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University Circle Inc. Selects Kate Borders as President

Posted January 20, 2023 in Press Releases

University Circle Inc.’s (UCI) Board of Trustees has announced that Kate Borders will become the organization’s next President. Borders is a nationally recognized leader in urban development and place management who will bring more than 20 years of experience to the University Circle neighborhood.

Borders currently serves as President of Downtown Tempe Authority & Downtown Tempe Foundation in Tempe, Arizona. Her vision for Downtown Tempe is to strengthen and promote the district as the most urban destination in the Phoenix Valley.

Nationally, Borders serves as the Board Chair of the International Downtown Association (IDA), an organization providing tools and strategies for creating healthy centers that anchor the well-being of towns, cities and regions of the world. IDA represents a consortium of more than 575 organizations in eight countries worldwide.

“I am very excited that Kate will be taking over the leadership of UCI,” said Craig Martahus, Chair of UCI’s Board of Trustees. “She is bringing a wealth of experience and passion to the Circle that is going to benefit all of our stakeholders.”

“My deeply rooted passion for the arts was instilled in me from childhood,” said Kate Borders. “My love of community and place management was born through my career experiences, for which I'm incredibly grateful. This position melds the two and it’s an honor to have been selected as UCI's next leader. I cannot wait to get connected and start this work.”

In her current position, Borders has collaborated with Tempe’s merchants, property owners, city leaders and Arizona State University to stimulate a renewal in the city’s downtown. Borders previously served as President of the Downtown Fresno Partnership in Fresno, California, a similarly structured business improvement district. Borders has also served as chief executive of the East Town Association in Milwaukee, and of The Peoria Art Guild in Peoria, Illinois. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts Administration from Columbia College.

Borders’ appointment follows a comprehensive, nationwide search led by executive search firm, Waverly Partners, working in tandem with a seven-member search committee appointed by UCI’s Board of Trustees and chaired by Geri Presti, President and CEO of The Music Settlement. Search committee members included Dr. Edward Barksdale, Katie Brancato, Pat Pastore, Maria Spangler, Felton Thomas, and Doug Wang.

UCI is a 66-year-old community service corporation. Chris Ronayne served at UCI’s President from 2005-2021. Gary Hanson, former Executive Director of The Cleveland Orchestra, currently serves as UCI’s Interim President.

Kate Borders will begin her tenure as UCI’s President on Monday, June 12.

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