Managing Up, Down, and Sideways in a Year of Crises

Holly Masek moved from Boston to join the Rochester Downtown Alliance as a first-time director in June of 2019. Nine months into the job, the global pandemic hit, followed by social unrest, public relations challenges, major construction, changing employment patterns, and event cancellations. RDA is a stakeholder-driven organization known for bringing thousands of people together in a small downtown area – the thing we absolutely could not do in 2020 – so it was imperative to find other ways to bring value. Walk through a year of leadership lessons learned while motivating a small team at a distance, launching new programs while still building them, making tough financial decisions, working with leadership coalitions to make rapid decisions, managing external negativity and internal exhaustion, turning adversaries into allies, and building trust and credibility as a new person in town.


  • 11:45 am Annual Chapter Business Meeting
  • 12:00 pm Speaker Introduction
  • 12:05 pm Presentation
  • 12:45 pm Q&A
  • 12:55 pm Prizes
  • 1:00 pm Adjourn

About the Speaker

Holly Masek - Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA)

Holly Masek is the executive director of the Rochester Downtown Alliance, a special service district which provides marketing, activation, and public space management services to businesses and property owners in downtown Rochester, MN. Holly’s background includes experience in public space management, communications, urban planning, and hospitality. Before joining the RDA, she held positions in private real estate, consulting, and government in Boston. She has a master's degree in urban planning from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a bachelor’s in human geography from Boston University. 

Event Details

Date & Time

25 May 2021

11:45 AM - 1:00 PM (CST-06:00)




Members: $10 USD

Non-Members: $15 USD


1 Leadership