Cedar Springs Merchant Association Executive Director Scott Whittall announced his resignation Thursday effective Jan. 1.
Whittall sent out an email to the association highlighting its many accomplishments since its creation in 2006.
“My dedication and allegiance to our neighborhood and community will remain strong and I will continue to support this amazing organization and group of merchants who I sincerely regard as dear friends and colleagues,” he wrote.
Whittall, who has served as the executive director form the beginning, tells Instant Tea he planned to leave last year when he sold his business on the strip, Buli. But the board convinced him to stay on in his role for another year.
“Not really being a merchant, it seemed odd to be the executive director of a merchant association,” he said.
Time is also a factor in why he is leaving. Having purchased an imports business in July, in addition to a cattle business he and his partner oversee, he said he’s out of the country a lot and doesn’t have time to dedicate to the association anymore. However, he’ll still be involved in a supporting role in the community, he said.
CSMA board Chairman David Richarson will be in charge until the board decides whether or not to select another executive director, Whittall said.
Read Whittall’s full email announcing his resignation below.
Dear Cedar Springs Friends,
On a July afternoon in 2006 a group of dedicated merchants, concerned about their community and the future of their historic neighborhood, gathered together and decided there was indeed power in numbers. That afternoon marked the resurrection of the Cedar Springs Merchant Association.
It is hard to believe that it has been 61/2 years since the CSMA began making a difference on Cedar Springs and in the Dallas LGBT community. From the very beginning, many of the merchants in our neighborhood banded together, worked side by side as a team, and achieved more than we seriously imagined possible.
It was not long after that July meeting that the first street-wide Sidewalk Sales were taking place. Then came First Wednesdays and our Outdoor Movie Nights (returning in 2013). Soon after, there would be hundreds of enthusiastic folks and their four legged children darting up and down Cedar Springs from merchant to merchant enjoying free wine during our Quarterly Wine and Pet Walks. In 2009, The Cedar Springs Art Festival was born, boasting over 100 artists and vendors and rivaling any festival in Dallas. We’ve held Antique Car Shows, Pub Crawls, Holiday Street Lighting Festivals, Underwear Auctions, and our newest annual tradition, a dinner theater fundraiser, “The Cabaret Extravaganza” raising necessary funding for the Security Guards who keep our street safe. We even made history in the world of sports by hosting the first LGBT Super Bowl Street Party in the country. A little ice storm didn’t keep us down! In 2011, by the request of Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, the CSMA rose to the City’s challenge and took over the 40 year tradition of Easter in Lee Park. Later, in 2011, the CSMA was overjoyed to help successfully resurrect and return to Cedar Springs one of the largest June Pride Street Parties in the country…..Razzle Dazzle Dallas.
Now, in 2013, thanks to the victorious November bond election and the concentrated efforts of the CSMA and Councilwoman Angela Hunt, our beloved Cedar Springs will get a 1.2 million dollar face-lift.
Frankly speaking, there is not a better group of dedicated business owners and community leaders anywhere in Dallas and probably in the country. It has been my profound pleasure to have had the privilege of working side by side with these amazing community leaders who are The CSMA.
It is with a heavy heart but tremendous pride in our accomplishments that I bid farewell to the CSMA. On January 1st, 2013, I will step down as Executive Director. My dedication and allegiance to our neighborhood and community will remain strong and I will continue to support this amazing organization and group of merchants who I sincerely regard as dear friends and colleagues.
I leave the CSMA in very capable and devoted hands with a board solely comprised of Cedar Springs Business owners and the new CSMA President David Richardson. David is certainly no stranger to hard work and dedication to our neighborhood having owned multiple businesses on Cedar Springs over the past 30 years.
Thank You Cedar Springs for allowing me to be a small part of your rich history, for the magnificent camaraderie, and for a lifetime of cherished memories.
Happy and Healthy Holidays,
Cedar Springs Merchant Association