Thursday, February 24, 2011
Bourgeois tapped for Main Street director
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs Main Street Association Board of Directors named Rebecca Bourgeois executive director at its February 9 meeting.
Bourgeois is already part-time executive director of the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce, a role she took over several months ago. She replaces Judy Smith, former Main Street executive director who asked to step out of that role this year.
Andy McMillon, president of the association, commented on how Bourgeois is expected to work well with both organizations.
“Hiring Rebecca to be the director of Main Street helps both organizations add long term stability to each of the director positions,” he said. “It helps Main Street and the Chamber work more closely together since Rebecca will know the plans and ideas of each organization. She has a very friendly nature and loves to work to promote Holly Springs.
“Rebecca also brings a knowledge of grants available to Main Street to help fund the projects we have going forward. She also knows the inner workings of community-based organizations and how to lead them to achieve the necessary goals.”
Both organizations will share the office space at the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce building.
The Main Street Association had shared office space at the Beckley Conference Center on the Rust College campus. But Rust College sought this year to move Main Street off campus and into the community, Bourgeois said.
Both organizations have no objections to having the same person as director as both have common mission statements and goals, Bourgeois said.
There is a trend in small communities for one person to wear the leadership hat of both Main Street and Chamber of Commerce director, Bourgeois said. Towns like Hattiesburg and Canton – with limited resources – are choosing to share a director and office space, she said.
“The organizations remain autonomous, but both have goals which overlap to an extent,” she said. “So we decided to pool our resources and to work together under one roof.”
Both Main Street and the Chamber of Commerce have economic development committees and see to the betterment of the business community.
Main Street is already looking for grants that will work well for both organizations. A Bikers’ Night/Blues Alley grant application is already on the way.
Bourgeois said the chamber will not do a Kudzu Festival but will support Bikers’ Night.
“So the chamber will throw its energies behind this Main Street initiative,” she said.
Main Street is trying to maintain the momentum of Bikers’ Night/Blues Alley while adding another large initiative this year, the farmers market which will be built around the courthouse square on Saturdays.
The committee, under the direction of Gary Adams, has met regularly and expects to start off with 13 or more vendors.
“Gary Adams has really done a great job in keeping the committee informed,” Bourgeois said. “There are great things ahead for Holly Springs.”
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