Belfast’s local Main Street program, Our Town Belfast, reaches a major turning point March 19th as it welcomes six new members to its board of directors and says farewell to several members who have been involved in the program since its inception in 2010. The public is invited to attend this social event, which will be held from 5:30 to 7pm at PlantLab (in the old “Logos” building at the corner of Main and Church Streets) and catered by The Gothic Restaurant. Executive director Breanna Pinkham Bebb says “The Our Town Belfast annual meeting is an opportunity to gather in honor of all things downtown . We have been hard at work in service of our mission to grow and celebrate downtown Belfast and have exciting things in store for the future”
The “future” of Our Town Belfast is being largely shaped by a recent strategic planning retreat, the first that the Our Town board has participated in, which was held in February and facilitated by Deb Burwell. A sizeable turnover in program governance means that new ideas are being brought to the table. New board members include Abigale Avey and Michael Casby (co-owners of Trillium Catering who recently purchased the “Cool Spot” building on Main Street), Seth Thayer (who is revitalizing the building at 2 Cross Street, formerly owned by Winston York), Wendy Cummings (customer sales and service consultant at Camden National Bank), and Terri Mahoney (advertising director for PenBayPilot.com with deep roots in the downtown business community). Continuing on the board are Marjie Byers (chair), Chris Bitely (vice chair), Dorothy Havey (secretary), Amy Bowen (treasurer), and members Cindy Lloyd, Chris Lobley, Rebecca Miller, Mary Mortier.
The executive director notes “It is always the wish of any nonprofit to have broad-based support and volunteer involvement. It’s exciting to see the way our board has evolved to encompass so many talents and unique points of view among the Belfast community. We have representation from businesses, building owners, city government, the local chamber and other nonprofits, and folks who simply wish to make Belfast a better place for their children and families.” Bebb adds that the board also looks forward to continuing relationships with outgoing directors Coleen Marsh (former chair), Anne Saggese, Mallory Banks Harnden, and Jamie Oates. “These folks have been with us since the beginning, and we cannot thank them enough for their support; from their vision and understanding of the downtown community to their commitment to building an organization from the ground up that would make Belfast a better place to live, work, and play.”
In addition to partnering with PlantLab, The Gothic, and event sponsor Allen Insurance and Financial, Our Town Belfast is delighted to be working with the Belfast Historical Society and Museum on a one-night showing of historic Belfast photographs that will be on display during the annual meeting event. Honoring local history is an integral part of any Main Street program. There are more than 2000 organizations like Our Town Belfast that exist across the nation, and each Main Street program seeks to promote economic development within the context of preserving the historic character of its downtown.
Our Town Belfast encourages all to attend this annual meeting event on March 19th, from 5:30 to 7pm at PlantLab. Bebb says “Whether you are a seasoned volunteer with our program, a local businessperson, or are simply a community member who is interested in learning more about our mission and our accomplishments – all are welcome!”
More information on the annual meeting and Our Town Belfast are available online at www.ourtownbelfast.org and by calling 207.323.9100.