associate’s degree, Ms. Nichols was Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Academic Affairs at Swain School of Design in New Bedford from 1984-1985. She resides in New Bedford with her husband, Jim.
Downtown New Bedford, Inc., 105 William Street, New Bedford, MA, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization representing all downtown stakeholders: property owners, business people and residents. Our goal is to make the heart of our city an economically healthy, welcoming, vibrant place to work, live, shop, dine and visit. For more information, please visit

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