After more than 6 years working in my state's historic downtowns, I am resigning from the Oklahoma Main Street Program (OMSP). My time as the Main Street Architect with OMSP has been a life-changing opportunity where I have been able to serve and work alongside some of the best people that I have ever met.
It was a great blessing to find a meaningful, non-traditional path in the field of architecture. When I was hired, I did not comprehend the depth of the opportunity, but now I can share a few highlights:
- First, there are not very many architecture positions with governmental organizations, especially in something as engaging as community redevelopment. I did not know I would enjoy this work so much, but now I feel that I have found my calling.
- Secondly, working with OMSP allowed a very rare opportunity to explore the real nuts and bolts of historic preservation on a daily basis, often while dealing with a community's most important heritage architecture.
- Finally, my work with OMSP has exposed me to some of the most passionate and caring people from every corner of the state. I have learned that the real Mainstreeters of Oklahoma care about their community and each other. They want to leave things better than they found them. By walking alongside them, I began to see this paradigm clearly and then realized my place within it. This led me to begin writing the Green Heart Town blog; this shaped my life.
The Oklahoma Main Street Program
For over 30 years the Oklahoma Main Street Program has been working to improve historic commercial districts in rural communities and urban districts statewide.
Through the 4 Points, the Oklahoma Main Street Program provides the framework to engage both local community members and local government on a level that they can understand, allowing them to become passionate advocates for their town's historic places.
The Main Street Approach works because everyone likes to see their historic downtown looking its best. Further still, a stronger commercial base provides local jobs and increased sales tax income so that local government can function at a higher level.
My Hopes, Desires & Next Steps
Why share about my resignation over social media? There are a couple reasons:
- Through sharing the impending vacancy, I hope that the right person will take notice. I want the program - and Oklahoma's Main Street communities - to remain strong. It would mean the world to me for the next Main Street Architect to take the program to new heights.
- To express appreciation to everyone that has been part of my journey, especially my incredible teammates at the Oklahoma Main Street Center, the Department of Commerce, the Oklahoma State Legislature, and most of all, the incredible folks in our Main Street districts. Those that stand with the goals of this program are, in my opinion, "the salt of the earth".
Next week, I will announce the next chapter in my professional journey. I am very excited where the road is taking me. Thank you for reading, and best regards to all.