Five Points Association Announces Heather McDonald as New Executive Director

The Five Points Association, a nonprofit organization that oversees the efforts to promote and develop Five Points, is pleased to announce that Heather McDonald has been hired to serve as the association’s new executive director. With more than 20 years of professional experience, McDonald will use her expertise in business development, marketing and non-profit management to lead the Five Points Association and bring the new vision of the district to life as it grows and changes with the city.

“Five Points is an iconic neighborhood village known throughout the Southeast,” says Steve Cook, president of the Five Points Association. “McDonald brings the perfect blend of experience and enthusiasm to the position. She knows Columbia and she knows Five Points — but more than that, she shares the vision we have for the future of Five Points and the Five Points Association.”

As executive director of the Five Points Association, McDonald will serve as a key advocate for the Five Points district as well as the manager of the Five Points Association’s daily operations, the board of directors, annual events and more. In doing so, McDonald will work to carry out the Five Points Association’s vision to embrace the historical and cultural significance of the district while also helping to shape its future in a way that benefits the entire community.

“I have always loved Five Points and the energy it carries,” says Heather McDonald. “From working in the district while I was in college at the University of South Carolina, it really feels like I’m ‘coming home.’ I believe there is something special brewing in Five Points and I cannot wait to build relationships in this community and work towards the future of this important district.”

Throughout the years, McDonald’s expertise landed her multiple leadership roles — including becoming a board member for the contemporaries with the Columbia Museum of Art, the president of the board of directors at The Therapy Place and the Time to Give chairperson for Columbia Opportunity Resource (COR). McDonald’s professionalism and leadership also led her to winning awards such as the Martha C. Edens Community Leadership Award and South Carolina Zeta Lady.

“The leadership and experience McDonald brings to the executive director role will benefit Five Points and the Five Points Association,” says Cook. “Her ability to build consensus among key audiences will allow the organization to have a true advocate for the area made up of locally-owned businesses in the area.”

Founded in 1983, the Five Points Association is the only nonprofit organization to govern the commercial neighborhood district. Extending its influence and reach to create an environment that attracts new businesses and supports existing ones, the Five Points Association has played an integral role in the growth of the district by advocating for those businesses, focusing on the beautification of the neighborhood and promoting local events such as St. Pats in Five Points.

Founded in 1915, Five Points remains a one-of-a-kind district that has more than a century of rich history. Today, Five Points is home to more than 100 businesses, including unique retailers, restaurants and bars, commercial businesses, living spaces and much more.

“It starts with our community — the district’s businesses, neighbors, students, residents, property owners and tourists,” says McDonald. “All of them are important and need to be heard. I am here to listen and act on the behalf of our great community.”

Founded in 1983, the Five Points Association is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the growth and evolution of Five Points, a one-of-a-kind commercial and residential district that is home to more than 100 businesses. Led by an executive director and governed by a board of directors, the Five Points Association oversees the efforts to promote, grow and support the Five Points district. The Five Points Association oversees the district’s events, development, clean and safe team and beautification projects. Visit to learn more.

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