Downtown business group selects Richmond as new executive director
Lauren Richmond, who has been the office manager for Port Washington Main Street Inc. since November 2012, was named the organization’s new executive director Monday.
The Main Street Board of Directors on Monday unanimously voted to hire Richmond to replace former director Sara Grover, Board President Jim Biever said.
Richmond, who assumed her new job Tuesday, said she is excited by the change.
“I have such a passion and love for this town and this program,” she said. “I just wasn’t ready to be done here.
“It’s going to be exciting to move forward and get things back where they’re supposed to be. We’re getting there already. Things are on track. I think 2014 is going to be a good year.”
Richmond said there are still things she needs to learn about the job, but she is ready to meet the challenges head on.
“I still have a learning curve, but I have the background knowledge,” she said.
She’s been heartened by the support she’s received from the Main Street board and its volunteers, Richmond said.
Biever said the board considered three candidates for the job, but Richmond “was the natural candidate.”
“We never really got beyond Lauren. She knows all the aspects of the job. There’s no learning curve at all,” he said. “She’s very hard working and organized. She knows the expectations and the challenges we’ve faced. She can hit the ground running.
“I think she’s got a passion for the job.”
Richmond has a good relationship not only with the Main Street board but with its many volunteers, Biever said.
“That was a deciding factor,” he said.
Richmond also has a good relationship with city officials, and Biever said he believes this will help smooth the rift that formed between the city and Main Street this year after the Rock the Harbor Harley-Davidson anniversary celebration put the agency in a precarious financial situation.
That feeling was echoed by City Administrator Mark Grams who said Richmond’s promotion will likely create a smooth transition.
“I think Lauren will do well,” Grams said. “In general, I think the council will feel better about it.”
The Main Street program has changed, Biever said, and Richmond is a good person to shepherd the organization through that change.
“It’s a different job compared to what it was before,” he said, noting that the office once staffed by two people working roughly 80 hours a week will now be handled by a director working about 32 hours a week.
“I think we still can put on a very good program,” Biever said.
The Main Street office at 116 W. Grand Ave. is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Image Information: THE NEW executive director of Port Main Street Inc., Lauren Richmond, surveyed downtown Tuesday, a day after she was hired by the Main Street board of directors. Photo by Sam Arendt