Crystal River Main Street's new leader is no stranger to the city.
Board members of the local Main Street organization selected Danielle Damato Doty to the part-time position last week, board president Carol Kimbrough said Monday.
“Being able to have this opportunity, a position like this, it couldn’t be more perfect with me right now and my life,” Doty said late Tuesday. “I’m looking forward to jumping right in.”
Doty is replacing Karen Pieters, Crystal River Main Street’s first executive director, who resigned in June. Doty’s first day is Sept. 16, she said.
Kimbrough said Doty, who grew up in Crystal River and is the daughter of former County Commissioner Dennis Damato, is a good fit because of her ties to the city and expertise in communications as a manager of community relations for the College of Central Florida.
“She has local knowledge, she’s vested emotionally and her family lives in the Crystal River,” Kimbrough said. “Not only is Citrus County is her home, Crystal River is her home.”
“I just love the idea of engaging with the businesses, the residents and the property owners,” Doty said. “I love to communicate with people, I want to communicate with people.”
Doty also has a background in grant writing, an important skill to have when competing for the public and private funding the Main Street program relies on to develop and revitalize a city’s main thoroughfare within its downtown district.
“That was a big selling point,” Kimbrough said.
Then-Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner designated Crystal River as a Florida Main Street Community in August 2015, following the approvals of the community and city officials.
For more on Crystal River Main Street, visit www.crystalrivermainstreet.org.
Doty said she, her husband and young son moved in early 2018 from Ocala to their new home off the waters of King’s Bay, by the Plantation, and is happy to see the progress Crystal River’s made since she left for Marion County.
“It’s a pleasant surprise to come back, and there’s a really good spirit of people wanting to work together,” she said. “
Doty said it’s too early to share what her priorities will be for Crystal River Main Street, which already has a few projects under way, like the restoration of the city’s historic pump house and the beautification of U.S. 19 with murals and decorative utilities.
She is excited to work with a Main Street board run by people who are invested in and passion about the city.
“You couldn’t ask for a better group; great businesspeople, and they really, really, really care about their community,” Doty said. “Not everything is gong to fall onto my shoulders.”