CEO at Downtown Fresno Partnership
Aaron Blair is the President and CEO for the Downtown Fresno Partnership. He and his family moved to Fresno in July 2014. He was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, and has been happily married to his wife Jessica for 17 years. Together they have 2 teenage daughters named Sierra and Hannah. Aaron attended The Ohio State University majoring in Architecture before transferring to the University of Cincinnati to major in Urban Planning. He received a Bachelor of Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati: College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning in 1999.
Aaron’s influence throughout his career has had a deep impact on his colleagues and citizens. In 2003, four years into his career, he received one of his biggest honors by being selected as the first ever Executive Director for the Collier County Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) in Naples, FL. Charged with transforming a “suburban” area into an “urban” area, Aaron led the reinvention of both the culture and physical environment of the newly established CRA.
Over the past decade, Aaron has been strategically placed in situations that have demanded a creative management solution. As Downtown City Manager and ADICA Executive Director for Albany, GA, he faced the greatest challenge of his career thus far. He was selected to take the reins in a position that had been previously tarnished with financial embezzlement by his predecessor. Overall citizen support for the eighty-five percent vacant, twenty-four block Downtown area had been abandoned, and trust in the character of the City’s leadership had suffered extensive loss. Aaron’s ability to relate to and motivate citizens, at all levels has spurred significant success in creatively attracting and retaining long-term development and investment partners, which was proven to be the key to the transformation. During his three and half years in Albany, GA he successfully recruited over thirty-one (31) new businesses and attracted over $4,500,000 million dollars in new private investment in one of the Nation’s poorest communities. Achieving what many had previously thought impossible in Albany; Aaron attracted new private sector investment and ignited a sense of passion that has long been lost since the 1960s.
Named one Southwest Georgia’s 40 under Forty for 2013, Aaron Blair has been a trendsetter when it comes to Downtown Leaders. Known for a tireless work ethic, visionary leadership, and creative personality, Aaron has blazed a trail of success in every position he has held. A trusted professional among executives, citizens, media, and stakeholders, he has continually been selected to redirect situations that are highly visible and require an extreme level of transparency.
Serving as the citizens’ voice, Aaron understands that without the support of the community success is short-term. Aaron is a leader that has always been asked to lead people through change. He has extensive experience working with community groups, advisory boards, artists, churches, housing authorities, universities, hospitals, and elected officials. Aaron has extensive knowledge of urban planning principles, which allows him to proactively identify and implement creative solutions to support needs of the community.