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Staff

Holly Masek
Executive director
Holly Masek is the executive director of the RDA. In this role, she develops long-term strategy and directs day-to-day operations, including stakeholder and government relations, program development, budget and finance, and board administration, for downtown Rochester’s 44-block special service district.

Holly brings urban planning, real estate, public space consulting, government communications, and hospitality experience to her work at the RDA. Holly has a master’s degree in urban planning from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a bachelor’s degree in human geography from Boston University. She grew up in New Hampshire and has climbed all 48 of that state’s 4,000 foot mountains.
Kanika Couchene
Director of events & strategic partnerships
Kanika Couchene is the director of events and strategic partnerships at the RDA. In this role, she is responsible for managing the RDA’s events portfolio, growing, and maintaining strategic partnerships with our community.

Kanika comes to the RDA with 15 years of event planning and project management experience. Her previous experience includes being a continuing medical education specialist and HR program coordinator at Mayo Clinic. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in communication from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Kanika enjoys bringing the community together through events and looks forward to continuing to serve the Rochester community.
Katie Adelman
Director of content & communications
Katie Adelman is the director of content and communications with the RDA. In this role, she is responsible for creating, writing, and editing written communications; growing and maintaining relations with stakeholders and the media; and creating communication strategies for and awareness of the RDA and its programs.

Although a native of Ortonville (west-central Minnesota), Katie spent her childhood traveling to the Rochester area to visit extended family and considers Rochester a second hometown. She received an associate degree in digital art and design from Rochester Community and Technical College and a bachelor’s degree in mass media with an emphasis in public relations from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Katie looks forward to inspiring others to find what makes Rochester home for them and to getting further involved in the Rochester community.
Juli Gifford
Event manager
Juli Gifford is the event manager at the RDA. In this role, she is responsible for helping plan and execute the RDA’s events portfolio.

Juli has a bachelor’s degree in finance and minor in economics from St. Cloud State University. Her experience in project management and event planning spans both the corporate and non-profit sectors. She worked for Wells Fargo for 11 years, in Minneapolis and in downtown Rochester. She transitioned to the nonprofit sector and has worked for several years planning and executing events for Rochester area non-profit groups. Juli looks forward to helping enhance Rochester’s downtown by bringing ideas to life that positively impact downtown and the community as a whole.
Elia Bañuelos
Marketing and design project manager
Elia Banuelos is the marketing and design project manager at the RDA. In this role, she develops, executes, and evaluates campaigns to promote the RDA, the organization’s portfolio of events and programs, and downtown as a destination.

Elia has a bachelor’s degree in design and visual communications from the Faculty of Arts and Design of UNAM, Mexico. In Mexico, she collaborated with multi-national companies, in both the corporate and non-profit sectors, for various projects involving digital media, marketing, and design. Rochester has felt like such a welcoming place for Elia that she wants to serve the community in a way that Rochester’s downtown keeps growing as a cohesive meeting place for all local people as well as all types of visitors.
Thomas Loehner
Event lead
Thomas Loehner is an event lead at the RDA. In this role, he is responsible for supporting the director of events and strategic partnerships and event manager as they execute RDA’s event portfolio.

He has a bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin La Crosse in exercise sport science with emphasis, sport management and a minor in both business administration and digital media studies and design. Being new to Rochester, he is excited to explore and be involved with the community. In his free time, he enjoys watching a variety of different movies, sports, and stand-up comedians. He looks forward to providing an atmosphere Downtown Rochester that is inviting, enjoyable, and memorable to all.
Camden “Cam” Hurd
Clean and Safe Ambassador Program operations manager
Cam Hurd is the operations manager for the RDA’s Clean and Safe Ambassador Program. In this role, he is responsible for operation of the clean and safe program, management of ambassadors, special projects, and serving as a resource for businesses and the public. The Clean and Safe Ambassador Program ensures that the daily experience downtown is clean, safe, and welcoming. Ambassadors also help RDA broaden the reach and impact of programs downtown.

Cam has a background in retail management with hands on experience in delivering exceptional customer service. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family that includes his four children, his close friends, and being outside as much as possible. Cam is an extremely outgoing and vibrant person and takes a lot of pride in his ability to connect with anyone he meets.