Erin Napier wins Spirit of Main Street Award

Spirit of Main Street Award
(LtoR) Jim Rasberry, Erin Napier, Ben Napier, Mallorie Rasberry, Nece Hill, Judi Holifield

The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) celebrated achievements of Mississippi Main Street Communities at the 25th Annual Awards Luncheon in downtown Jackson.

Sponsors of this year’s awards ceremony are Mississippi Development Authority, Renasant Bank, Neel-Schaffer, Belinda Stewart Architects, P.A. and Yalobusha Brewing Co.

The presentation of awards was made by MMSA Executive Director Bob Wilson and 2014-2015 Board President Mark Loughman.

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

Among the 2014 Award Recipients was Laurel’s Erin Napier, winner of the Award for Excellence, Spirit of Main Street. 

“This year’s award winners reflect the commitment of many individuals and groups who champion what Main Street is all about – developing the heart of our communities, our historic downtowns, and enhancing quality of life for everyone,” Wilson said.

Since 1993, MMSA, a program of the Mississippi Development Authority, has generated more than $4.5 billion in private and public investment (including more than $1.1 billion in public investment).

In just the past year, Mississippi Main Street programs generated 249 net new businesses, 72 business expansions, 1,228 net new jobs, 94 façade rehabilitations and 248 upper floor housing units. More than 55,297 volunteer hours were recorded.

MMSA has 51 designated Main Street Communities throughout the state as well as five Downtown Networks and several Association Members.

MMSA is a member of the National Main Street Center, Inc., a non-profit subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For the past 33 years, the Main Street Four Point Approach® has been used successfully in approximately 2,000 communities, producing $54 billion in investment, creating 450,000 jobs and resulting in the rehabilitation of more than 229,000 buildings. 

Erin and her husband, Ben,
embody the spirit of our beautiful city and the mission of Laurel Main Street.

Her design work can be seen everywhere from the stunning “Welcome to Historic Downtown Laurel” mural on Central Ave. to this year’s beautiful Farmer’s Market flyer.


Laurel Group

Laurel Main Street Board Members and Elected Officials at MMSA Awards Luncheon

Laurel Main Street recently received two awards from the Mississippi Main Street Association.  Laurel Main Street was recognized for the Best Public Improvement Project, WE ARE LAUREL, cultural heritage banners in downtown and Robby and Angie Scruggs received Best New Signage for the design of  studio 5 fifty arts center.  The organization was also recognized for being an accredited 2013 National Main Street Program by The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Mississippi Main Street Association.  Finally, Hilary Burroughs, has been named to serve on the MMSA board representing Laurel.

MMSA Board retreats in Laurel;

receives ‘celebrity’ treatment


The Taste’s Lauren Scott pictured with MMSA staff and board members.

The Mississippi Main Street Board of Directors recently held its annual retreat in the city of Laurel.  Laurel Main Street hosted the statewide board at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in downtown Laurel.

“We were exceptionally pleased to host the Mississippi Main Street Board in what we consider to be ‘Mississippi’s Downtown’, Laurel, Mississippi, ” Holifield said.  “I think it was a first time visit for many on the board and we were delighted to show off the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, as well as the unique architectural history and heritage of the town that lumber built.

The retreat included a regular Board Meeting as well as a historical walking tour of the city led by George Bassi, executive director of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

On Wednesday evening, following the downtown walking tour, a wine and cheese reception was held at the Rogers-Green House, located on the grounds of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.  The last stop of the evening was dinner at studio 5 fifty in downtown Laurel.

The private dinner was catered by Laurel’s celebrity chef, Lauren Scott, a top 7 finalist on ABC’s reality cooking competition, “The Taste”.  The three-course dinner featured a shrimp appetizer, beef shortribs entree and chocolate molten lava cake, each with wine pairings from Southern California, where Scott lived before moving to Mississippi to continue her culinary endeavors.  Robby and Angie Scruggs, owners of studio 5 fifty and Scruggs Photography, hosted the dinner.

The city of Laurel was designated a Mississippi Main Street community in 2008 and has also been accredited as a National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center.

Since its inception, the Laurel Main Street program has opened 35 net services and retail businesses, created 115 net jobs, 10 business expansions, 15 facade improvements and has more than $3 million in private investments.

Laurel Main Street has received several Mississippi Main Street Awards in the past few years.  These awards include:  Best Capital Campaign in 2012, Best Community Impact Project, 2011, Best Newsletter in 2011, Best Special Event in 2010, as well as the winner of the Adaptive Re-Use Project in 2009.  Holifield received a Main Street Award of Excellence in 2012.

LMSBoard2013 copy

2013 Laurel Main Street Board

Front row (l to r): Ray Palmer, Lew Yoder; Judi Holifield, Brad Kent; Mallorie Rasberry.  Second row:  Anicia Hill, Whitney Pickering, Rex Gilbert, Ben Napier.  Third row:  Eric Roberts, Heather Brown, Adam Trest,  Hilary Burroughs, Dianne Owens.


February 26, 2013

CONTACT:  Judi Holifield

PHONE:  601.433.3255


Laurel Main Street Announces 2013  Officers

Laurel Main Street is pleased to announce its recently elected officers and board members.  President, Brad Kent, SouthGroup Insurance Services; Vice-President, Ray Palmer, BancorpSouth; Secretary, Lew Yoder, Gilchrist, Sumrall, Yoder & Boone and Treasurer, Mallorie Rasberry, Gulf States Marketing.  Serving on the board are Rex Gilbert, Mississippi Power Company; Whitney Pickering, Willow House; Heather Brown, Magnolia State Bank; Hilary Burroughs, Sanderson Farms; Ben Napier, First United Methodist Church; Robby Scruggs, Scruggs Photography; Dianne Owens, Owens Design Group; Adam Trest, Artist; Anicia Hill, City of Laurel; Dr. Sam Jones, Jones County Junior College; Larkin Simpson, Jones County Chamber of Commerce and Danny Hayes, City of Laurel.  Judi Holifield is the Executive Director of Laurel Main Street.



Pictured at the Awards Luncheon:  Vice President, Brad Kent; Executive Director, Judi Holifield; Board Member, Ray Palmer;  Economic Restructuring Chairman, Rex Gilbert.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Laurel Main Street
Judi Holifield (601) 433-3255

Laurel Main Street Wins State Awards

Laurel, Miss. (June 27, 2012) – Laurel Main Street was recognized as a 2012 National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center at the recent Mississippi Main Street Awards luncheon in Jackson. The organization also received the award for Best Capital Campaign. This award is granted to the downtown organization that has displayed the most creativity and success in securing funds for its downtown program or specific project. Entitled “Opening Doors to the Future” the design gave a nod to the timber industry and Laurel’s origins as a lumber town. The doors on the printed brochure opened to reveal the accomplishments, events and developments in downtown. Designed by Erin Napier of Lucky Luxe Couture and Correspondence, this campaign effectively tied Laurel’s roots to the Laurel Main Street brand. Executive Director, Judi Holifield was awarded the Excellence in Main Street Award for her service to the community and downtown programs. “The Board of Directors and volunteers have stayed true to the mission of economic restructuring and revitalization of downtown Laurel, we are honored to accept this award and very pleased that Judi has been recognized for her skills and connection to the community”, stated Ben Napier, President of Laurel Main Street.