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SHOREWOOD - After a decade as Shorewood's planning and development director, Ericka Lang is trading in her full-time job to lead the Shorewood Business Improvement District.

The BID's former director, Jim Plaisted, recently resigned from his part-time roles leading the Shorewood, Wauwatosa and East Side business improvement districts to become the full-time executive director of the Historic Third Ward Association.

The BID Board of Directors hired Lang to fill the vacant director position, which will remain a half-time position. Lang said she doesn't mind a drop in hours and pay to grow in a new role.

"I truly am very excited," she said. "I am looking forward to the challenge of growing in a leadership position."

Lang also looks forward to restoring some work-life balance, such as eating dinner with her family instead of attending lengthy night meetings. Her last day as planning director will end with a village board meeting on Aug. 14. She will start as the BID director on Aug. 16.

Lang first came to Shorewood for a six-month internship in 2006, a month before graduating from UW-Milwaukee with a master's degree in urban planning. After her internship, the village hired her as a planning assistant on a six-month contract before hiring her full-time to oversee the planning and development department in 2007.

During her time as planning and development director, Lang has drafted many planning studies, issued countless permits and digitized the department's records.

Her relationship with business owners and familiarity with the business district will be helpful in her new role, which tasks her with marketing the business district as well as recruiting and retaining businesses. The BID also administers the facade improvement grant and business loan programs, which Lang signed off on during her tenure as planning director.

When she takes the reigns of the BID, Lang said her first priorities will be to take a pulse of existing businesses through a survey. She also looks forward to addressing vacant storefronts, updating the BID website and networking with other business professionals to learn about programs and trends that could boost Shorewood's business district.

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