(FLINT, Mich.) —The Flint Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors has named Kiaira May to serve as executive director of the Flint DDA. May joined the DDA team on June 14. She is the first woman and the first African American to have the role.

“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.”

May previously worked with Quicken Loans and Bedrock Real Estate to help with the City of Detroit’s revitalization. She developed partnerships with organizations like the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Gucci Changemakers Fund, Design Core Detroit, and the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Michigan to create more traffic to local businesses.

“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 began the role this week as interim director. She will go before the full City Council for its consent to appoint her to the position.