Supported the growth of 34 Latino leaders and contributed to the sustainability of 11 Latino nonprofits. At no cost to participants, the Illinois LNLA provided Latino nonprofit directors, their emerging leaders and board members of 11 Latino organizations with a series of leadership workshops, on-site technical assistance, mentoring and coaching opportunities geared toward their individual organizations.  These activities began in August 2009 and ended in May 2010.
The Academy is a great opportunity for an emerging leader to become further involved in an organization–a pronounced long-term impact on developing a professional career in Latino nonprofits.
100% of organizations increased their ability in the areas of fundraising, strategic planning and leadership development. A Local Latino Advisory Committee is now in place as a resource to local Latino organizations and initiatives. TCLI collaborated with Chicago-based Latino Policy Forum, then the only organization of its kind in the Chicago region with a primary focus dedicated to facilitating the inclusion of Latinos at all levels in public policy and policy decision-making processes, to plan and implement the Illinois LNLA as the Local Latino Co-Training Partner.  Together, TCLI and LPF created a 14-member Local Latino Advisory Committee that guided curriculum development and selected participants through a competitive application process.
I gained confidence in my ability to lead and seeing the value of my contributions encouraged me to move up in responsibility in the organization.
For the uninitiated, MMSA is a comprehensive revitalization program that promotes the historic and economic revitalization of traditional business districts in the state.
With less than a year on the job, MMSA executive director and state coordinator Stacy Pair said her first few months have been rewarding but not without challenges. The cost of certification is $10,000 for the first year and tapers down to $2,000 annually after the fourth year.
Mayor Rex Smith said that becoming a certified Main Street community will unite his town of 4,500. Pair believes the important role that historical preservation plays in the Main Street program sometimes gets lost. Prior to becoming executive director, Pair served as MMSA’s Southern District director, working with 21 certified Main Street associations from Jackson to Gulfport. Restorations and conversions of historic buildings across Mississippi stalled when the state ran out of historic tax credits are back in motion with the Legislature’s $60 million replenishment of the credits.
The $60 million allocation is for five years and limits the state credits to $12 million annually. Barnes noted the new allocation will allow developers to move forward with commercial projects such as conversion of the vacant Eastland Federal Courthouse in downtown Jackson to mixed-use and the conversion of the former Veterans Hospital in Gulfport to a resort hotel and mixed-use development. Property owners and developers whose projects qualify for the credits can use them to defray 25 percent of the cost, primarily for construction, of a historic preservation. Legislators were unwilling to say why they insisted on limiting the allocations, according to Dent.
While Dent figures a number of projects are already certified for the credits and will soon begin taking them, he said he thinks the amount of credits available will be sufficient to allow new commercial projects to move into the pipeline. Recipients do not get the credits until the project is completed, but credits are designated as eligibility milestones are met.
Like Dent, Jim Woodrick, director of historic preservation for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, expects the tax credit allocation is sufficient to allow new projects to move from the drawing boards to actual construction. The Hertz Investment Group plans to promptly seek certification for preservation credits that are a key to converting downtown Jackson’s Regions Building, once the home of Deposit Guaranty, to apartments.
Barnes, the Heritage Trust chief, said the decision to keep non-revenue producing residential restorations from eligibly diminishes an holistic approach to preserving Mississippi’s past.
Dent said he expects the exclusion of single-family dwellings from the historic tax credits will have particular impacts in such historic cities as Vicksburg and Natchez.
Downtown is full of small businesses, and this week those businesses are being highlighted nationally. The speaker for the webinar will be John Shapiro, director of product management and payments for Intuit Quickbooks. Other webinars held this week covered voluntary benefits, the decline of magstripe cards, apps and services that will help grow a business, and capital and business loans. Carly Wilbanks of New Albany, MS, has been named the director of the New Albany Main Street Association. The New Albany Main Street Association was designated a Mississippi Main Street Community in 1997. Wilbanks attended Northeast Mississippi Community College and Mississippi State University earning a Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology. Wilbanks served as the event coordinator for the Special Olympics at MSU and has experience in retail sales and fundraising.
