Lauren McDaniel/Courtesy photo
LACDC NEWS RELEASE
Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation (LACDC), a private non-profit 501(c)(6) economic and community development organization, announced today that its Board of Directors recently named Lauren McDaniel as its new Executive Director.
Since October, McDaniel had served a dual role of Interim Executive Director and Director of Los Alamos MainStreet. Previously, she started and operated projectY, a coworking space in Central Park Square. As MainStreet Director, McDaniel supported local businesses in Los Alamos and White Rock and coordinated downtown events such as the Holiday Lights Parade, Fair and Rodeo Parade, Trick-or-Treat on MainStreet, Halloweekend, and Los Alamos ScienceFest. She was also successful in working with the state MainStreet program to access complimentary technical services for local businesses.
While MainStreet Director, McDaniel also worked with the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce to implement a Los Alamos Retail Accelerator program. This innovative program included a seven-week training followed by an eight-week retail “pop-up” experience encouraging new entrepreneurs to start a retail establishment. As a result of the Retail Accelerator, Los Alamos has four new retailers: Samizdat Bookstore and Teahouse (174 Central Park Square, Los Alamos), Inspired Jewelers and Wheeed (both at 555 Oppenheimer, Los Alamos), and Little Studio on the Mesa (113 Longview Drive, White Rock). Due to its success, LACDC will host the Accelerator program again this Fall.
McDaniel says she looks forward to continuing to work closely with business owners, property owners, County leadership, and others in addressing the unique challenges and opportunities faced by our community in economic development.
“Some challenges are not new, but others have increased urgency and difficulty due limited land,” said McDaniel. “The most immediate challenge is a continued housing crisis effecting not only Lab employees but small businesses, schools, and all other employers. However, our community is in a position to turn these challenges into opportunities, as we have access to breathtaking natural surroundings, excellent public schools, and outstanding amenities for a County of our size. It’s my goal to make sure that our support of local businesses, and focusing on the environment that will make them successful and sustainable, matches those other assets and priorities.”
McDaniel added that LACDC is seeking to fill her MainStreet Director position and interviewing interested candidates. The new Director will go through training provided through New Mexico MainStreet that covers topics such as Nonprofit Leadership, Time Management, Volunteer Development, Project and Event Management, Fundraising, and Grantwriting. McDaniel achieved this Executive Director certification through the state in 2020. The Los Alamos MainStreet program is a state-accredited program that as of late 2021, has received reaccreditation for 2022.
About Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation (LACDC)
Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation (LACDC) is a private, not-for-profit economic and community development organization that manages the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, Los Alamos MainStreet, Los Alamos Creative District, projectY cowork Los Alamos, Discover Los Alamos, Los Alamos Small Business Center, Los Alamos Research Park and the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneur Program (New Mexico LEEP).