FrostburgFirst Hosts its Annual Membership Meeting
Five New Board of Directors Elected
FrostburgFirst Board of Directors-Pictured Above: Back Row, Left to Right: Commissioner Woody Getz, Kristan Carter, Andrea De Palatis, Gerry LaFemina, Susan Snow, Clare Buckle, Elizabeth Stahlman, Dr. Joseph Hoffman Front Row, Left to Right: Erin Gotay, Diana Iman, Jessica Palumbo
FrostburgFirst hosted its Annual Membership Meeting Tuesday, May 24, at City Place, in Frostburg. At the meeting, five new Directors were elected to the board: Clare Buckle, Erin Gotay, Susan Snow, Diana Iman, and Sebastian Goldstein, and four officers were elected: Kristan Carter, President; Gerry LaFemina, Vice President; Andrea De Palatis, Secretary; and Clare Buckle, Treasurer.
State of the Main Street Address from FrostburgFirst Director, Jessica Palumbo
Since I started my position as Director of FrostburgFirst in September 2015, Frostburg has welcomed three new businesses in the Central Business District; celebrated two significant business anniversaries, a 10 year and a 30 year; dedicated a parking lot, introducing 67 new, free parking spaces to our downtown; dedicated three new public art pieces that add charm to our Arts and Entertainment District; and we’ve held quality events that brought Main Street to life. It has been my pleasure as Main Street Manager to witness this fabric of new and veteran business owners helping our downtown grow and prosper.
FrostburgFirst has also had significant growth in the past year. We’ve increased our total revenue from last year by 29%, business memberships have increased by 30%, and we’ve gained 11 new business/organization members to our program.
In January, FrostburgFirst released its new website, downtownfrostburg.com, where we’ve been able to direct community members and business owners for information about events, news, and blog posts.
In February, we were selected one of 15 out of 71 applicants to receive a nonprofit assistance grant through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to support a part-time administrative assistant position.
In March, the board of directors completed a strategic planning meeting, with the help of Dr. Evan Offstein of Frostburg State University, from which our in-progress One Page Plan was created. This document, once finalized will help FrostburgFirst evaluate our efforts and stick to meaningful projects and programs.
In April, we hosted a very successful Arts Walk, during which, it was reported, businesses and artists experienced excellent sales. Attendees responded to our survey with comments such as, “I didn’t know Frostburg had so many great stores!”
Through our strategic planning and synergistic efforts with the community, businesses, FSU, and the City, we created some great goals to accomplish in the new fiscal year.
We plan to apply for two new grants, the first is the RecTrails Grant, offered through the Maryland State Highway Administration, to get way-finding signage from the Frostburg Great Allegheny Passage Trail Head to Main Street; the second is a Main Street Improvement Grant, through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, to buy new banners and hardware for our lampposts in the downtown district.
We’ve also been working on a new event partnered with Frostburg State University called Taste of Frostburg, an event that will bring students into the businesses to explore what Frostburg has to offer for food and shopping options.
Frostburg also anticipates welcoming a few new businesses in the near future.
I look forward to bringing in the new year, working with our new and energetic board members on such great projects. All of these projects and programs are made possible because of all the hard working business owners, city staff, mayor and council, and dedicated community members. Thank you for making it so easy to work with all of you!
Main Street Manager