Issue III

In the days before the National Main Streets Conference (NMSC) opens, representatives from the 46 Main Street coordinating programs gather to share ideas and to hear about developments in Main Street on the national level. I thought I would take some time in this issue of Intersections to recap what was discussed at the most recent National Main Streets Conference in Atlanta.

Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA)

National Main Street Center (NMSC) opens nominations for GAMSA on June 10th. They plan to host a webinar on June 18th explaining the process, and submissions are due July 31.

We are honored that in Wisconsin, Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership was named a "One to Watch" as a Main Street program well on its way to being a Great American Main Street Award Winner in Atlanta. Congratulations to director Amy Hansen, her board and all their volunteers for bringing this notoriety to our state.

Do you plan on nominating your program for this prestigious award? E-mail us and let us know how we can help.

Certification Institute

NMSC haulted the Certified Main Street Manager program a few years ago, but they didn't give up on the idea of professional development for those in Main Street. Norma Ramirez de Miess has been working diligently to design a new program from the ground up. The format will include online courses, with a Leadership Institute to be held in conjunction with the National Main Streets Conference. NMSC will release more information later this year, but they do expect the online courses to begin in January, and Leadership Institute will launch at the NMSC,... in Milwaukee! Wisconsin Main Street will also have a special announcement regarding Certification Institute. Stay tuned.

Four Point Refresh

The CLUE Group, Kennedy Smith and Josh Bloom, clued (pun intended) us in on results from their recent study of Main Street's Four Points. NMSC tasked them with determining the relevancy of the Four Point Approach 35 years after it all began. With surveys and focus groups with Main Streeters and non-Main Streeters alike, they determined that the Four Point Approach is just as relevant today, but suggested some changes:

  • changing the name of the Economic Restructuring focus to Economic Development;
  • changing trainings and materials, moving from a siloed approach of teaching Main Street to working with programs to develop district transformation priorities into which the Four Points (Design, Economic Development, Organization and Promotion) feed;
  • and repositioning Main Street volunteers from committee-based to task/project-based.

To delve deeper into the Four Point refresh process and results, click here.

National Accreditation

The group also discussed national accreditation for Main Street programs. Currently, the process recognizes programs that get the basics of Main Street right, but it doesn't do anything to recognize programs that are the "rock stars" of the Main Street world. Our group discussion focused on developing a tiered accreditation: the first tier recognizes programs that have a handle on the basics, and subsequent tiers will recognize achievement above and beyond. This was just an initial conversation, so there are no more details to share. Stay tuned for further developments.


The Empty Storefronts Conference presented by NEWaukee Milwaukee, WI June 1, 2015

GAMSA Nomination Opens June 10

Pre-Workshop Networking von Stiehl Winery Algoma, WI June 10, 2015, 6 p.m.

Entrepreneurship Workshop Algoma, WI June 11, 2015

Main Street Director Meeting First Merit Bank 208 Steele St., Algoma, WI June 12, 2015

GAMSA Application Webinar June 18

GAMSA Nominations Due July 31

SAVE THE DATES: Sponsorship Sales Success Chippewa Falls, WI September 24-25, 2015

Social Media Workshops November 2015

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