Glass taking vision to college


Director resigning from downtown organization.

Director resigning from downtown organization.


Dr. Beverly Schmitz Glass has resigned as executive director of Downtown Vision, effective Nov. 21.

Glass, who turned in her resignation to the Downtown Vision board of directors on Monday night after having led the organization for more than seven years, said Tuesday she has accepted a new job as a public relations representative at Garden City Community College.

Glass felt it was time for a change.

"I am a firm believer that positions with entities like Downtown Vision or the Chamber, you need to keep your leadership fresh and your organization relevant. I was ready for something different, more challenging, and this opportunity came along," Glass said. "We have accomplished a lot of great things, and it's just time for somebody new."

Glass will take over public relations duties from Cathy McKinley, who will continue to lead the marketing division at GCCC.

McKinley took over as executive director of public relations and marketing at the college in February after former executive director of public relations, Steve Quakenbush, left to become executive director of the Finney County Historical Society.

"I'm excited about having Beverly Glass on board with us. She's done a great job for Downtown Vision," Dr. Herb Swender, GCCC president, said. "The last thing we want to do is hold someone back if they want to apply for the college and see if they fit. We're all about that."

Swender stopped short of saying that Glass or McKinley would be "directors" of the public relations and marketing branches, though he did say they would be leading the way for the college in both of those areas.

"We'll get the organizational structure (worked out). We've still got some logistics to work out here, but we're definitely counting on Bev Glass to run point for us as the face and voice of public relations," Swender said. "We haven't officially got titles yet."

In addition to Glass and McKinley, Swender highlighted two others working in those areas, Tiffany Heit and Elaine Sarafin, who contribute to photography, printing and the print shop services.

"We're assembling a pretty high quality team for the college," Swender said.

Swender said he hoped to make the transition for both the college and Downtown Vision as smooth as possible.

"We're just very excited and fortunate to have Bev Glass on staff," Swender said.

Shonda Collins, Downtown Vision board president, said Glass helped make Downtown Vision stronger.

"Bev has been a tremendous asset. She has grown our membership and our events like Banner Art and Fall Fest. A good example of Bev's ideas that have improved the downtown district is our hanging baskets, which are a direct result of her leadership and direction," Collins said. "We have definitely benefited from her talents and skills, and we will miss her. We wish her well, and hope the best for her. I know Garden City Community College will benefit from her position there."

Glass said one of the things she will miss about Downtown Vision is the excitement of watching downtown climb to the next level. She said the last few years have seen a lot of new things and renewed interest from local people, as well as outside sources about what downtown offers.

"We worked really hard on the downtown master plan and now comes the fun part, if you will, implementing it so it doesn't just sit on a shelf. We're actually going to do something with it and continue to grow downtown. That's a part I'll miss," Glass said.

As for the new job, Glass said she is looking forward to new challenges.

"It kind of mirrors what's happening downtown, only in a different format, a different genre. The community college is growing. It's making its move to be a leading edge community college. But it, too, like the rest of Garden City, is growing quickly. There's a lot of good stuff coming up," she said.

Collins said the Downtown Vision board is in the process of looking for a person to act as interim director while a search for a new executive director gets under way. No decisions had been made as of late Tuesday afternoon.

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