By Jenny Johnson – The Wayne Ripple Effect has hired a Main Street Executive Director. Lindsey Wooten previously worked in Howell another Main Street Community.
Her role is to facilitate volunteers who are acting to revitalize the community. She will generate a newsletter and maintain the Facebook and website pages.
She will also be in regular contact with business owners.
“The first year is pretty foundational,” she said. After that residents should see more businesses opening and have more events and activities in the downtown area.
Wooten will also work to create partnerships between all stakeholders including the Chamber, DDA, city and Wayne Rotary.
“We all have to work together,” she said.
Even with all of the uncertainty and budget issues in Wayne right now she still thinks Main Street will be successful.
“I wouldn’t have applied if I didn’t see the potential,” she said of Wayne.
Howell is 10 years into the Main Street process.
“It gives me a good foundation to see what needs to be done.”
“I am excited about the enthusiasm of the community. It is new and exciting here,” she said.
Besides the support of the volunteers in Wayne, she has a great network of fellow Main Street managers in the state who are very supportive and all here to help each other.
The Main Street project is a non-profit program that receives support and guidance from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). As a Selected Level community, Wayne will receive five years of intensive technical assistance, with a focus on revitalization strategies designed to attract new residents, business investment, economic growth and job creation to their central business districts.
Wooten said she even sees the positive in the new McDonalds opening at Wayne Road and Michigan Avenue, in the heart of downtown.
“It gives people a reason to stop and hopefully notice downtown,” she said. “They are a captive audience (waiting in the drive thru) and people see something happening here. There is a reason McDonalds chose Wayne.”
Wooten said she would soon be looking for people to serve on committees and be involved in upcoming activities. Check out www.downtownwayne.org for volunteer sign ups.
“I am not going to save the town. The volunteers do it. I just help,” she said.
There will be a Meet the Manager event at 6 p.m. on June 19 for residents, business owners and other stakeholders to meet Wooten. The location has not yet been determined. Check the website or Facebook for details or email firstname.lastname@example.org.