Main Street Vermilion Hiring Executive Director

Main Street Vermilion has an immediate opening for a full-time Executive Director.  Applicants should have education and /or experience in the following areas:  planning, economic development, marketing, design, volunteer management, small business development, and coordination of community events.  The applicant should be entrepreneurial, energetic, well organized, friendly, and capable of working in an independent environment.  Of utmost importance will be promoting the City of Vermilion, Ohio, while energizing and supporting residents, merchants, and volunteers.  Salary range will be $28,000 – $30,000.  Send resume to Search Committee, Main Street Vermilion, 685 Main Street, Vermilion, OH 44089 or e-mail resume to mainstreetvermilion@centurytel.net.  For a full job description go to www.mainstreetvermilion.org.

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Main Street Medina Seeks Executive Director

The mission of Main Street Medina (MSM) is to lead the effort for preservation, economic sustainability, and continued evolution of the historic district as the heart of the community.

The Executive Director supports that mission by coordinating activities within a downtown revitalization program that utilizes historic preservation as an integral foundation for the Uptown/Medina Historic District’s economic development.  The Main Street Medina Executive Director is responsible for the development, conduct, execution, compliance, and documentation of the Main Street Medina program.  The Executive Director is responsible for coordinating all programmatic, marketing, and fundraising activities, as well as representing the community regionally and nationally as needed.

Specific duties include

“Face” of MSM / Community engagement activities:

·         Assist the MSM’s Board of Directors and committees in developing an annual action plan for implementing an Historic District revitalization program and activities that focus on these areas: supporting economic development of the Historic District and promoting and marketing the development and rich history of Medina’s Uptown Square and MSM.

·         Attend all MSM Board and committee meetings; maintain and encourage positive working relationships with all  Historic District business owners, organizations and property owners; attend other City meetings as needed.

·         Participate in relevant training / professional development / media events, locally and nationally.

·         Oversee and be a strong presence at MSM special events and fundraising activities.

·         Oversee the operations of the Medina Farmers Market.

Economic development support:

·         Direct efforts to recruit businesses, retain and expand existing businesses, and provide information, expertise, and appropriate referrals to business owners.

·         Direct efforts to market the Historic District to outside businesses by working with City personnel, the Medina Chamber of Commerce, realtors, and building owners to enhance the quality of retail and commercial space.

·         Facilitate development strategies that are based on historic preservation and economic stability.

Administrative / Organizational:

·         Coordinate the activities of the MSM program committees, ensuring effective communication among committees and with the Board; assist committee volunteers with implementation of work plan activities.

·         Manage all administrative aspects of the Main Street program, including purchasing; record keeping; budget development and tracking; accounting; preparing all reports required by Heritage Ohio and national Main Street programs; assisting with the preparation of reports to funding agencies and grant applications relative to the District; and supervising employees or consultants working on these activities. Monitor records and documents to ensure compliance at state and federal levels.

·         Develop funding sources and sponsors/fundraising opportunities for program support and the expansion of the MSM program.

·         Oversee employees, currently 2 part-time personnel. Oversee the Farmers Market Manager. Coordinate and manage volunteers.

Marketing and promotions:

·         Work closely with local and Cleveland/Akron area media to ensure maximum coverage of MSM activities; be familiar with and encourage graphic and design excellence in all aspects of promotion, in order to advance the MSM program.

·         Coordinate basic design and placement of MSM promotions and news in proper outlets.  Historically, the MSM ED has launched a minimum of 150 press releases per year.

·         Maintain and update MSM website and other social media outlets, with strong emphasis on Facebook; be active on other MSM-appropriate outlets.

·         Be a capable and engaging presence in the community and region; able to effectively create engagement opportunities through MSM.

Design and preservation:

·         Build partnerships to create a consistent revitalization program and develop effective management and leadership within the Historic District.

·         Encourage preservation of historic building stock, interfacing with relevant Medina city and county officials, as well as other committees (ex. Community Design Committee).

Other duties as assigned.


Must be entrepreneurial, energetic, well-organized, a self-starter able to facilitate cooperation between multiple interest groups/stakeholders, as well as independent, with the ability to perform with minimal supervision.

Deep knowledge of historic preservation, as well as a thorough understanding of nonprofit management/direction and nonprofit culture.

Articulate; outstanding public speaking and written communication skills.

Able to work non-standard hours, including evenings and weekends, with occasional overnight travel.

A valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.


Bachelors Degree or equivalent job knowledge and skills. Deep knowledge of historic preservation.

National Main Street Certification is desirable.

Computer skills:

All Microsoft Office Suite software, including PowerPoint and Publisher.  Ability with Illustrator and Adobe a plus.

Physical requirements:

Able to lift/move 50 pounds and stand or walk for long periods of time.


To apply:

Submit cover letter and resume to msmedinasearch@gmail.com, by May 20th.  Please include salary requirements within the cover letter.

