Holli Andrews is expected to start as the new executive director of Saline Main Street on Feb. 1.
Andrews, who most recently helped launch and grow a downtown revitalization organization in Framingham, Mass., quickly emerged as the best candidate when Saline Main Street rebooted its executive director search after not finding a candidate the first time.
Karen Ragland, who has served as interim manager on a part-time basis since Riley Hollenbaugh resigned to move back his home in Indiana, said Andrews has experience in three areas that are very important to the five-year-old downtown revitalization organization.
“We were looking for volunteer management, knowledge of Main Street, and experience with economic development. Holli is experienced in all three areas,” Ragland said.
Andrews helped start the organization in Framingham about the same time Saline Main Street was launched. So she comes to Saline with a good understanding of where Saline Main Street is in its development.
Jill Durnen, president of Saline Main Street, said the organization is excited to welcome its fourth manager/executive director.
“She’s very experienced with Main Street. She is very enthusiastic and she’s already shared a lot of cool ideas with us,” Durnen said. “We’re excited for her to get here.”
Durnen said Andrews will lead a Main Street organization that will continue to provide cultural activities and fun events for families. But expect to see more focus on economic experience.
“We like her experience with economic development. That’s where our focus is. We want to have measurable goals and we want to attract, retain and strengthen businesses in downtown Saline,” Durnen said.
Saline Main Street board members were also impressed with Andrews’ grant writing experience.
Ragland said Andrews visited Saline for a meet and greet with Main Street officials and other local leaders at Carrigan Cafe last week.
“Everyone liked her. She’s a ball of energy. She’s very positive. She always has a smile on her face,” Ragland said. “And what I like is that she answers questions directly.”
Before becoming executive director of Downtown Framingham, Inc., Andrews worked in outreach for the National Sea Grant college program. She was also former program director for the Main Street program in Biddeford, Maine.
According to Durnen, Andrews was born in the Flint area. She moved to the east coast when she was young. Her parents live near Lapeer, Mich., so Andrews wanted to move back to the area.
When Main Street was launched, Kelly Idzikowski was named manager. She left shortly into her first year on the job and was replaced by Bob Rosenberger. Riley Hollenbaugh succeeded Rosenberger when he moved to Florida.
Main Street has been without a full-time executive director since the end of September.