Steve Hewins, executive director of Portland’s Downtown District, is leaving the organization at the end of this fiscal year. He intends to return to work in the private sector, but will help his replacement transition into the job, according to a release from the district.

Hewins took the reins in July 2013 at a time when the organization was undergoing significant change in the wake of the unexpected departure of its previous executive director and staff.

According to Michael Mastronardi, chair of the board, Hewins offered transitional leadership and worked closely with the board to rebuild the organization and sent the 23-year-old business improvement district in a new direction.

The process for hiring a new executive director has begun, with applications accepted through May 15.