Since New Albany was designated as a Mississippi Main Street Community, over $1.6 million in private investments and nearly $9 million in public investment have been reported. In addition to being named one of the top Main Street programs in the state, the New Albany Main Street Association boasts one of the lowest vacancy rates state-wide and contributed to 92 new businesses and 227 new jobs. For more information about the New Albany Main Street Association, please call (662) 534-3438.
When it comes to food, it doesn’t get any better than fresh, locally produced products.
The Mississippi Farmers Market is held inside an 18,000 square foot building, making it one of the largest in the state. Definitely not your usual farmers market, the Starkville Community Market offers cooking and gardening demonstrations, how-to sessions, kids activities, live music, and more. Located in the historic town square, this farmers market is opened every Saturday between April 23rd and October 29th, from 8 am – 1 pm. Reopening less than a year after Hurricane Katrina, this farmers market has truly flourished over the years, and now includes fresh produce, Country Girls Creamery dairy products, pies, breads, jams, jellies, Ms. This farmers market, which is held in the parking lot of the Olive Branch City Hall, is scheduled to open at 8 am on June 4th, and will continue to be open every Saturday through September 24th.
Held at the Corinth Depot, this seasonal market attracts local farmers, gardeners, artisans, and craftsmen, resulting in an impressive variety of merchandise. For the past 13 years, this market has been bringing locally grown fruits and vegetables to downtown Hattiesburg. Located on Old Canton Road, this permanent fixture is the place to go for fresh produce year-round.
Opening at the end of April, this Pontotoc farm features an on-site farmers market, which sells fresh produce and plants that are grown right on the farm. Whether you’re looking to buy some fresh fruit and vegetables or actually want to pick your own, Prospect Produce Farm has got you covered.
Although the 2016 schedule has yet to be announced, preparations for Vicksburg’s spring and summer farmers market are already underway. Beginning on May 7th, the much-anticipated Mid-Town Farmers Market will be opened on Saturdays from 7 am - 11 am and on Wednesdays from 8 am – 1 pm. In compiling the list, the Smithsonian utilized geographical information from Esri to identify towns with populations under 20,000 which were within driving range of a national park of a designated National Park Service location. I don’t often make things personal in public, but, as I considered what I wanted my Main Street family to hear, it seemed appropriate.
1977 began my teaching career at Northeast Jones High School, and I found my way back to downtown to help Clinton Harrington Piano Co. In 1989, I returned to teaching, this time at Watkins High School, and worked in the Laurel school district until finishing my music educator career at Nora Davis Magnet School in 2002.
Home Town will feature Laurel as a main character, and we are all players on this stage for a season. Mississippi Main Street Association focuses on economic development and revitalization of Mississippi’s historic business districts.
Mississippi Main Street Association currently has offices in Jackson, Columbus, Oxford and Gulfport. Imagine that your friends who have come in town to visit, stayed overnight at the beautifully restored Art Deco masterpiece, the Threefoot Building, in one of the new Courtyard by Marriot suites. Your daughter, who is attending the School of Kinesiology at MSU downtown, joins you for the parade, which you view from the balcony of her new BellSouth Building apartment, which faces the beautifully decorated city hall lawn. You try to remember what it looked like just five years earlier, and it all seems a distant gloomy memory. The next day, after having breakfast at one of the new coffee shops, you show off the new magnificent wonder, the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience, to your out of town friends.


After experiencing a taste of all the arts of Mississippi, you have a lively discussion concerning where you are going to have lunch, because there are so many options.
After lunch, you indulge in some serious shopping, marveling at how many new stores there are, as well as how many have become downtown traditions, such as The Liberty Shop, Loeb's, and LaBiche.
In addition 26 new privilege licenses were granted and an additional $14 million was invested by property owners during 2015. In January, Mississippi Main Street conducted the Backstage Pass Conference in Meridian for Main Street managers across Mississippi, as well as other event planners.
Meridian Main Street has been providing support to the local developers and business owners as part of an Economic Development Program, as well as creating events that bring thousands to downtown Meridian.
