The NewBo City Market is looking for a new executive director four months after its grand opening late last October.
Ann Poe — who was hired as executive director in March 2012 and who saw the market through its construction, recruitment of merchants, grand opening and first four months of operation — resigned from the post on Feb. 27, Patrick DePalma, the president of the board of the Cedar Rapids City Market Inc., said Monday.
DePalma said Poe told the market board that her full-time duties at the market and the demands of serving on the part-time City Council helped to prompt her resignation.
“It was like two full-time jobs,” DePalma said.
Poe said she is exploring a couple of other opportunities, but will continue to work with the market and its board of directors, just not as an employee.
“It’s a wonderful facility and brings so much to the neighborhood,” Poe said. “And I’m so thrilled at having had such a central role at getting it going.”
DePalma said Wendy Zimmermann, the market’s director of operators, is now interim executive director.
The market’s board of directors is reviewing “quite a number” of resumes for the permanent post, he said.
The market — at 1100 Third St. SE, in the heart of the New Bohemia arts and entertainment district — currently is open on Thursday evenings and Saturdays and Sundays. If features 25 permanent merchants and another 20 guest ones. Come warmer weather, some 100 guest merchants will set up shop outdoors for some of the time the market is open, DePalma said.
He added that the market board is now discussing the possibility of adding more hours to the market schedule.
“Attendance is above what we expected,” DePalma said. “We’re moving forward, we have a plan in place, and we’re executing on the plan.”
He said the market’s budget for 2013 calls for the market to do “a little bit better than break even,” and the market is on track to accomplish that, he added.
“Ann did a great job to get us to where we are today,” he said of Poe.
The market operates out of a renovated metal pole building that was once part of the former Quality Chef Foods building.
The city is leasing the building to the market for $1 a year for five years, with an option for the market to buy the site for $1 after that.
The market’s $4-plus-million construction budget was paid for by private donations, a $750,000 state Community Attraction and Tourism grant and $500,000 from the city of Cedar Rapids.