Mississippi Main Street Announces 2018 Award Winners

 

 

 

Media Contact: Jeannie Waller Zieren, Director of Training and Information

(601) 941-5409

jeanniewaller@msmainstreet.com

MISSISSIPPI MAIN STREET ANNOUNCES  2018 AWARD WINNERS

 June 21, 2018 – JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) celebrated achievements of Mississippi Main Street Communities at the 29th Annual Awards Luncheon in downtown Jackson. 

 MMSA Board President Ed Gardner, MMSA Past President Allison Beasley, and MMSA staff presented awards to recipients from local Main Street programs throughout the state.

The annual awards luncheon honors Main Street directors, board members and volunteers and recognizes the most outstanding downtown development projects from Main Street communities in Mississippi. 

The 2018 Award Recipients are:
Award Name of Entry (Project or Individual) Community Accepting Award
Premier Partner Northwest Community College Senatobia Main Street Julie R. Bauer
Outstanding Creative Fundraising Cleveland Bites Food Festival Team Cleveland Main Street Tasha Huerta
Outstanding Marketing Que on the Yazoo Marketing Campaign Main Street Greenwood Megan Slaughter/Brantley Snipes
Outstanding Community Education Campaign (2) How Downtown Main Street Greenwood Brantley Snipes
Vicksburg Heritage Walking Trails Vicksburg Main Street Kim Hopkins
Creative New Event (2) Mini Wine Downtown and Shopping Tournament Downtown Tupelo Main Street Craig Helmuth
Hattiesburlesque Historic Downtown Hattiesburg Abigail Lenz-Allen and Rebecca Chandler
Outstanding Retail Promotion Sit, Stay, Play, Greenwood Main Street Greenwood Brantley Snipes
Outstanding Image Promotion (2) Meet Me on Main Street Main Street Clinton Jonathan Nutt
Downtown Greenwood Promo Video Main Street Greenwood Matthew Moore/Brantley Snipes
Outstanding Historic Rehabilitation Project Starkville Police Department Starkville Main Street Chief Frank Nichols
Outstanding Public Improvement Project (2) Russell Street Corridor – Entrance to Downtown Starkville Starkville Main Street Michelle Jones
Crosby Commons Picayune Main Street Jim Luke
Outstanding Visual Merchandising Project The Lucky Rabbit Historic Downtown Hattiesburg Abbey & Brandon Thaxton
Outstanding New Development Project Brady’s Steak and Seafood Pascagoula Main Street Steven Brady & Chad Brady
Outstanding Adaptive Reuse Project The Burton’s Building Laurel Main Street Josh Nowell
Outstanding Economic Impact Cottonwood Public House Vicksburg Main Street Tim Cantwell
Outstanding New Business The Steel Forest Furniture Company Columbus Main Street Chip  and Maureen Gerber
Outstanding Community Transformation – Medium Size town Laurel, Mississippi Laurel Main Street Lew Yoder
Outstanding Community Transformation – Small Town Water Valley, Mississippi Water Valley Main Street Jeff Bynum
Main Street Trailblazer Dr. David L. Beckley Holly Springs Main Street Chamber Dr. David L. Beckley
Merchant of the Year Lott Furniture Company Laurel Main Street Rodney Rowell
Outstanding Director of the Year Kay Miller Biloxi Main Street Kay Miller
Main Street Hero Michelle Jones Starkville Main Street Michelle Jones
Mayor George Flaggs Vicksburg Main Street Mayor George Flaggs
Jim Luke Picayune Main Street Jim Luke
Mallorie Rasberry Laurel Main Street Mallorie Rasberry
Penny Frazier Senatobia Main Street Penny Frazier
Dawn Edwards Hernando Main Street Dawn Edwards
Becky Nowell Team Cleveland Main Street Becky Nowell
Bob Luke Meridian Main Street Bob Luke
Doug Pellum Columbus Main Street Doug Pellum
Mayor Dane Maxwell Pascagoula Main Street Mayor Dane Maxwell
Award of Service Allison Beasley SMPDD Allison Beasley
Award of Service Ken P’Pool MDAH Ken P’Pool

 

“This is the Mississippi Main Street Association’s most important event of the year,” said Ed Gardner, MMSA Board President. “It gives us an opportunity to meet with and celebrate the local directors and investors throughout the state that are doing the hard work of making our downtown districts more competitive, successful and sustainable.”

“We are thrilled to honor our economic development and preservation heroes in Mississippi’s downtowns,” Gardner said.

Since 1993, Mississippi Main Street Association has generated more than $5 billion in private and public investment (including more than $1.2 billion in public investment).

In 2017, Mississippi Main Street programs generated 325 net new businesses, 95 business expansions to existing businesses, 1,458 net new jobs, 109 façade rehabilitations and 86 downtown residential units.
 
