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Urbanova Announces Executive Leadership Transition

Founding CEO to enter semi-retirement in November.

Kim Zentz, CEO and co-founder of Urbanova, notified the board earlier this year of her desire to move toward semi-retirement while continuing to serve the organization as an executive consultant and board member. Urbanova is evaluating proposals from executive recruitment firms and will launch a national search in September.

“I am gratified to see Urbanova progress from the idea stage in 2014 to its solid position serving communities with a strong and growing portfolio of collaborative projects,” said Zentz. “As a consultant to Urbanova, I look forward to sharpening my focus on our projects in the clean energy and environmental justice realms.”

Zentz’s 40-year career spans executive, entrepreneurial and project leadership, including CEO of Innovate Washington and of the Spokane Transit Authority, as well as founding president and COO of Avista Labs (now ReliOn/Plug Power). She is also director of urban innovation for Washington State University and previously served as director of the Engineering and Technology Management online graduate program for WSU’s Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.

“The board is grateful for Kim’s boundless energy, commitment and multi-faceted leadership in founding Urbanova and developing its reputation focused on the unique opportunities and challenges faced by midsize cities,” said David Condon, chair of Urbanova’s board of directors. “We will be searching for a leader to substantially build on the momentum Urbanova has gained with best practices in Spokane to serve communities across the country.”

Headquartered in Spokane, WA and incorporated in 2016, Urbanova ( is an urban innovation partnership focused on driving equitable solutions for midsize cities. With partners that include Avista, the City of Spokane, Itron, McKinstry, The University District Development Association, Washington State University, Verizon and Gallup, Urbanova builds multi-sector collaborations, develops technology, and harnesses strategies to create more resilient communities. A number of projects are currently underway, including one focused on advancing environmental justice and energy equity, as well as a partnership with WSU to develop interventions and communication strategies to reduce health risks during wildfire events.

Contact: Alison Mallahan, senior manager, corporate communications, Itron (509) 891-3802