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Release Date: Monday, February 27th 2017

DRA Taps Former News & Observer Publisher Orage Quarles III As Interim Director

RALEIGH, NC (February 27, 2017) – The Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) announced today that former News & Observer President and Publisher Orage Quarles III will be the organization’s interim director while a national search begins to replace David Diaz, whose last day is March 10. Diaz served as president and CEO since 2007 and will begin his new role as president of Tysons Partnership in Fairfax County, Virginia.

“We are eager to have Orage onboard. He brings a wealth of experience and connections to lead DRA through the continued revitalization and enhancement of the downtown area,” said Jon Wilson, chairman of the board. “Orage’s track record of strategic leadership is exceptional and we look forward to working with him as DRA embarks on a national search for a new president and CEO.”

In his 16 years as president and publisher of the News & Observer, Quarles steered the newspaper through a changing media landscape and led efforts to diversify its business. As they navigated the economic downturn that caused significant cuts to advertising revenue and numbers of full-time staff, Quarles’ leadership drove the paper to double its free community newspaper offerings and significantly grew its online presence. During this time he also launched Walter Magazine, a publication focusing on the unique culture, stories and lifestyles of Raleigh residents. He retired from the paper in June 2016.

Quarles remains engaged in the community, sitting on the board of trustees for the N.C. Museum of History and the Dix Conservancy. He previously served on the DRA board of directors from 2001 to 2007. At DRA’s annual meeting earlier this month, Quarles was recognized as the 2017 Downtown Distinguished Leader for his decades of professional and non-profit service.

“I am proud to contribute to an organization that has had such a positive impact on downtown Raleigh,” Quarles said. “I look forward to contributing to DRA’s vision for revitalizing the downtown area and fostering their momentum in enhancing quality of life and economic success,” Quarles said.




About Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA):

DRA is an award-winning nonprofit organization whose mission is to continue the revitalization of Raleigh’s downtown. The Alliance enhances the quality of life and positively impacts the economic success of downtown through six core services:  1. Safety & Hospitality Ambassadors; 2. Strategic Branding & Community Communications; 3. Events Production; 4. Retail Attraction & Merchant Promotions; 5. Strategic Partnerships & Stakeholder Engagement; and 6. Strategic Planning. For more information about DRA, please visit www.YouRHere.com.