MMSA currently has 48 active Main Street cities throughout the state, six Downtown Network members, and numerous Associate, Allied professional members, and Friends of Main Street.

 

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Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) has been improving the quality of life in Mississippi for more than 30 years by developing Mississippi’s downtowns. Main Street is an economic development program based in historic preservation. The mission of the Mississippi Main Street Association is to provide visionary leadership, guidance and counsel to Mississippi Main Street communities through organization, promotion, design and economic development to make our cities and towns better places to work, live and play. Since 1993, MMSA has generated more than $5.2 billion in private and public investment (including nearly $1.3 billion in public investment), 36,996 net new jobs, 5,673 net new businesses, rehabilitated 3,298 buildings and added 2,921 downtown residential units. MMSA is a coordinating program of the National Main Street Center, with many public and private partners.
  

For individual photos and awards narratives, please email jeanniewaller@msmainstreet.com. These will be available on Friday, June 22.

 

Laurel Main Street Receives 2018 National Main Street Accreditation


 

 

 

 

 

For Immediate Release                                                                     Contact: Judi Holifield, Executive Director Laurel Main Street

(601) 433-3255

info@laurelmainstreet.com

 

Laurel Main Street

Receives 2018 National Main Street Accreditation

 

Laurel, Mississippi — April 26, 2018  Laurel Main Street has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.

“We are thrilled to honor this year’s 829 nationally accredited Main Street America programs for their commitment to preservation-based economic development and the revitalization of their commercial districts,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “The power of Main Street shines across the country through these vibrant communities, who have all worked to generate impressive economic returns, preserve community character, and celebrate local history.”

In 2017 alone, Main Street America programs generated $4.48 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 6,211 net new businesses, generated 30,294 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,737 historic buildings, and clocked 2.7 million volunteer hours.

Laurel Main Street’s performance is annually evaluated by the Mississippi Main Street Association, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

 Laurel Main Street board president, Lew Yoder says, “This has been an exciting year for Laurel Main Street.  We have seen tremendous growth in all of our Main Street events and we have seen more participation and excitement in Downtown Laurel.” He went on to say, “It is an exciting time to be a part of Laurel Main Street and Mississippi’s Downtown.”

Founded in 2007, Laurel Main Street is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to revitalizing historic downtown Laurel, Miss., through preservation and economic growth. They recently received accreditation from the National Main Street Program and maintain membership with the Mississippi Main Street Association. To learn more about Laurel Main Street, please visit www.laurelmainstreet.com.

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $74.73 billion in new public and private investment, generated 614,716 net new jobs and 138,303 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 276,790 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  

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MMSA Downtown Revitalization Awards: Merchant of the Year

The Mississippi Main Street Association‘s award for Merchant of the Year recognizes one outstanding local business owner who has a flourishing and innovative business and displays an involved commitment to downtown and his or her Main Street program.  On June 21, 2018, Lott Furniture Co. received this honor at the annual MMSA Downtown Revitalization Awards in Jackson, MS. The following narrative was written by Ethan Davis and was submitted to the Mississippi Main Street judges panel.

Merchant of the Year

Lott Furniture Co. is Laurel’s oldest business; they have over a century of history in our small town. Rodney Rowell and his wife Angie believe that their business is more than just a means to an end. They believe that it is a resource for them to put down roots in their community.

Lott Furniture

The business is most certainly a family affair. Rodney’s mother, Nelly, worked there for over 50 years, with Rodney and his sister Candy following in her footsteps. In fact, Angie and Rodney met each
other while working at Lott Furniture. Now, their daughter, Keri, is stepping in to continue the tradition. The Lott crew loves history, and they fuse it with present and future in every aspect of their business. They, of course, take payments via credit cards, but they still do their books by hand, still know their customers by name, still care about the person behind the purchase. 

The Lott Furniture business model is revolutionary, but it’s actually not new. The team took Mr. Lott’s original business model—selling furniture on credit—and adapted it to the young couples that move to Laurel. The couples were amazed that they could get amazing furniture and afford it by paying monthly. Lott Furniture is re-educating the youngest generations about building relationships through credit. They also started a series of workshops called Wine and Design that give décor tips and advice on how to turn a house into a home.

However, the most incredible thing about the folks at Lott is their commitment to Downtown Laurel. Their Instagram feed is dedicated to Laurel itself; you’ll only see ads for their products in their stories. Rodney Rowell has been called the cheerleader for Laurel, and a quick look at how much he supports his fellow local businesses attests to that name. He buys everything he can from fellow merchants downtown and is a tireless supporter of Laurel Main Street. Rodney even met with local creative Bethany Byrd of Own Your Hill to create a map of Downtown Laurel and the other merchants there. Lott Furniture paid for the first batch, and it is now a staple in Downtown; every visitor picks one up when they start to explore.

When it comes to Downtown Laurel, the Rowell’s have seen it all: a thriving center of business, a downtown disrupted by urban renewal, the sheds coming down and the streets alive again. Rodney is the go-to guy for all young and older entrepreneurs. He is the epitome of believing, in good times and bad.

