Downtown Ventura Partners has hired Kevin Clerici, staff writer of the Ventura County Star, as its new executive director. Clerici, who had worked for the local daily paper since 2004, will start as the organization’s executive director on Sept. 26.

"In this struggling economy, we need a tireless champion like Kevin who can hit the ground running to build our business base and launch new initiatives," said DVP board chair David S. Armstrong.

Clerici, a downtown Ventura resident, brings with him strong ties to the community.

"Every day, I will work to find new ways to add value to our visitors, and to our business and property owners and partners who count on the DVP to make downtown a clean, safe, vibrant destination," Clerici said.

Clerici replaces Kathleen Eriksen who accepted a job offer in her home state of Michigan. Eriksen was hired in April 2008.

Meredith Dilg was promoted to project manager and administrator. Dilg, a Ventura resident, has been working part-time for the organization planning events, managing social media and overseeing administrative tasks.

Formed in 2009, the Downtown Ventura Business Improvement District supports local businesses through clean and safe services, marketing and promotions, special events, business attraction and retention and advocacy.