John Downs named new president/COO of the NCEDA Partners for Progress


Monday, April 15, 2024 — After a competitive three-month application process, the Nelson County Economic Development Agency (NCEDA) Board is pleased to announce John Downs, of Bardstown, will be joining the NCEDA team as President/COO effective May 15, 2024.


Downs brings 40 years of experience working for local government and banking which makes him a qualified fit to succeed Kim Huston who retired after 22 years on April 11th.

As the President/COO, Downs will provide executive management functions for the NCEDA Partners for Progress including the Bardstown-Nelson County Chamber of Commerce, Bardstown Mainstreet Program, and Bardstown-Nelson County Tourism and Convention Commission. Downs will also serve as President of the Bardstown Industrial Development Corporation.

Bill McCloskey, Chairman of NCEDA said “the NCEDA Partners for Progress has proven to be a successful model for controlled growth while providing opportunities for industry and small business, as well as improving the quality of life for our residents. It was important to hire the right person to execute NCEDA priorities.

“During the interview process, we realized John Downs has the experience and appreciation for a community he has lived and worked in his entire career to continue the NCEDA mission.”

McCloskey added that the NCEDA Board will retain Kim Huston as a part-time consultant during the transition period.

The NCEDA Board includes Chairman Bill McCloskey, Mayor Dick Heaton, Judge Tim Hutchins, Nicky Rapier and Nika Mathis. Senator Jimmy Higdon and Representative Candy Massaroni are ex-officio members.

City of Bardstown Councilman Bill Sheckles and Nelson County Fiscal Court Magistrate Jeff Leff assisted with the selection process.


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