August 25, 2015

Contact: Marylon Barkan: 205.516.4506,

Program celebrates local successes on Main Street Alabama Day

MONTGOMERY ─ Main Street Alabama celebrated Designated Communities successes on a special day in honor of the organization, as proclaimed by Governor Robert Bentley. Main Street Alabama’s President and State Coordinator, Mary Helmer, announced the winners of the Main Street Alabama Awards of Excellence today in Montgomery with former President of the National Main Street Center, Kennedy Smith and Kathy LaPlante, Senior Program Officer with the National Main Street Center.  The event was sponsored by Alabama Municipal Electric Authority and took place at the Capital City Club in downtown Montgomery.  A total of 30 awards were given during the luncheon. 
“It’s an honor to recognize these outstanding community projects, leaders and volunteers,” stated Mary Helmer.  “Todays award winners represent the most innovative downtown revitalization projects in our Main Street Alabama communities.   The effort and leadership it takes to move these projects from concept through completion is tremendous and we are thrilled to acknowledge such achievements.  We are especially honored to be presenting these awards on Main Street Alabama Day, as proclaimed by Governor Bentley.”  

Awards are as follows:
Main Street Alabama Leadership Award:  
Trisha Black, Spirit of Athens, Executive Director

Main Street Alabama Community Awards are as follows:
Alexander City: Randy Thomas
Athens: T.R.A.I.L
Birmingham: Wayne Honeycutt, Jr.
Eufaula: Steve Cox
Florence: Mike McDaniel
Gadsden: Christian Motorcycle Association- Reborn Riders
Monroeville: Sandy Smith
Opelika: Aaron Bushey
Oxford: OxfordFest Board

Main Street Alabama Awards of Excellence are as follows:

Excellence in Fundraising:  
Athens- Dinner in the Orchard
Birmingham- The Urban Food Project
Gadsden- Party with a Purpose

Excellence in Volunteer Development:
Athens- Spirit of Athens Awards Luncheon

Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships:  
Athens – H.C. Blake Co, High Cotton Arts
Eufaula- Arts and Entertainment District

Excellence in Business Development:  
Alexander City – Missing Piece Competition
Florence - Facebook Tutorials

Excellence in Downtown Marketing: 
Birmingham – 5 Points South Marketing Initiative
Florence – 2015 Downtown Shopping Guide
Gadsden – Holiday Postcard

Excellence in Promotion:  
Alexander City – Downtown Dining Under the Stars
Athens – Athens Saturday Market
Birmingham – Woodlawn Street Market

Excellence in Business Promotion:  
Athens – Sippin’ Cider
Gadsden – Connections

Excellence in Architectural Design:
Athens – 17th Block Renovation
Florence – 102 North Court Street

Excellence in Planning & Public Spaces:  
Opelika – Railroad Avenue Streetscape Project

Excellence in Historic Preservation:  
Birmingham – Florentine Building
Florence – Pop Up Museum

The Awards of Excellence Luncheon is a highlight of the aLABama Downtown Laboratory, a two-day conference that bolsters the efforts of communities participating in the nationally acclaimed Main Street program or those communities interested in downtown revitalization.  The second annual event drew 119 community leaders from 44 cities across the state. 

Main Street Alabama has 16 Designated Programs and 23 Downtown Network Communities.  Alexander City, Anniston, Athens, Birmingham, Decatur, Dothan, Elba, Eufaula, Florence, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Jasper, Monroeville, Opelika, Oxford, and Selma each have Designated Programs and three new communities will be added annually.  Applications to become a Designated Program will be available in Spring 2016. Until then, communities interested in downtown revitalization can participate in Main Street Alabama's Downtown Network.

Main Street Alabama focuses on bringing jobs, dollars and people back to Alabama’s historic communities.  Economic development is at the heart of our efforts to revitalize downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.



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