WILMINGTON — Main Street Wilmington Co-Directors Julie Bolton and Darcy Reynolds have been working diligently with the Main Street Board of Directors over the past few months on strategic planning and a re-branding of the non-profit organization.
The board leadership has changed a bit, too — President Angela Mitchell has stepped down from that position after five years, with Matt Purkey agreeing to take on the role. Mitchell will continue to serve as Board Treasurer and Taylor Stuckert was named Vice President.
A new direction
To better reflect the group’s purpose and priorities, a new Mission Statement was created and adopted by the board. The statement now reads:
“Main Street Wilmington’s mission is to promote historic preservation and economic development with the goal of maintaining a cultural downtown district that attracts entrepreneurs and retains businesses, serving as a vital hub for housing, shopping, dining and entertainment.”
According to Co-Director Darcy Reynolds, “One of the most significant changes is the transition away from the old membership model to that of Business Partner. We want to be inclusive and welcome all downtown merchants to feel involved and invested in the overall community goal of a vibrant downtown. We aren’t going to get hung up on whether a downtown business chooses to become a Business Partner or not. We are all in this together.”
As a new events schedule and planning strategies take shape, Main Street Wilmington also has a new graphic brand and look. The website has had a facelift while being optimized to meet the rigorous Google standards for 2017 by meeting security and mobile-first requirements for page ranking and search. View it at: https://mainstreetwilmington.com/
Although Main Street may be best known for its signature events like Party at the Mural and the Wine Walk, Main Street serves as much more than just downtown party planners. The group is also focused on the preservation and revitalization of downtown Wilmington.
Currently the organization is working with the city to design and develop a system of wayfinding which could include new information kiosks with maps and walking tours and historical building markers.
“We want first-time visitors to Wilmington to become repeat visitors because they had a great experience in a charming, little midwestern town,” said Co-Director Julie Bolton. “There are some beautifully restored buildings like the Fife & Bosworth, and the murals that are a hallmark of our city. We want to celebrate and build on what we have in downtown Wilmington.”
“What happens in downtown Wilmington throughout the entire year is critically important to its appeal and long-term growth,” said Reynolds. “The visitor experience, particularly for pedestrians, is an important focus for Main Street Wilmington. “ We know the downtown experience is combination of many factors along with a strong mixture of historical and commercial appeal. We want to work collaboratively with other local organizations on projects that affect both Wilmington residents and visitors, like streetscape beautification and pedestrian safety.”
Downtown needs you
With many goals and projects planned for 2017, Main Street Wilmington is counting on community involvement and leadership.
“We’ve had a lot of people contact us to see how they can get involved, and we’re responding to that desire for community participation,” said Bolton. “We have a new Volunteer Application on the website available to anyone in the community. If you can give a few hours of time to an event or administrative duties, it means a great deal to us!
“You can volunteer at an individual or an organizational level. Perhaps you’ve been looking for a new opportunity to meet some community volunteer hours — we can find something that will serve Main Street Wilmington as well as your volunteer hour quotas.”
Merchant Meet & Greet
Main Street Wilmington is hosting a Merchant Meet & Greet Friday, Feb. 3 at 8:30 a.m. at Jen’s Deli. The meeting is open to any downtown business owner or shop manager who has an interest in downtown. You do not have to be a current “member” to attend.
The purpose of this Meet & Greet is two-fold. The group’s new mission and vision will be shared, as well as more details about this year’s event schedule which includes more family friendly events. They also want to meet new merchants and give them the opportunity to meet each other.
This Meet & Greet will be a very casual hour before most shops open, an excellent way to start the new year, meeting new friends and fellow business people and making connections. Please plan to attend and enjoy free coffee, and bring some business cards to share.
Main Street Wilmington shares an office with the Chamber of Commerce, Energize Clinton County, and United Way at 100 W. Main St. Co-Directors Darcy Reynolds and Julie Bolton are in-office Tuesday through Friday, but they are often at meetings with merchants in their shops, at the city building, or “walking the beat” and meeting with community volunteers. It is best to call ahead or email and make an appointment at 937-382-2737 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit: mainstreetwilmington.com; facebook.com/DowntownWilmington/; https://www.instagram.com/mainstreetwilmi/; or https://www.pinterest.com/mainstreetwilmi/