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Meet the New Faces of DJA
by Emily Merrell, photo by Amy Long

The leadership team for the Downtown Jonesboro Association, much like many of the buildings and businesses downtown, has a fresh new look. Together, Lindsey Ford Wingo and Cody Moore, both recent Arkansas State University graduates, are dedicated to the community and working hard on new projects to promote downtown as Jonesboro’s destination to eat, shop, live, work and play.

Wingo has been serving as executive director of the Downtown Jonesboro Association (DJA) since the fall of 2017 and got off to a very eventful and successful start to her career there. She has enlisted the expertise of Moore as director of events, who also works for Occasions Publishing Group, another Downtown Jonesboro business.

“All within a six-month time frame, I have experienced three of the most life-changing events; I began my journey with Downtown Jonesboro, graduated college and married the love of my life,” said Wingo. “Despite the challenge of these extra activities all while starting my career with downtown, we surpassed the goal of our capital campaign and raised more money than any past year. Additionally, we have been successful in re-establishing downtown partnerships that have been inactive for several years.”

Wingo’s recent graduation from A-State has shaped her role as executive director into more of a liaison between Downtown and A-State than ever before. She has made it a priority to bridge the gap between the two entities, and she has created the A-State Committee to help her do so.

“The committee is made up of A-State students who bring fresh, innovative and new ideas to the table to increase student participation in our downtown community,” said Wingo. “Dr. Kelly and Beth Damphousse and Bill Smith have been a huge asset in educating our students and the business community about the importance of Downtown Jonesboro. We are partnering with the A-State Student Activities Board to plan a large event to bring A-State students downtown this fall.”

As an Occasions writer and event photographer, Cody Moore is no stranger to events or to the downtown community. He has used this experience to jump into his role as DJA’s director of events, planning opportunities for the community to get more involved downtown. Moore recently hosted two inaugural events – The Downtown Slam, an open mic poetry slam at the Recovery Room, and Oasis Arts Fest, which he planned alongside The Foundation of Arts, Bradbury Art Museum and the A-State Art + Design Department in order to give local artists a space to set up in the downtown area for two days with music, food and other attractions. Moore considered both events to be successful and loves getting to give back to the community.

“Hosting events gives me a chance to connect with the community, which is so fun for me,” said Moore. “When someone walks up to me after an event I worked so hard to put on and compliments it, it makes all the work worth it. At the end of the day, I want to be able to make someone feel welcome, like they belong downtown.”

Wingo and Moore have plenty of ideas planned for making Downtown Jonesboro an even more inviting place. DJA has been working closely with Ted Herget of Gearhead Outfitters to “Light Up” more of the parking lots, alleyways and other outdoor spaces downtown. Plans for 2018 include beautification projects and increased lighting, implementing informational gatherings for downtown business owners, fulfilling more grant projects for downtown businesses, planning more events to bring people downtown, increasing A-State’s presence and partnership downtown and designing and creating a campaign to entice people of all ages to eat, shop, and live in Downtown Jonesboro.

To keep up what’s happening in Downtown Jonesboro, find the Downtown Jonesboro Association on Facebook or follow it on Instagram @downtownjonesboro.