Downtown Salisbury Inc. gives awards in annual meeting
By Noelle Edwards
In a gathering of key players in downtown Salisbury, business owners, government representatives, Downtown Salisbury Inc. board members and others crowded into Uncle Buck’s on Thursday for Downtown Salisbury’s annual meeting.
Paula Bohland, board of directors president, said Downtown Salisbury did well even during the recession. The organization did $2.3 million in investments this year, which put the cumulative total past the $100 million mark since its start in 1980.
“What sticks out to me is … not how much we did but the quality of what we did,” Executive Director Randy Hemann said.
Bohland gave awards for volunteer of the year, Tom Wolpert, active in arts projects and business owner, and director of the year, Brian Miller, who, among other things, helped organize seven banks to pool money for a loan for the Empire Hotel project.
Bohland also recognized the Salisbury High School ROTC program and several individuals for their service to Salisbury.
Those individuals were Marietta Smith of the Rowan Arts Council, Patrick Smith of the Salisbury Police Department, Eleanor Qadirah for founding the Rowan Blues and Jazz Fest, Gary Carter as coordinator of the Friday Night Out Classic Car Show, and Brian Moore as a trolley driver for Friday Night Out events.
Bohland also gave seven awards for renovations done this year. Awards were given to:
– Ted and Cheryl Goins for Pottery 101 at 101 S. Main St.
– Brad Walser for Walser Technology Group at 108 S. Main St.
– John Casey for Brick Street Tavern at 122 E. Fisher St.
– Toby Hagmaier for Southern Spirit Gallery at 102 S. Main St.
– Clay Lindsay and Jake Alexander for the building at 102 E. Council St.
– North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Rail Division.
– Rowan County for the Justice Center.
Hemann pointed out several ongoing projects, such as the Fisher Street theater renovation and public art exhibits. He also gave praise for the number of people who attended Night Out events over the past year ó 3,000 or more at most events versus 50 or 75 in some years past, Hemann said.
But Hemann said, “The exclamation point on our whole year is down on the 200 block of South Main Street,” referring to the Empire Hotel project.
Groups of people left the restaurant to tour the hotel after the meeting.
“I know times are tough, and they are,” said Paul Fisher, member of the board of directors, “but when times get tough, the people in this town, they move forward.”
Hemann said, “Our future is, as Paula said, brighter than it’s ever been.”