Achievers & Accolades

Haley Promoted To President, CEO Of Wilmington Downtown Inc.

By Staff Reports, posted Jun 18, 2024
Christina Haley
The economic development agency focused on downtown Wilmington has a new president and CEO.

Christina Haley has been promoted to the top role at Wilmington Downtown Inc., through which she will continue to oversee economic and community development for the downtown Wilmington area, according to a news release.

“Since joining WDI, Christina has proven to be an invaluable member of the WDI team. Her drive, work ethic, and leadership skills are second to none. I can think of no one better to take the helm of WDI,” said H. Thomas Davis III, WDI board chair, in the release.

Haley began working for WDI in September 2021 as vice president of marketing and business outreach.

"The WDI Executive Committee, recognizing her passion for economic and community development and drive to create a vibrant urban environment, promoted Christina to vice president of WDI in June 2022," the release stated. "In this position, she has played a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s mission and providing strategic leadership on complex downtown issues for the past two years."

She manages some city services within the Municipal Services District (MSD), including the Downtown Ambassadors and Street Outreach programs.

"Christina has worked diligently to improve these services and foster community relationships by enhancing this programming for downtown," according to the release.

The release stated that in her previous career as a journalist, she gained knowledge of the economic development industry and translated it into articles shared across the Wilmington community. She served as an assistant managing editor at Port City Daily before spending three years as the economic development reporter for the Greater Wilmington Business Journal. 

Haley also had experience in the film industry, managing an audio-visual production studio located at the former EUE/Screen Gems Studios.

According to the release, she earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In addition to her economic development role, Haley participates in site excavations with the downtown Wilmington-headquartered Public Archaeology Corps, a local nonprofit dedicated to promoting historic preservation through the archaeological study of privately owned land.

Most recently, Haley led a pilot effort to light up the Wilmington Riverwalk for the December holiday season and is currently working with key stakeholders to plan an expansion of holiday programming for downtown this year, according to the release. 

Additionally, she is leading efforts on economic impact studies that will support initiatives around downtown’s hospitality sector, the release stated.

Haley was appointed by the Wilmington City Council to sit on the Greater Downtown Area Special Plan Steering Committee and serves as chair of the city’s Downtown Parking Advisory Committee. Additionally, according to the release, she is a member of the Wilmington Convention Center Advisory Committee, the Wilmington Area Hospitality Association Board of Directors, The Healing Place of New Hanover County Community Engagement Committee, and the North Carolina Economic Development Association. She was also an honoree of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce's fifth annual 40 Under 40 Awards.
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