Meridian Main Street's Promotional Program creates events designed to improve our quality of life, rekindle community pride, improve consumer and investor confidence in our downtown commercial district, and create awareness and excitement about downtown. Our Economic Restructuring Program strengthens our existing economic assets, while diversifying our economic base.
The goal of our design program includes getting Main Street into top physical shape and creating a safe, inviting environment for shoppers, workers, and visitors. The Meridian Main Street Board includes Alisha Bailey, Von Burt, Bubba Hannah, Ron Harper, Beverley Hearn, Dustin Hill, Robb Hudson, Tricia LaBiche, Terri McKelviane, Reginald Mnzava and Buster Thomas. Saltillo Mayor Rex Smith began lobbying for the town to join the Mississippi Main Street Association about a year ago.
Saltillo formally became the 52nd member of the Mississippi Main Street Association Tuesday morning.
Saltillo Mayor Rex Smith pushed for the city to join MMSA and wants to find a way to pull together the traditional downtown of Mobile Street along with the new business corridor of Highway 145.
The mayor wants the city to tap into folks passing through or close by the city of 4,500 people.
The cost of joining MMSA is steep on the front end – $10,000 for the first year tapering down to $2,000 annually after the fourth year. According to MMSA, designated Main Street communities receive a minimum of $25,000 in technical assistance during the first year alone.
As part of that commitment Smith says the city has already hired a Main Street Director, Lindsey Hines. But, officials admit that the Main Street designation, like the growing business sector, has not happened over night.
Main Street officials say the program provides technical, architectural, and other services.
They say Saltillo is now part of a network of some 1,800 Main Street members across the country.
Biloxi is one of 10 cities chosen nationwide that will benefit from the vision and knowledge of experienced planners with the Main Street program. At a city hall news conference Thursday afternoon, the visitors talked about their favorable impressions of Biloxi and the promise and possibilities they see for future progress. Biloxi is uniquely positioned to draw upon its history and geographic location to enhance both tourism and economic development.
At a city hall news conference Thursday afternoon, the visitors talked about their favorable impressions of Biloxi and the promise and possibilities they see for future progress and economic development.
The planners will take their suggestions and compile them into a report that will be presented during a future visit in the next 18 months. Many small town success stories have a difficult time making it past the city limits, but one Mississippi-based documentary film company recently made the first step at changing how these tales of success are told.
At the Oxford Film Festival last weekend, Blue Magnolia Films introduced four short documentaries that depict how Mississippi small-town businesses are revitalizing and inspiring their communities.
So with the help of state agencies like the Mississippi Main Street Association, Mississippi Film Office, the Mississippi Development Authority and the Mississippi Arts Commission, the couple set out to make 25 films highlighting small-town success stories leading up to the state’s bicentennial in 2017. One of those business owners, Andy O’Bryan, founder of Yalobusha Brewing Company in Water Valley, spoke about how his company started out from scratch and has grown to selling beer throughout the entire state and in Louisiana and, most recently, Tennessee. The panel elicited numerous questions from the audience who engaged the entrepreneurs with inquiries about their businesses, and it was just what Griffin and Fast wanted. As Griffin and Fast complete the remaining films in the series, they do so with the mission of spotlighting the small-town success stories that are transforming and inspiring the state of Mississippi. Kathy LaPlante, Senior Program Officer with the National Main Street Center, and Kennedy Smith, who is best known as the longest-serving director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center, will be conducting the Biloxi Refresh program. The two days will consist of a tour of the district and community, strategizing sessions with city officials and will close on Thursday with a Press Conference at Biloxi City Hall at 1 p.m.
The communities selected will receive 12 to 18 months of free hands-on technical and community assistance from experts nationwide, funded by the John S. Saltillo Community Director Lindsey Roper Hines will direct the Saltillo Main Street program.
