As the Red River begins to recede, many area residents look forward to getting back onto the Greenway. One of those people is Blue Weber, executive director of the Downtown Development Association.
The Greenway is just one of many amenities downtown that comes alive in summer, Weber said.
"I love using the boathouse on the Red to really get into nature," Weber said. "There will be many activations of public spaces this summer to really show people what a downtown lifestyle consists of."
Even though there will be a large construction project downtown, Weber said the DDA and other downtown organizations will continue to bring events to the community and region.
The Herald talked with Weber about downtown and his job with the DDA:
Q: What brought you to Grand Forks? Why did you stay?
A: I moved to Grand Forks around 11 years ago. I had moved from Utah because my father and stepmother had moved here a few years before that. Things were just not that much fun in Utah anymore, and the opportunity up here had enough promise. I arrived in February, and immediately started planning how I would get back to Utah. After about 3 years here, I was smitten and had completely fallen in love with Grand Forks. The size of the town, the people in the area, the central location to many places around the country and the amazing opportunities to grow with my city all led me to stay.
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: I get to hear from all of the most inspirational people around me. The entrepreneurs of our community do not get celebrated as often as they deserve, and it is an amazing opportunity to spend my days with them. Another aspect of my job is how much fun I get to have, whether it is walking around at an event and seeing all the smiling faces or working with developers on some amazing new project that will propel our community to a new level, each day is just so exciting.
Q: Where do you see downtown Grand Forks in the next five years?
A: I see a brand new downtown that is open for all people from all walks of life. An organization that I truly look up to is 8 80 Cities, where they design cityscapes for people ranging from 8 years old to 80 years of age. I think Grand Forks will shape up very similar to that over the next few years. I would love to see all of the districts across Grand Forks jump into event planning and start to activate their own spaces the same way downtown does. I would love to help out on something like that, too.
Q: What is something you'd like to see come to downtown Grand Forks?
A: As an old skateboard guy, I have always wanted to open a skate shop downtown, but would be very content seeing somebody else jump on that. Just somewhere that I can buy a nice pair of shoes, an old cruiser board and some nice beanies. My life would be complete.
Q: The business centerpiece this week is about applying for jobs and keeping a clean online profile. Do you have any interview tips? What do you do to make sure your online brand is professional?
A: Oh man, I don't know if I should be talking about "keeping a clean online profile" but I do actually love interviews. They are some of my favorite things in the world. For interview tips, I think doing your own investigation into the organization and the interviewers is super important. Going in with as much knowledge helps show professionalism, as well as helping you feel more comfortable. This also allows you the opportunity to ask questions with the knowledge of what the answers might be. Professionalism has really shifted over the past five to10 years in the sense that authenticity is the true measure of professionalism. Being honest with who you are and what your interests consist of creating professionalism.