Lewis earns honors for work on downtown development

Published 12:00 pm Friday, April 3, 2015

Downtown Salisbury Inc.

Downtown Salisbury Inc. Board President Mark Lewis was honored as a 2014 Main Street Champion at the North Carolina Main Street Annual Awards Ceremony in Morganton March 20. Lewis was selected by Downtown Salisbury Inc. for this special recognition in appreciation of his exceptional contributions to downtown Salisbury. Along with Champions from 32 other communities, he received a certificate commemorating this designation, presented by state Secretary of Commerce John E. Skvarla, Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dr. Pat Mitchell, and Office of Urban Development Director Liz Parham.

In recommending Lewis for this honor, Downtown Salisbury Inc. said about him:

“Mark Lewis invests countless hours in service to our downtown. Currently serving in an extended term as the Chair of the DSI Board of Directors he is a longtime volunteer and advocate for our downtown, who consistently goes beyond the call of duty. He chairs DSI committees, fosters downtown partnerships, champions downtown economic development causes and creates goodwill for the downtown.

“Notably, Mark was in the office of board chair when our executive director resigned. Although his term had expired, with no other leader available, Mark agreed to remain in the office of board chair and lead DSI for more than a year. During this time, he worked diligently to initiate key downtown development projects and partnerships, allowing the newly hired executive director to step in and complete projects.

“Our downtown has continuously benefited from Mark’s participation and dedication.”

Paula Bohland, executive director of Downtown Salisbury Inc., said, “Mark’s efforts have resulted in a stronger downtown, a greater vision and innovative spirit in our community. He is true champion for this downtown and the City of Salisbury.”

Established in 2000 as part of North Carolina Main Street’s 20th anniversary celebration, the Main Street Champion designation acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of people who have played pivotal roles in the revitalization of their downtowns. The dedication and hard work of countless volunteers is required to make a local Main Street program successful. Each of the state’s active Main Street programs is given the opportunity annually to recognize a local Main Street Champion. The addition of this year’s honorees brings the total number of North Carolina Main Street Champions to more than 560.

North Carolina Main Street is a downtown revitalization program for smaller towns based on economic development within the context of historic preservation. The North Carolina Main Street program, which provides technical assistance to its communities, is part of the Office of Urban Development in the Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division.