The Michigan Main Street (MMS) Program supports downtowns and traditional commercial neighborhood districts by promoting and implementing the Main Street Four-Point Approach® in communities across the state. This approach helps build partnerships and collaboration among stakeholders and encourages historic preservation. It promotes environmentally-sustainable redevelopment, integrates communities' cultural assets and fosters entrepreneurial development and downtown living.
Michigan Main Street communities are designated through a competitive application process that makes them eligible for technical assistance services provided by the state through the MMSC. Today, the MMS program has 16 active Selected and Master Level communities, each of which has adopted the Main Street Four-Point Approach®. Under the leadership of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center, the program is in over 2,000 communities and has stimulated $49 billion in reinvestment in traditional commercial districts.
I am responsible for coordinating activities within Wayland's downtown revitalization, known as the Main Street program, which utilizes historic preservation as an integral foundation for downtown economic development. I assist the board of directors, committees, and volunteers in the development, conduct, execution, and documentation of the Main Street program. I am the principal on-site staff person responsible for coordinating all program activities and volunteers, as well as representing the community regionally and nationally. In addition, I help guide the organization as its objectives evolve.
During my time at Michigan State University, I was involved in the Old Town Commercial Association, a local Main Street community, through an internship opportunity. The more I learned about the program, the more I believed in its mission. Through my experience, I was able to witness first-hand the effects of the program on the local community. It successfully brought together a variety of local talent to revitalize and preserve the historic downtown area. As a community and volunteer-driven program, the energy created by everyone working together was unstoppable. Needless to say, my passion for the program grew and I wanted to be a part of it in a big way. After college I began to look for career opportunities within the Michigan Main Street programs. Fortunately, three Michigan communities had recently reached Selected Level status and were looking to hire a Main Street Manager. When I interviewed for the position in Wayland, I felt an instant connection to the people and fell in love with the city's small-town charm. I couldn't have been more excited when they offered me the job in September and that excitement has only continued to grow. It is my hope that our efforts to revitalize Wayland into a strong and vibrant downtown where families want to visit, work, and shop will help in the state-wide effort toward economic recovery.
If you want to get involved in the Wayland Main Street program or are interested in getting your city involved, please don't hesitate to contact me at alicia[email protected]