The two-day conference allowed leaders from various communities both local and state wide, to work together by sharing ideas on how to help their towns grow, but is also brought together professional exhibitors and creative and preforming artists so they can showcase what they have to offer. This conference not only impacts towns across the state, it also impacts our local community. At the end of the day every piece of knowledge learned will help build local community character and help community leaders contribute to the creative economy and the quality of life. A mural greets residents and guests at the mouth of Main Street in Water Valley, Mississippi.
Hundreds of them sent blue collar working men and women flocking to the Houston area to cash in… literally. Lafayette County already has its version of Houston (Oxford) and we swell and relax as the seasons change and as our UM students dictate. The vigorous downtown development mission (Water Valley Main Street Association) perpetually works to improve the area, spur economic development and provide a plethora of entertainment opportunities for residents and its cousins from the north (Oxford).
Arguably, one of the most essential proponents of the Boom Town blitz is 10-year Valley resident Kagan Coughlin who has in the past few years dumped a tremendous amount of time, effort and resources into several ventures in the Main Street district (more on these below). Down the street from the galleries, new dining and drinking establishments have popped up as well. The extremely popular Crawdad Hole (restaurant) opened in 2011 and features seafood and Cajun and Creole foods, definite favorites anywhere you venture in North Mississippi.
Reaching deep into its versatile genre art bag, Water Valley Main Street attracts history buffs in droves to the Water Valley Casey Jones Railroad Museum located across the street from the Yalobusha Brewing Co.
Many of those communities have distinctive downtown thoroughfares, chock full of awe-inspiring historical architecture, eclectic businesses and hometown pride. According to the National Main Street Center website, the movement collectively is the nation’s leading voice for preservation-based economic development and community revitalization. MSM staff members collaborate with interested cities and towns, making sure they have a sustainable budget and proper training.
Designated Main Street communities also receive an approximated value of $25,000 in technical assistance during the first year alone.
The small community near Tupelo became the 52nd member of the Mississippi Main Street Association in March. Immediately following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she served as chair of former governor Haley Barbour’s Mississippi Gulf Coast Preservation Task Force. Unlike the initial $60 million allocation in 2006, the new round of credits excludes non-revenue producing residential properties. They become especially attractive when combined with the 20 percent federal historic tax credits. He agreed they may have wanted to ensure the credits would last for their five-year authorization. The Mississippi Main Street Association focuses on economic development and revitalization of Mississippi's historic business districts.
While the financial investment is an important component, Main Street programs are better known for improving quality of life for communities.
Located on High Street in Jackson, the market is currently open every Saturday from 8 am – 2 pm. The annual event takes place at Fire Station Park and is held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, from May through August.


Check out the Green Market for yourself the first Saturday of the month from April through November.
This year, patrons will be treated to another great selection of merchandise as well as donation based yoga classes and live music.
Among the fruits and vegetables, customers can peruse Freshway’s large selection of sauces and other condiments, including Mississippi honey and locally made barbecue sauces. Held in downtown Cleveland on Cotton Row, the market attracts vendors and farmers, selling everything from produce and dairy products to baked goods and pickled vegetables. Be sure to check the Vicksburg Farmers Market Facebook page for more information as it becomes available.
In addition to a variety of vendors, this farmers market offers fun for the entire family, including a Children’s Day and live music. I coordinated with NBC throughout this time, lobbied the legislature, and spoke to districts encouraging them to walk out. I was offered a job directing the Whole Schools Initiative; I literally laughed in the face of the person making the offer.
That’s what I told Ben and Erin Napier when they were presented this unbelievable chance with HGTV. Then all of your friends enjoyed the Meridian Main Street Mardi Gras events all afternoon, and end the evening by attending one of the many live music venues downtown.
Exhausted from shopping, the kids clamor for ice cream at one of the new ice cream parlors. The future is looking very bright for 2016, with exciting plans for 16 buildings in downtown. There are city leaders, county leaders, individual investors, developers and business leaders who have championed the revitalization of downtown Meridian.
