Erin Silk spent much of her first week as Venice MainStreet’s new executive director in tourist mode.

“I’ve been exploring restaurants and boutiques and getting a lot of fantastic ideas from people,” says Silk, who started at the nonprofit last Monday. “I’m interested in hearing people’s opinions and hopefully, I can be a good resource.”

Silk moved to Venice from Baltimore, where she was a project manager for a pet food manufacturer. Her job involved organizing tradeshows, marketing, packaging and traveling internationally to work with distributors. Previously, she worked for nonprofits in three states, organizing volunteers and fund raisers and writing grants.

During vacations the last two decades, Silk often came to Venice to visit her grandmother, Verna Silk, who is an active longtime member of the community.

“I grew up with Venice and I’ve enjoyed watching it evolve,” Silk says. “When the job became available, it was perfect timing for me. I was ready for a change.”

Silk says she is an out-of-the-box thinker and enjoys event planning. While she says it’s too soon to say how she intends to change Venice MainStreet’s approach to marketing downtown, she’d like to organize more pet-oriented events. “I’m a pet lover and I love how this area is pet-friendly.”

Silk replaces Kat Quast, who is leaving after two years to pursue a special event and marketing business. Quast is still on the job, helping Silk prepare for the upcoming Miami Craft Festival, Jan. 24-25.

“Everyone has been so nice and welcoming,” Silk says. “I’m ready for the challenge.”

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