N.C. Main Street Champions honored

Press release from N.C. Department of Commerce-Public Affairs: 

Main Street Champions, individuals who work and advocate for downtown revitalization across the state were recognized for their commitment this morning at an awards ceremony breakfast in Shelby. Thirty-six individuals received honors for their contributions in 2016.

“Downtown districts are important economic engines in our state,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “The men and women we’re recognizing today are the people who keep those engines running, generating prosperity for communities all across North Carolina.”

“This year’s Champions represent Main Street board members and volunteers, elected officials and city employees, developers, entrepreneurs, artists and leaders in the local food economy,” said Liz Parham, director of the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center.

This year’s group of Main Street Champions brings the total number to 639 since Champions were first named in 2000. Today, the Main Street Center celebrates its 37th anniversary as the state’s leading resource in downtown revitalization.

2016 N.C. Main Street Champions

· Steve Pepitone, Belmont
· Leslie Loggeman, Brevard
· Andrew West, Cherryville
· Alfredo and Samantha DiPinto, Clinton
· Patrick Reilly, Concord
· Randy Hunt, Eden
· Gigi Sawyer, Edenton
· Ken Gulaian and Kari Heerdt, Elkin
· Stacey and Justin Conner, Forest City
· Mark Doble, Fuquay-Varina
· John Hodges, Garner
· Walt “Lance” Slagel, Hendersonville
· Brandon Shoaf, Hertford
· Tammy Panther, Hickory
· Glenda Wilson, Lenoir
· Tyler Prevatte, Lexington
· Erin Adams, Marion
· John Amon, Mooresville
· Bill Taylor, Morehead City
· Mike Crotts and Mike Fincher, Morganton
· Jill Towery, Newton
· The Public Works Team and Green -Thumbers, North Wilkesboro
· Clark and Susan Turner, Reidsville
· Stepheny Houghtlin, Rocky Mount
· Marji and Al Stehle, Roxboro
· Rutherfordton STEP Marketing Committee, Rutherfordton
· Brian Bystry, Sanford
· Spencer Borders, Shelby
· Daniel, Vickie and Anna Evans, Smithfield
· Beth Byerly, Spruce Pine
· Statesville Community Appearance Commission, Statesville
· Tryon Coffee House Co-op, Tryon
· Michael Johnson, Wake Forest
· Earl Cook, Waxhaw
· Waynesville Public Art Commission, Waynesville
· Wilbur Edwards, Williamston

Since 1980, The North Carolina Main Street program has generated $2.5 billion in private and public investment. More than 22,400 cumulative NET new full-time and part-time jobs and 5,500 new businesses have been created in North Carolina Main Street districts since the program’s inception.

More information about the North Carolina Main Street & Rural Planning Center and its programs is available online at nccommerce.com/MainStreet.

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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