Events such as Mardi Gras, Merry Meridian, Earth’s Bounty, Candy Crawl, Kid’s Art Crawl, and the Just Start It! All of this activity brings vitality to downtown and has encouraged development and investment. This is accomplished by retaining and expanding successful businesses and attracting new businesses that the market can support. MMS has been working with public works on street lighting and working with the police to make sure there is adequate police presence downtown. Our organization goes way beyond our employees, Karen Rooney and Debby Delshad, and intern. 7, John Tampa officially received the keys to the art deco masterpiece, the 16-story Threefoot Building.
While he asked to join as an associate member, the Saltillo Board of Alderman decided to spend the extra money to become a full member. In the coming months, officials with the state organization will spend plenty of time in Saltillo, trying to develop a strategy to help the town. A traffic study showed 13,000 cars a day travel Highway 145 and another 40,000 pass by on U.S. Since 1993, MMSA has provided more than $4 billion in public and private re-investment back into Main Street communities. Eventually, O’Bryan wants to market his product in every state that has a Southeastern Conference football program. And by spreading the word through film, they fully expect these documentaries to make a difference in small towns. Festivals and events that take place along main streets in downtown communities help not only spur economic development but promote tourism.
With over a dozen Meridian event planners and organizers in attendance all with the goal of learning how to make our Queen City prosper. Old Fashioned Grocery on Main Street is yet another Water Valley jewel that must be seen… as well as tasted (see photos and video below).
Housed on the site of the former Illinois Central Railroad Depot, the museum is open Thursday-Saturday from 2-4 p.m. A selection panel judges the process and eventually decides whether a community is ready for certification. Additionally, Saltillo joins a network of some 1,800 Main Street members across the nation. But he expects the $12 million cap on yearly allocations to destabilize overall restoration efforts, considering the multi-year undertaking most restorations involve. The Vicksburg Main Street Program has joined in on the fun by showing webinars created by the Small Business Administration. Downtown revitalization promotes restoring those places that make New Albany unique that people connect to as well as fostering a vibrant business climate in the historic core of the town. The New Albany Main Street Association is a community partner with the Magnolia Civic Center, Union County Historical Museum, Junior Auxiliary, Biscuits and Jam Farmer's Market, Union County Development Association, New Albany Tourism, and numerous organizations.
From one of the largest farmers markets in the state to those that are located on actual farms, these 13 Mississippi farmers markets are a must visit. The Hattiesburg Farmers Market is held in Town Square Park on Thursdays from 3 pm – 6 pm.
You-pick blackberries and muscadines are available when in season, so be sure to check with the farm before your visit. I filmed TV commercials, co-hosted radio shows, did voiceovers, hosted street dances and battles of the bands and talent nights, and got all my choral friends to bring their choirs downtown to usher in the holidays.
Laurel Main Street is working hard to make sure we are all as ready as we can be, and some interesting changes will arrive soon. Pair of Gulfport, Miss., has been named the State Coordinator for Mississippi Main Street Association.
2015 ended with façade enhancements, complete building restorations and new and exciting plans for 19 neglected buildings!
MMS is working directly with developers and building owners to help them move their projects forward. When you walk downtown and see beautiful, large flower urns, you can thank the Design Committee. They are also renovating the Standard Coffee building, on the corner of Constitution and Front Street for Yates Construction. Leaders from across Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana were doing just that, learning how to build and grow successful festivals and events in various home towns.
The Crawdad Hole is open Thursday-Sunday and can be found on Facebook where they post weekly specials and other gems. Downtown is often referred to as the heart of the town, the part that encourages newcomers to visit or move to and locals choose to remain here. Some of the many visible projects as a result of the New Albany Main Street Association's efforts include decorative lighting, banners, landscaping, the Tanglefoot Trail plaza, benches, trash receptacles, Cooper Park design and maintenance, and decorative street signs. For several years now, MMS has been consistently promoting and helping to develop downtown.
Each of these events, as well as individual stories about the low crime statistics for downtown, has kept downtown in the spotlight. Converting unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property also helps boost the profitability of the district.
This beautification project for downtown includes more than 30 large flower urns displayed in front of participating businesses. So our training gears to making your downtown revitalized, sustainable and thriving,” explained Jeannie Zieren, Director of Training and Information Services with the Mississippi Main Street Association.



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