White has accepted a role with the state Main Street program, Missouri Main Street Connection.
After two years as the Executive Director of Main Street Chillicothe, Ben White has resigned and will be taking a position with the state Main Street program, Missouri Main Street Connection.
White started with Main Street Chillicothe full-time five years ago as assistant director and was named as the head of the organization two years ago. He previously worked as an intern in the office.
Under his leadership, the vacancy rate of downtown has dropped to 2%; a Historic
Preservation Ordinance and Historic Preservation Commission were set in place to preserve Chillicothe’s historic and cultural resources; a new Business Investment Guide was created to help potential and existing business owners; the Kelly Poling Arts District was created; Chillicothe was named a three-time semi-finalist for the Great America Main Street Award and much more.
“My time with Main Street Chillicothe has been extremely rewarding,” White said “We have created so many positive things for the
downtown, the heart of Chillicothe. The partnerships forged in my tenure have been incredible; the people in this community that have given their time and resources towards the betterment of downtown and the organization have really made all of this positive
He says he is most proud of the creation of the Kelly Poling Arts District, named after his friend and Chillicothe resident, Kelly Poling who died last year.
“I’m most proud of the Kelly Poling Arts District. So many different organizations and people had a hand in making that possible and the way that street was revitalized and will continue to be revitalized is really special to me,” he said.
In his new role, White will travel across Missouri to provide training and workshops to new Main Street communities looking to revitalize their downtown.
“My new job will send me around the state, teaching and providing workshops for communities interested in revitalizing their downtown,” White said, noting that he and his wife plan to maintain their home in Chillicothe. “That allows me to live anywhere to complete the job. My wife and I like it here and look forward to continuing to live here and be a part of this community.”
White, an Independence native first came to Chillicothe as an intern and soon after graduating from Southeast Missouri State.
His last day on the job is Nov. 1.
Currently, the Main Street Chillicothe Board of Directors is seeking someone to fill his role.
“I am confident that the board of directors will find someone that will be able to take the program and downtown to even greater heights,” White continued. “In the meantime, Events and Communications Coordinator Pam Jarding and incredible volunteers will be driving the program forward. I have all the confidence in the world that the organization will continue to thrive and make a positive impact on the vitality of downtown Chillicothe.”
White said he is looking forward to his new role.
“I’m most excited to be giving communities the tools and resources that they need to succeed. So many communities have such a raw and contagious energy when it comes to revitalizing their downtown and being able to point them in the right direction and provide guidance on their journey is extremely satisfying.”
Applications and an updated job description for the executive director’s position can be found at www.downtownchilli.com. Applications are being accepted through Oct. 28.