Rowell Family

On Thursday, June 21, 2018 the Mississippi Main Street Association hosted their 29th Annual Downtown Revitalization Awards Luncheon at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson, MS.  Each year Mississippi Main Street recognizes excellence in downtown revitalization and honors local Main Street champions.  This is a wonderful opportunity to show the success of Laurel Main Street, to exchange ideas with other Main Street organizations, and is especially encouraging to see other thriving and successful communities. 

What is Loblolly Festival?

Saturday October 6, 2018 · 9am ’til 4pm

Loblolly LumberjackThe Loblolly Festival is held annually on the first Saturday in October and celebrates Laurel’s heritage as a sawmill town. Parking and admission are free, so bring the family and get ready for a fun-filled day!

Vendors from several states, artists, crafters and craftsmen set up shop in the streets of downtown Laurel for this one day event.

From mid-morning to late-afternoon musicians and songwriters will display their talents on the Loblolly Stage.

Festival goers will be enticed by the aromas of the food trucks lining Oak Street. Enjoy authentic festival food like funnel cakes, chicken-on-a-stick and award winning barbecue.

You won’t be able to miss the flannel-adorned Laurel Lumberjack who stands nearly a foot taller than all around him.  He quickly draws a crowd and is happy to oblige those requesting photos.

Look on as a talented artist cranks his chainsaw and shapes logs and limbs into beautiful artwork at this favorite festival attraction, funded by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Teens flock to the Art on Masonite contest, hoping to find the winning ribbon pinned to their own creation.

The Kids’ Zone at the Loblolly Festival grows every year too! There’s something for children of all ages!

Soon, the 2018 Loblolly Festival will be a recent memory, but for now, there is still time to experience the fun and nostalgia as we celebrate our storied past and enjoy our artful, musical, delicious present.

Join us for the 2018 Loblolly Festival in downtown Laurel!

Saturday, October 6th from 9am ’til 4pm

MMSA Downtown Revitalization Awards: Best Adaptive Reuse Project

On Thursday, June 21st, the Mississippi Main Street Association hosted their 29th Annual Downtown Revitalization Awards Luncheon at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson, MS.  Each year Mississippi Main Street recognizes excellence in downtown revitalization and honors local Main Street champions.  This is a wonderful opportunity to show the success of Laurel Main Street, to exchange ideas with other Main Street organizations, and is especially encouraging to see other thriving and successful communities. This year, Laurel Main Street was honored to receive four awards.  Over the coming weeks, we will showcase each award and the work that went into achieving them.  

Best Adaptive Reuse Project

The transformation of the Burton Building on the corner of Magnolia and Oak Streets was The Burton Buildinghonored as Best Adaptive Reuse Project.  As stated by the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA), “This award is granted to the best adaptive reuse of a building that has outlived its former use, including conversion to housing, office space, multiple businesses, public meeting space, restaurants, cultural centers, etc.” The following narrative was written by Ethan Davis and was submitted to the Mississippi Main Street judges panel.

Laurel Main Street Executive Director, Judi Holifield, used to say that rehabilitating the Burton’s building would be the ultimate domino effect; all of the other buildings along Magnolia Street would be sold if only that one could be. After all, anchor buildings like this one can make or break an area. The problem? The Burton’s building needed love and a lot of it, and it needed someone with the vision and patience to breathe life back into the structure. So, the building sat vacant for years—a prominent, depressing eye-sore—that is, until Josh Nowell came along.

Josh had been an oil man until the industry took a turn for the worse, and he needed a new career path. He decided he would invest in Downtown Laurel, starting with the  most ambitious project it had to offer. The renovation took over two years. Floors were removed and structural support added; the old façade was taken to make room for a new one; the outside of the building was washed, and a new paint job was in order; the vintage sign was restored and saved; electricians and plumbers and demolition crews and designers and just about every professional you can imagine contributed at some point. Clearly, it was a labor of love.

The building is now full and is home to two home goods stores, a coworking space, an
engineering firm, and a restaurant. Josh renovated to suit each tenant, which allowed the facades to be different and yet complementary. Each one is beautifully restored with lots of exposed brick and original wood and tiles. The integrity of the building was maintained while allowing new businesses to find a home. The old awnings were replaced with new metal ones of a deep gold color, complimenting the blues and greens on the exterior. CSpire fiber, a cutting edge, hyper-fast internet, was also installed, making the building a fusion between past and future.

The best part of this story is that Judi Holifield was right. Once the Burton’s building was brought back to life, new businesses opened up on Magnolia Street, including Molly Renee’s Boutique, Guild and Gentry, The Loblolly Boutique and Crescent Line Toys. The building has provided not only space for businesses to grow and flourish but has also given the history a chance to continue in new and interesting ways.