Main Street Program’s first director looking to learn what community needs

With the Main Street program advancing rapidly in Elizabethton, the city has announced the local chapter’s first director, and she wants as much community feedback as she can get.

A Memphis native, Courtney Washburn comes from working at Tusculum University’s Center for Civic Advancement, a department that has a similar role to her new position as director of Elizabethton’s Main Street Program.

“I loved my work at Tusculum,” Washburn said. “I wanted to expand my experience.”

There, her work involved organizing service projects, managing a recycling program, food drives and much more.

Having just recently received a Master’s in Strategic Communication, she said she leaped at the chance to work in Elizabethton.

“There is already a lot of wonderful things in downtown,” she said. “My job is to help elevate it.”

This passion for her community, she said, has been a part of her since childhood.

“For me, the community is valuable to who I am,” Washburn said. “I have always been involved in these areas.”

After receiving her undergraduate at Maribelle College in Tennessee, she said she served as an Americorps member for two years, worked with Keep Blount Beautiful, a branch of Keep America Beautiful, and also worked at the Sustainability Office at UT.

As she has barely been the new director of the Main Street Program for a week, she said her first order of business is to get to know her community better.

“This year is all about strategizing,” Washburn said. “We want to know who is downtown, who is coming to downtown. These are important questions to ask.”

She said she loves this aspect of her job because of the relationships she gets to build with other people.

“It is about relationships, being a voice for the community and what stakeholders want to see,” she said.

The first step, she said, is to have an informational meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15, to talk details, including what the community genuinely wants to see out of the Main Street Program as well as what membership involves. This is important, she said, because she has only lived in the area for about five years.

“I live in Johnson City,” Washburn said. “I am new to this community. There is a lot I need to catch up on.”

Despite this difficult curve, she said her initial experiences with the Elizabethton community have been positive.

“I find it exciting,” she said.”Everybody has been so nice and welcoming.”

She said meetings like this, as well as the program itself, will be made up of the community for the community.

“It is a chance to get involved,” Washburn said. “If they want to be involved, there is a space for them.”

Local news

Memorial Day ceremony honors Carter Countians killed in military conflicts

Arrests

Johnson City man arrested for second-degree murder in stabbing incident

Local news

Memorial Day weekend sees slight drop in Tennessee gas prices despite high travel volume

Local news

Northeast Community Credit Union selects 2024 William L. Armstrong Scholarship recipients

Local news

Elizabethton student receives prestigious Distinguished Tennessean Scholarship

Local news

RM resident graduates from Maryville College

Calendar

Community Calendar

Local news

Farmers Market opens June 4 with new items, old favorites

Local news

A Life Lived: Wayne Peters was  a humble man and kind person

Local news

AAA warns of increased risks for teen drivers during ‘100 Deadliest Days’

Local news

Boys & Girls Club announces winners of Annual Popcorn Fundraiser

Local news

Spring knap-in scheduled Saturday at Sycamore Shoals Park

Local news

ETSU meeting students where they are

Local news

UETHDA announces commodity distributions for June

Arrests

Johnson City Police arrest man on drug and DUI charges

BREAKING NEWS

Second arrest made in murder investigation after man’s remains found in buried freezer

Community

Fish and Chicken Feast June 1 at Boozy Creek

Local news

Hampton man still sought on murder, other charges in connection with body unearthed in freezer

Local news

Elizabethton dedicates first mural despite heavy downpour

Local news

Elizabethton Water Resources lifts boil water notice after line break 

Community

Senior Center Schedule

Community

Buster Barnett celebrates 89th birthday on June 3

Local news

Two former HVHS graduates complete prestigious state-wide leadership program

Community

Isaac Whitehead Family plans reunion June 1