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Effective March 1, Michelle Williams will become executive director of the city-owned Billings Depot.

Williams succeeds Jennifer Mercer, who’s been on the job seven years. Mercer is helping smooth the transition through Feb. 24, the date of the Taste of Billings black tie gala, the Depot’s largest annual fundraiser.

Williams comes to the Depot from A.D. Creative Group, where for the past nine years she was responsible for strategy, account management and business development.

“Michelle will bring leadership and creativity to the Depot’s programs and a deep sense of commitment to the development of the downtown corridor,” said Stave Wahrlich, president of the Depot’s board of directors, in a news release. “She has served nonprofits in program development, fundraising and brand leadership and has a breadth of perspective and experience in event planning.”

Williams is a board member for the Billings nonprofit Arts without Boundaries and was profiled in The Gazette’s 2013 40 Under 40 publication.

“This is an opportunity for me to focus all my energy into bringing to life the stories and history of the Billings Depot for everyone in Billings to share,” Williams said. “I look forward to new collaborations and continuing the positive momentum Jen has created for the Depot and the development of our great downtown.”

Wahrlich credited Mercer with taking “the Depot from shaky ground to a place of financial and historical stability. We wish her the best and thank her for a job well done.”

The Billings Depot is a nonprofit venue that serves the city of Billings and surrounding areas by providing discounted and donated venue space for fundraisers. It’s best known for being the top wedding venue in the region, offering free wedding planning consultation to newly engaged couples.

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