For almost as long as she can remember, the power of community has fascinated Molly Alexander. It intrigued her as a young adult, influenced her academic studies and guided her career path. It has fueled a passion that is so much a part of her public and private life.
As executive director of the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation, Molly is a respected leader of efforts to develop programs, projects and resources that preserve and enhance all that is unique and authentic about downtown Austin. As partner in a private business venture, she oversees two thriving retail shops in downtown Elgin. In between, she manages to serve her community in numerous ways, including serving on the board of directors of Frontier Bank of Texas, a local community bank.
“Downtowns fascinate me,” says Molly. “They’re the heart of most Texas communities, and no matter where I am or where I visit, I always feel most at home downtown. That’s true for me, whether it’s a large metropolitan area or a small rural village.”
It’s not surprising, then, to learn that Molly received her bachelor’s degree in urban studies and history from Trinity University. Her career has been focused on downtown revitalization and economic development over the span of three decades. During that time and prior to her current position, she served as director of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, director of the Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau and Economic and Community Development Director for the City of Elgin.
So, how does Molly balance her public and private initiatives? “For me, they’re one in the same,” she says. “At the Foundation, we work hard to develop partnerships and to help put the right kind of business together with a downtown Austin space that fits their business model. When I invest in a private business in downtown Elgin, I’m doing the same thing but from a different perspective. Either way, one of my primary goals is to help preserve and promote a downtown sense of community.”
Whether it’s participating in and helping promote a recent “Sip, Shop and Stroll” event in downtown Elgin or helping plan for the revitalization of Austin’s East Sixth Street district, Molly Alexander’s passion is clearly singular. She is determined to share her enthusiasm for downtowns and encourage others to discover the treasures of these unique communities. That’s the reason you are equally likely to find her having early morning coffee along a quiet Main Street and watching the sunset from the grounds of the State Capital.