Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Decade

Last Friday, an amazing crew of staff, friends and Board members threw a surprise celebration in recognition of my ten years with Downtown Frederick Partnership.  When I think about ten years professionally, I can’t believe how the time has flown.  When I think about it personally, I can’t imagine how I wasn't more than 10 years younger when I started this job. 

In my professional life, the Partnership has grown from a staff of one to a staff of one plus an intern to a staff of two and now – a staff of three.  When I walked in the door, the merchants were busy organizing what would become the first First Saturday coordinated by the Partnership.  Since that day, we have grown to add a full calendar of First Saturdays, Frosty Friday, Alive @ Five, Progressive Dinners and more to our rolls.  We've launched a fa├žade improvement program and implemented a new wayfinding signage system.  We now offer six free business workshops each year.  The organizational budget has grown from less than $100,000 to more than $500,000.  I say all of this not to toot my own horn but really in amazement at all that we have accomplished together.  So many people, organizations, partners and more have made this list and so much more a reality - all for a better Downtown Frederick. 
In my personal life, I've lived rented three apartments – but only lived in two, bought one house on my own and a second with my husband.  I got married, gained and lost a dog and gained a daughter. 

When I think back to the gal sitting in the bagel shop post interview waiting for the board and not knowing what was next, I can see someone so young and fresh.  Now, a decade later, I see a great life in Downtown Frederick with a hope for many good years ahead.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Abe & Me

With a new employee joining us this week, all of us have been talking about great jobs, fun jobs, interesting jobs.  Well, I have to say that my job is all of that and more.  I can’t think of many other places of work where your Thursday could include making calls for financial support, editing contracts, spending time on the street visiting with the merchants and, to round out the day, speaking with President Abraham Lincoln.  I’ve had a smile on my face about the idea of speaking with Lincoln for more than a week because, after all, he did pass away a few years ago. That said, we had important things to talk about – recognizing history, celebrating the community and honoring the contributions of the many volunteers and agencies who contributed to the heritage trail marker project. 

Lincoln joined us yesterday on the rail car at the train station (and now the Frederick Community Action Agency) to re-create a speech given 150 years ago on October 4 at the same spot.  Lincoln was speaking following a visit to Frederick to see a General wounded in the Battle of Antietam.  When you think about it – it’s just amazing.  Yesterday, I was standing at the spot that President Abraham Lincoln spoke – the building that provides the backdrop for the setting remains today.  To see history come to life is truly inspiring and humbling.   Many kudos to the Tourism Council of Frederick County for arranging the event.