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Get To Know Amy Tharp Of Downtown Dallas Inc

Amy Tharp is having a heck of a year. She's been selected into Leadership Dallas' Class of 2016 and the Dallas Business Journal's 40 Under 40 list. In March, she and her husband welcomed their first child. Amy recently returned from maternity leave and has already hit the ground running with a new role as COO of Downtown Dallas Inc.

Amy Tharp and husband Ryan of Downtown Dallas Inc

After four years at Uptown Dallas Inc and a couple of years at the Dallas Regional Chamber before that, Amy will take on the newly created COO position for DDI as part of a transition plan for CEO John Crawford's eventual retirement. Amy (here with her husband, Ryan), along with John and president Kourtny Garrett, will work on strategic coordination. Amy will also tackle two projects near and dear to her heart: a families initiative and a bike-sharing program.

Though Amy just became a mother herself, she's no stranger to what families need and want in the urban core, thanks to her work at Uptown Dallas Inc. Stroller-friendly sidewalks, more cohesive DISD feeder patterns, better educational opportunities and day cares, and more playgrounds will all be coming soon if Amy has her way.

"So many young professionals live in the core. But when they start having kids, they move to the outskirts of town. We want to keep them here," Amy tells us.

Amy Tharp (center) at her baby shower; COO of Downtown Dallas Inc

DDI has put a lot of emphasis on mobility with its Downtown Dallas 360 plan, and a bike-sharing program would complement these efforts. Amy (here with colleagues at her baby shower) will continue gaining traction on a program to see that it's set up properly.

But working together with other public and private entities is something Amy thinks Downtown does well. "Downtown has done an excellent job of collaborating with neighborhoods, the city and other planning efforts," she says. She credits the collaboration to a shared set of values, such as mobility and connectivity. 

Amy and Ryan Tharp; Amy is COO of Downtown Dallas Inc

Fast Facts

Hometown: Fort Smith, AR

How did you end up in Dallas? I lived here when I was young, then worked on Capitol Hill for a while, then moved back to Arkansas and finally ended up here during the recession. My dad was one of the first tenants in Bank of America Plaza and now I work in that building, too.

First job: Lifeguard

Alma mater: Westminster College in Fulton, MO

Family life: My husband and I just had a son, and we have a dog and a cat.

Favorite restaurant: Anything at the Dallas Farmers Market, of course. The okra at Si Tapas is so delicious.

Favorite travel destination: My husband and I went to Tuscany (here they are in Lazio at the Colosseum) for our honeymoon and I dream of going back. 

Downtown in three words: Possibilities are endless. 

Favorite celebrity: Jake Pavelka from The Bachelor. He's in my Leadership Dallas class! 

Favorite spot for a business lunch: CBD Provisions

Favorite hobby: I love to have dinner parties with friends and cook and entertain. Maybe I'll get back to that, but right now having a baby is my only hobby.