Athens Main Street Projects Awarded State-Wide Recognition at Main Street Alabama Conference

ATHENS, Ala. – Athens Main Street brought home four awards of excellence at the tenth annual banquet, sponsored by Alabama Municipal Electric Authority and Alfa Companies, at Stovehouse in Huntsville. The award program highlights Athens Main Street’s impact on historic downtown Athens.

Athens Main Street Executive Director Tere Richardson appreciates the village it takes to have a successful Main Street program.

“Athens Main Street appreciates the recognition of the great strides being made toward revitalization in our downtown,” said Richardson. “Thank you to those in our community that were so instrumental in the success of these efforts.”

Athens Main Street was awarded the following:

Excellence in Marketing – This award recognizes outstanding efforts in overall marketing by a Main Street organization to promote the entire district as a destination or a branding or image development campaign.

Athens Main Street Brand Ambassadors

The Athens Main Street brand ambassadors, led by Devin Simmons and Blake Williams, have spent the year capturing unique and authentic experiences downtown. Through their efforts, they showcased merchants, restaurants, events, and even suggested those unique experiences that only downtown insiders know about. The ambassadors consist of a diverse group of high school students, parents, young professionals, and business owners. Also, one of the keys to the program is that all areas of Limestone County are represented by an ambassador.

Excellence in Business Promotion – This award recognizes local promotions, events, and activities that result in increased sales or the development of effective retail promotion in conjunction with district merchants.

Inaugural Athens Main Street Boutique Crawl

18 downtown Athens clothing and gift boutique owners opened their doors to welcome patrons into their shops for major specials and sweet surprises during the inaugural Athens Main Street Boutique Crawl. The clothing boutiques had new Spring clothing lines out and the gift boutiques had new items to refresh homes after the long winter. For each purchase over $20 made the day of the Boutique Crawl, patrons could enter a chance to win a $500 Shopping Spree downtown sponsored by Tiffany Pack and Dream Key Real Estate. The link to enter was created with SurveyMonkey and a QR Code. Photos of sales receipts were uploaded, and the total was just over $30,000 in sales for one day!

Excellence in Building Design (non-historic) – This award recognizes outstanding completed design projects including façade renovation and or interior renovation efforts and infill construction.

Market & Monroe – Market & Monroe is an adaptive reuse project located in downtown Athens that revitalized a long-abandoned pool hall into a premiere event venue. Danny and Sandra Whitfield were among the first movers to embrace the revitalization of this neglected downtown building in quite some time. Market data produced by the Athens 2040 comprehensive plan showed that the downtown area is primed for such a venture, and the late 1800s structure is now one of the first to receive such treatment. To rehab the building into a modernized event venue, the owners worked with a local architecture firm, AMBL Studios, and underwent a complete gut rehab of the structure and space, and a complete teardown and restoration of the storefront façade to address the failing structural members and restore the original historic detailing that had long been covered up. Acquisition, design, and construction put the total cost of this project at approximately $1 million.

Reinvestment Award – The awards were given in recognition of Main Street Alabama programs that have reached major milestones in their district revitalization efforts. Economic impact numbers reported monthly by Athens Main Street were used in the calculation of this recognition.  Athens Main Street’s district reinvestment of over $30 million was recognized.

Local Main Street programs also selected a Main Street Hero that honored an individual, business, or organization that made an outstanding contribution to their program and was recognized at the Toast to Heroes Reception sponsored by Regions Bank prior to the banquet.

Athens Main Street Hero Award – Michelle Williamson

Athens Main Street Executive Director Tere Richardson said the following:

“Michelle Williamson embodies the quote “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” She is the Director of Marketing & Community Relations of one of the busiest and most well-respected engineering firms. In addition, she and her husband own and operates a logistics company. As a volunteer, there is no one that gives more of her time than Michelle. She is a long-time Athens Main Street Board Member, chairs the Promotion Committee, and volunteers for every Main Street event. She also plays key roles in over a dozen or more other non-profit activities in the community.”

For more information on Athens Main Street, visit their website at