Business and civic leader Barbara Nicklas will end her professional tenure in Columbia on April 8, as she retires from Brookfield Properties, which manages The Mall in Columbia. Nicklas has served as the center’s senior general manager for the past six years after leadership in a variety of local and regional organizations.

“It has been a joy and a great honor to have served as the general manager for The Mall in Columbia,” Nicklas said.  “Being here at this property where I shopped as a teenager, at both the start and the close of my time in the industry, has enabled me to complete the circle on a wonderful career.”

Nicklas started her career at the The Rouse Company in 1981 as assistant marketing director for The Mall in Columbia, where she assisted in the marketing efforts for the new shopping center’s grand opening. This was followed by stints at Rouse operations in Tallahassee, Fla., and Chicago, where she joined General Growth Properties in 1995.

By 2004, GGP had acquired The Rouse Company, and Nicklas was soon in charge of marketing efforts that led to the Downtown Columbia Plan’s unanimous passage by the Howard County Council in 2010. Nicklas was named executive director of the Downtown Columbia Partnership in 2014 and left two years later to take the helm of the mall.

Among her civic accomplishments, Nicklas served on the boards of the Columbia Festival of the Arts, Downtown Columbia Partnership, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, Howard County Chamber of Commerce, Howard County Economic Development Authority, Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County and Howard County Tourism Council, of which she was president. She is current chair of the Planning Commission of the City of Frederick, where she now resides.