David van den Berg, Executive Director
David van den Berg came to Alaska in 1989 to help clean up oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez. He moved to Fairbanks later that year. Before joining the Downtown Association of Fairbanks as its Executive Director in July of 2008, he was president of Arctic Wild, a wilderness guiding company operating throughout Alaska’s Arctic. He is married to Amy Cook and together they have two children.
David loves being downtown for its vitality, history and meaning to the community. The premise of downtown developing and improving is that it’s good for Fairbanks as a whole – for our economy, for our civic pride. The businesses downtown do what they are in business to do and it is the Downtown Association’s job to amplify it all with a promotional effort. Hosting events also plays a role in developing downtown. The Downtown Association works with the city to improve downtown. The most recent successes include getting Mayor Matherly to adopt snow removal standards for downtown. The Downtown Association also raised enough money and donated it to the city to cover the cost of buying the Polaris Hotel out of tax foreclosure, since city ownership is the only way for abatement of the Polaris Hotel to move forward. For years, the Downtown Association has supported a downtown and community-wide program to address the intensive needs of chronically inebriated people. Every year, the Downtown Association raises $110,000 from the Fairbanks community and gives it to the city for the Community Service Patrol.