Please, no phone calls to the Main Street Medina office.

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CDFA Seeks Vice President

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) seeks a motivated, well-organized and experienced individual to fill the position of Vice President. This senior level position is critical to the continued success of CDFA’s education, advocacy, research, resources and networking efforts. This is an exciting opportunity for an energetic and enthusiastic person to contribute to a great organization, working to create economic prosperity across the country.

To view the complete listing, click here.

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The Ohio Vacant Facilities Fund

While in Spokane, Washington at the National Trust for Historic Preservation annual conference, I, along with many other Ohio delegates, attended a session on right-sizing.  Presenter Cara Bertram, with Place Economics, conducted a survey of older industrial cities that have experienced significant population change over the last 40 years.  Cleveland, Youngstown, Dayton and Cincinnati were 4 of the 20 cities selected for the survey.[1]

We expected answers and concrete models working in other cities that we could bring back to Ohio. Instead, we learned that there currently are no success stories.  The issue of vacant properties and low population has only begun to be documented and the idea of rightsizing, or the process of reshaping physical urban fabric to meet the needs of current and anticipated populations, is only a working theory.   We discovered that dramatic population loss is being experienced across the nation, not just in older industrial cities, but also in Texas, where army bases have vacated, and also in Niagara Falls, NY where they are about to lose their city status along with a significant reduction in federal funds .  While a few facts remain constant, such as decreased population, vacant buildings, and economic decline, the available resources change dramatically from city to city and also state to state.  Essentially, Ohio needs to find creative ways to solve rightsizing issues through our own resources and funding sources because a national model is not coming any time soon.

Two Ohio cities, Sandusky and Painesville, have decided to create disincentives by using penalties to nudge people and companies to make decisions that expand the tax base.  Both cities have created vacant property registries.  The ordinance requires owners of vacant properties to sign a registry.  Part of the registry requires that the property owner indicates who the lawful owner of the property is and provide the contact information for that owner, or in the case of out of town owners, to provide the local contact for the person acting as the owner’s agent.  The property owner is then required to submit a plan for leasing the property, selling the property or developing the property.  The ordinance also requires the property owner to keep the property safe and secure and maintain the property in accordance to local standards.  As stated in the purpose of the Painesville ordinance, “(t)he purpose of this ordinance is to establish a program for identifying and registering vacant residential and commercial buildings; to determining the responsibilities of owners of vacant buildings and structures; and to speed the rehabilitation of the vacant buildings. Shifting the cost burden from the general citizenry to the owners of the blighted buildings will be the result of this ordinance.”  The key to this statement is “shifting the cost from the general citizenry to the owners of the blighted building.”  A dilapidated downtown building affects the whole city.[2]

On a statewide level, the Ohio Development Services Agency has created the Ohio Vacant Facilities Fund to create reuse incentives for vacant buildings while investing in local businesses and creating jobs.  An employer will receive $500 in grant funds for every new full-time position created in eligible facilities.  The position must last at least one year before funds will be distributed.  Funds can be used for acquisition, construction, enlargement, improvement, or equipment of the facility.  The fund has been allocated $2 million through August 2015 and will begin accepting pre-certification requests November 26.  Over the next two years, the fund has the ability to create up to 4,000 jobs.

The program can be used by all scales of employers to fill both big-boxes and main street storefronts.  For example, a bakery opens in a downtown.  They create 4 jobs after opening.  After 1 year, they are eligible for $2000, which could be used to reinvest in their equipment to meet their growing business needs.

Employers should submit a pre-certification request form, available from the Ohio Development Services Agency’s website http://development.ohio.gov/cs/cs_ovff.htm.  The request must be submitted prior to occupying the vacant facility or increasing employment in order to verify eligibility and reserve funds.  All for-profit businesses are eligible, while non-profit and governments are not eligible.  The building must be 75% or more unoccupied and available for use in trade or business for no less than 12 months.  If the building is not occupied or construction is not complete, then construction must be at least 85% or more complete and able to be lawfully occupied with a certificate of occupancy.  Also, the employer must increase employment above the Base Employment Threshold.

For more information and pre-certification request applications, please visit the agency’s website: http://development.ohio.gov/cs/cs_ovff.htm, or contact the Office of Redevelopment at historic@development.ohio.gov or call 614-995-2292.[3]


[1] For more information on rightsizing and a full list of all 20 cities, the report in its entirety can be found on Place Economics’ website at http://www.placeeconomics.com/services/rightsizing.

[2] This excerpt is from the article “The Price of Vacant Property” written by Jeff Siegler and can be found in the Fall 2012 issue of Revitalize Ohio.

[3] For direct assistance contact: Nathaniel Kaelin, Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program Manager, Office of Redevelopment, Community Services Division.  Nathaniel.Kaelin@development.ohio.gov or 614-995-2292.

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