By AFRO Staff

Shelonda Stokes, a well-connected Baltimore business leader has been named president and executive of the influential Downtown Partnership.

According to a statement released by Downtown Partnership, the organization’s Board of Directors conducted an extensive international search before Stokes, a native Baltimorean and graduate of Morgan State University was named Downtown Partnership’s fourth president and executive of the Downtown Management Authority. She replaces Kirby Fowler who left the organization to become president and CEO of the Maryland Zoo.

helonda Stokes, President and CEO of greiBO Media, will step in as Interim President of the Downtown Partnership and Executive Director of the Downtown Management Authority. (Courtesy Photo/nwbc.gov)

“Shelonda is a successful entrepreneur and business executive with deep Baltimore connections,” said Mark Wasserman, Downtown Partnership’s acting board chair who led the search committee. “She was selected after a deliberate and thoughtful search, because the committee felt she is the absolute right person to lead us into the future.”

Stokes takes over an organization that like others, faces the challenge of operating in the midst of a global pandemic.

“I am honored to have been selected to lead Maryland’s largest business center, cultural district, and fastest-growing neighborhoods,” Stokes said. “Like other businesses, the Partnership is facing one of the most challenging times in its over 35-year history. As we face this global pandemic and economic crisis, we will work together to recalibrate ourselves and address our dynamic environment and the changing needs of our community.”

Stokes served as the Partnership’s interim president when COVID-19 shut the country down in March. She was formerly president and CEO of greiBO Media, a marketing and production studio based in Downtown Baltimore.

Stokes currently co-chairs Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young’s Small Business Recovery Taskforce and is a Regent at Morgan State University, among other leadership positions she occupies. 

Stokes is a married mother of two children.