Kathleen Eriksen, the executive director with the Downtown Ventura Partnership/Organization, has accepted a position with the State of Michigan and will be leaving her position with DVP/DVO effective this Friday.

Eriksen, 43, said her departure is not sudden, and the partnership has been working on a transition plan, which is close to being made public.

"She took over during a difficult time and gave us a solid foundation," said Dave Armstrong, chairman of the DVP.

Moving to Ventura from Battle Creek, Michigan, where she worked as downtown development director for seven years, Ericksen assumed duties as the executive director on August 16, 2010.

During her year with the DVP, Ericksen, said she is most proud of the "tremendous amounts of improvement Downtown" such as the planter program and managed parking. Downtown Ventura, she said, is headed in the right direction as 19 new businesses have opened in last six months. 

"I’m really excited [about the new position], but I’m leaving with mixed emotions," she said. "Ventura is a wonderful community with a lot of great people."