2017-10-02 / Spotlight

Move to Improve

Irene Miller, Executive Director | Downtown State College Improvement District

Irene Miller is all about good ideas. As the development and event coordinator at Centre Foundation for four years, she engaged the community on a new level. Outside of work, she started her own event, DreamFest, and brought a free screening of the inspiring film Hidden Figures to The State Theatre. Last month, she announced the creation of the Ladies in Formation, Together (LIFT) Fund at Centre Foundation. Now, in her new role with the Downtown Improvement District, she’s ready to fan the flames of passionate State Collegians.

“People have a lot of really awesome ideas, so it’s just a question of finding the funding and making sure that we’re able to get those ideas off the ground. I’m charged with prioritizing those ideas and making them a reality for the community. It’ll be a good opportunity to give the community more ownership, a stronger voice and hopefully fold them in more to things that are going on and give them a platform to enjoy their own area.”

We caught up with Miller as she began her new gig to see what, besides friends and family, keeps this community figure inspired.

“The pink boa is admittedly ridiculous but it’s also super fun. It came from a Leadership Centre County auction, and it was sort of my brand color for DreamFest. I call it power pink. I just want to uplift girls and women of all ages and let them know you can do anything you want to do.”

“This is from the Great Smoky Mountains. We lived in a national park from the time I was 6 months to when I was 6 years old. These falls were a 20-minute easy hike, so once I was old enough I would head out there. It’s just so beautiful. I spent most of my life in Mississippi but this is my heart.”

“These magnets are totally kitschy touristy souvenirs but they make me happy. I love to have pictures on my fridge of different friends and happy moments, but I’d rather have a fun magnet to hold them up. When you come back from traveling, you think, ‘Oh, I really like that one thing,’ and then you can try to implement it in your own community.”

“I’m not an all-star but softball is just fun. I always played in summer leagues in grade school and middle school. When I moved here I knew I needed to plug in, so the first thing I did was look for a softball team. This year I played in a women’s league and the State College Young Professionals’ co-ed league.”

“My stack of books includes all kinds of things, like a humor book by Christopher Moore, Hidden Figures and this really cool Southern writer Rick Bragg. If it’s nonfiction, I like historical, but I do prefer fiction.”

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