Award Winning Projects, Entrepreneurs and Volunteers Honored
April 22, 2022 (Des Moines) – Main Street Iowa hosted the annual Main Street Iowa Development Awards celebration this evening at Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines. The program honored the efforts of those who work tirelessly to revitalize Iowa’s downtowns – the heart and soul of communities across the state. The awards honor outstanding accomplishments, activities and people making a difference in the state’s Main Street districts.
This year, 13 projects were selected to be recognized from the 76 competitive nominations submitted. Governor Kim Reynolds and Debi Durham, executive director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Iowa Finance Authority, presented the honors. Forty-three leadership award recipients were honored throughout the evening for their significant and inspirational leadership and volunteer contributions to their local Main Street programs. Governor Kim Reynolds and Debi Durham, executive director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Iowa Finance Authority, presented the honors.
Jefferson received the following state awards and special recognitions: Winner of the Placemaking Project (Small Scale): Arch Alley and the Leadership Award: Tower View Team. Jefferson was also recognized for achieving 10 years of being a Main Street designation. As part of the event, two Iowa communities were recognized with a special honor for being named recent Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) semifinalists by Main Street America. Jefferson (2020 GAMSA Semifinalist) and Mount Vernon (2022 GAMSA Semifinalist) were honored for exemplifying the use of the Main Street Approach to revitalize traditional downtowns and neighborhood business districts. The Spirit of Main Street Award was also presented to the network of 53 local Main Street Executive Directors for their dedication, creativity, and commitment to their local economic development efforts through the challenges of 2020 and 2021.
Representing Jefferson, Jefferson Matters: A Main Street and Chamber Community and the Jefferson City Council were Shelly Berger, Lynda Cochran, Chris Deal, Emily and Josh Dyer, Deb Kucerak, Karen Lawton, Deb and Marc McGinn, Jolene Peters, Dianne and Mike Piepel, Bill and Peg Raney, Don and Jean Van Gilder, Beth Vander Wilt, Matt and Toni Wetrich, and David and Linda Williamson.
“The Main Street Iowa program is a powerful economic development tool that has stood the test of time since its introduction in 1985,” said Durham. “We continue to see significant growth in business, jobs, and investment in communities of all sizes because of the program. As a result, these districts serve as inspiring examples of what’s possible for Iowa’s downtowns.”
“Main Street is grassroots economic development,” said Michael Wagler, Main Street Iowa State Coordinator. “It is inspiring to witness the impactful work of local Main Street program staff, volunteers, and community partners.”
In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted Main Street America’s Four Point Approach® to district revitalization by establishing Main Street Iowa within the agency that is now the IEDA. Since then, local Main Street programs have made a significant impact on Iowa’s economy, including 5,237 new businesses, 15,759 jobs and more than 13,000 building projects totaling more than $2.4 billion in private investment.
For more information about Main Street Iowa and how all Iowa communities can access commercial revitalization assistance through the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, visit iowaeda.com/downtown-resource-center/, email Michael.Wagler@iowaeda.com or call 515.348.6184.