Athens Main Street seeks input for strategic plan; announces new executive director

ATHENS, Ala. –  Athens Main Street looks ahead to engaging the community in crafting a vision for downtown Athens and outlining the goals for the program during a Main Street Alabama Refresh Resource team visit this fall.

During the three-day process, Main Street Alabama will conduct a community visioning workshop, interview various groups; including business owners, residents, civic organizations, and public officials, and make initial recommendations for the program during a public presentation on the last day.  The recommendations, backed by current market data, then becomes the strategic plan for Athens Main Street.

Guiding the process is Athens Main Street Executive Director, Tere Richardson, who started her new role on June 18. 

Athens Main Street new Executive Director Tere Richardson

Richardson, a native of Limestone county and Clements High School alum, obtained degrees from Athens State University and Troy University, worked in the corporate world for 10 years in project management consulting with global clients including Honeywell, Maytag, and Lenscrafters, to name a few, before venturing in the not-profit-sector.  For the past 25 years, she has served on local boards, planned events, and coordinated volunteers for organizations including the Cincinnati Historical Society, the St. Louis Zoo and numerous schools.  Richardson is also the current Board president of Limestone County Churches Involved, Chair of Athens Rotary Service Projects, and member of the Athens State University Visitor’s Board and Finance Committee.

Richardson and her husband, Gary Van Wagnen have two sons, Alec, a University of Alabama student and Mack, a student at Auburn University.

“I am excited to begin my new role as Athens Main Street Director.  I look forward to getting community input during the Refresh. Community buy-in is essential to the program’s efforts to make our historic downtown an exciting place to shop and enjoy,” said Richardson.  “I am honored to work with such an incredible community and cannot wait to see what the future holds for Athens and the Main Street Program.” 

“Tere’s experience in community driven efforts, volunteer development along with her organizational skills, will be an asset to the Athens Main Street organization,” said Laurie Glenn, Athens Main Street Board President. “We are thrilled with the new leadership, development of the strategic plan, and being able to support the program with the assistance of Rylee Lefevre, our summer intern.”

Rylee Lefevre, an Athens resident and University of North Alabama student, is chairing Fridays after Five, assisting with the Athens Saturday Market, and coordinating the various social media platforms. 

Athens Main Street Summer Intern Rylee Lefevre

Athens Main Street is a nationally accredited Main Street program that uses the National Main Street Four Point Approach™ that focuses in areas of Design, Promotion, Organization, and Economic Vitality to revitalize downtown Athens.  Since June 2014, 19 net new businesses have opened, creating 118 net new jobs, with $3,193,316 in private investment in Downtown Athens.  Athens Main Street also reported 6370 volunteer hours during that time.

You can reach Athens Main Street Executive Director Tere Richardson by filling out the form below.