Downtown Washington Inc. will be well represented at the upcoming Missouri Main Street Conference July 23-25 in Kansas City.
Bridgette Epple, executive director, will be a presenter and board member Bryan Bogue will serve as master of ceremonies for the awards dinner.
Slava Bowman, a member of Downtown Washington Inc., also was chosen as the official conference photographer.
Epple said Washington’s contingent will include 11 people in total, with a mixture of staff, board members and both the downtown group’s intern and the city of Washington’s intern coming, along with a student volunteer.
Epple will lead an educational session on Main Street as the Developer — How to Be a Catalyst for Development in Your Own Downtown.
“I will talk about how we purchased the old post office downtown, renovated it and now operate a CPU (contract postal unit) at the site and relocated our offices there,” she said. “I also will talk about the Farmers’ Market, restoring our former offices as a guesthouse and potential future projects.”
The theme of this year’s conference is Get Plugged In… Downtown.
Two days of classroom sessions are planned along with in-the-field educational tours, plus numerous networking opportunities.
Epple said the conference is a great place to get inspired, make new connections and find new tools to keep a downtown vibrant and competitive in today’s market.
“It will give us practical ideas and solutions for preservation-based revitalization that are relevant to our community,” she said. “The educational sessions are always worthwhile, but I think I always get the best information networking with the other Main Street staff and volunteers who share both best practices and things that didn’t work.”
Epple said she plans to participate in the tours to Leavenworth, Kan., and Lee’s Summit, Mo.
The conference will close with its Evening of Excellence dinner and Main Street Awards Thursday, July 25.
Epple said every year a downtown organization is asked to have someone from their group serve as the master of ceremonies.
“We’re excited to have Bryan representing us,” she said.
Downtown Washington Inc. is a seminfinalist for three awards — Best Facade Renovation Under $10,000, Best Adaptive Reuse of a Building and the Heritage Travel Award.
“We nominated Cowan’s for best facade and Grace’s Place for the adaptive reuse of a building,” Epple said. “We’re excited to find out whether we’ve won.”
The Heritage Award is presented to projects, groups or individuals who have helped boost tourism.
Epple declined to say who was nominated for that award because it’s a surprise.