/EIN News/ June 22, 2009 – For Immediate Release
The Wisconsin Main Street Alliance (WMSA) is pleased to announce the appointment of former founding board member Jim Schuh as the new director of the organization.
Prior to becoming the director, Schuh worked in downtown revitalization and historic preservation as the executive director of the Eau Claire Main Street Association and then Chippewa Falls Main Street, Inc. until retiring after 16 years in 2008.
Since 2005 he has been an active board member of the association and until recently worked as a downtown revitalization consultant with a focus on non-profits.
“For several years now the alliance has worked to formalize the organization, grow its membership, and create a method by which to accomplish the different facets of its mission. We have come to the realization that in order to move forward and maintain momentum, we needed a director that could stay on task and dedicate the time needed to follow through on our efforts. We are fortunate to have found the ideal person in Jim Schuh and are excited about the renewed focus,” said Michael Glime, president of the WI Main Street Alliance.
The WMSA is an educational non-profit that focuses to enhance the visibility and success of the Main Street programs in Wisconsin though resource development and education. They work in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Commerce Bureau of Downtown Development and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street Program. WMSA focuses on the success of the Main Street Approach in Wisconsin through enhancement of advocacy, community assistance, education, enhanced identity, and improved program funding.
According to statistics from the WI Department of Commerce, Main Street communities have delivered more than $1 billion in reinvestment in their local downtowns over the past two decades. During a downturn in the economy these communities are more resilient and equipped to keep positive momentum moving.
“I continue to be an avid supporter of the Main Street program and the economic development benefits this approach to downtown revitalization offers,” said Schuh. “It is an honor to be utilizing my services for the WMSA on a statewide basis.”
Schuh previously served as president of the Wisconsin Downtown Action Council for 2 years. He has spoken about trends in downtown revitalization in five states including his speech at the 2005 National Main Street Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. He authored several articles that have been published in the National Main Street newsletter. Schuh also oversaw the publication of two pictorial history books about Chippewa Falls that promote the benefits of historic preservation and commercial revitalization through the Main Street program.
“Non-profit organizations like the Wisconsin Main Street Alliance have been essential in supporting state-sponsored Main Street programs; in providing advocacy and education about the importance of supporting economic development in our downtowns. Jim Schuh’s extensive experience makes him a superb pick to be WMSA’s first executive director. We wish him well and look forward to working closely with the Wisconsin Main Street Program and WMSA,” said Kathy La Plante, a National Trust Main Street Center program officer.
Michael Glime, President, WI Main Street Alliance
Jim Schuh, Director, WI Main Street Alliance