Downtown Huntsville Inc. CEO Chad Emerson stepping down

By William Thornton

Downtown Huntsville Inc. CEO Chat Emerson is stepping down after nearly a decade on the job. (DHI)

The founding CEO of Downtown Huntsville, Inc. is stepping down.

DHI today announced that Chad Emerson will be leaving for a “startup opportunity” to be announced later.

Emerson has been CEO of DHI since 2013. He previously served as director of city development for Montgomery, and as a consultant to more than 30 different cities on downtown and urban redevelopment strategies.

He will continue to live in Huntsville and will work with the organization on a “seamless transition” as the DHI Board’s executive search committee begins work to find a replacement, the organization said.

DHI Board Chairman Tyce Hudson said Emerson “initiated the momentum that Downtown Huntsville has enjoyed over these past 10 years.”

“We couldn’t have reached where we are today without him, and we are deeply grateful for his longer-than-expected leadership,” Hudson said. “We updated DHI’s strategic plan, clarified the ‘districts of downtown,’ and rebranded our trails. This all builds to our continued success as a downtown and a city.

During Emerson’s time, DHI won several International Downtown Association awards for downtown projects.