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Jeff Fugate is the President of the Lexington Downtown Development Authority (LDDA) and holds degrees from the University of Kentucky and MIT. Fugate has significant experience in community economic development. Fugate joined the LDDA in January of 2012 where he initiated key projects like the Old Fayette Courthouse Renovation, 21c Museum Hotel, and the Town Branch Commons park system. Recently, the LDDA has turned its efforts to reinventing public space in Lexington with people-first design principals, work that has been featured in the national media. Fugate serves on numerous boards and commissions—including the Lexington Transit Authority (Lextran) and Lexington Affordable Housing Fund. Fugate is a guest lecturer at the University of Kentucky.

Phone: (859) 367-4972


Ethan Howard is Project Manager for the Lexington Downtown Development Authority where he is currently working on public space initiatives, implementation of the Euclid Avenue and South Limestone Commercial Corridors project, and economic development planning projects. Prior to his role in Lexington he spent nine years working on downtown planning and development in Louisville through roles with Louisville Metro Government, the Downtown Development Corporation, and the Louisville Downtown Partnership, where he was most recently Deputy Director. Throughout his career he has worked on downtown operational issues, project management, planning studies, business assistance, and economic development programs.

A native of Scott County, Ethan completed his undergraduate work in Business Administration and Political Science at Georgetown College and his graduate work at the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.

Phone: (859) 425-2515

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Hannah O’Leary is Project Analyst for the Lexington Downtown Development Authority where she oversees public space projects, grants evaluation, financial management, and operations. Hannah has built a career in service to the public sector. After graduating from Centre College with a degree in Economics she worked in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina working on pharmacoeconomics studies of new drug therapies. Soon after she returned to Kentucky to fundraise for local nonprofits. She worked in development at Hospice Care Plus in Richmond and at Volunteers of America in Lexington raising funds for programs serving homeless families, teens, and veterans.

Hannah returned to school to earn a Masters in Public Affairs from Indiana University with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. She used this degree to transition to nonprofit funding effectiveness work at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations in Washington, DC. At GEO she oversaw outcomes measurement, budget development, and finances. In 2004 Hannah began work as Program Officer of the Weissberg Foundation. She analyzed funding requests and grant strategy, performed site visits, and made recommendations to the board for their grantmaking in theater, health, human services, and the arts in the local DC area. She joined LDDA in 2015.

Phone: (859) 425-2298

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Arein Natour is the Project Assistant for Urban Design at the Lexington Downtown Development Authority. She provides design support, oversees social media, conducts evaluation, contributes to grant writing, and assists in project management for LDDA public space projects. She works on downtown projects such as BUSt! boredom, SplashJAM, Parking Lot Diaries, Town Branch Commons, and Phoenix Forward. Arein recently graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Design with a degree in Architecture and a minor in Business. Through her education she developed an interest in Urban Design. She pursued an internship at the LDDA in summer 2016 and was hired as a Project Assistant at the end of her internship.

Arein is the Professional Mentorship Chair for the UK AIAS chapter and manages 18 professional/student mentorship pairs. Growing up in the Middle East, she is fluent in Arabic and has traveled throughout her life. Arein plans to attend graduate school to further her training.

Phone: (859) 425-2237