Port Main Street Inc. recharges with new director, president

Downtown group re-energized by hiring of full-time leader to fill vacancy, infusion of cash from cit

STANDING IN THE heart of downtown Port Washington Tuesday were Port Main Street Inc.’s new Executive Director Melissa Schlenvogt Alexander (right) and new Board President Lindzy Willborn. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

The Port Main Street Inc. program, which has languished without a director for more than a year, is ready for a new start with a new director and slate of board officers.

Melissa Schlenvogt Alexander will begin working as the new executive director on Monday, March 18. She succeeds former director Maureen McCourt Boylan, who resigned in December 2017.

Alexander, who hails from Port Washington, said the job fits well with her experiences. She most recently worked as a Disney princess, performing throughout the world, as an event planner and live entertainer for Event Concepts, and as a regional director for DreamMakers Talent Competition, putting on dance competitions.

“It was a lot of public relations work, meeting new people, finding out what their needs are and helping to meet them,” she said. “I want to become part of the community, and I feel like it is my time to contribute.”

Alexander is also the first full-time director to lead the organization, which is aimed at revitalizing downtown. 

“Main Street just needs stability. It needs stability to grow,” Alexander said. “With this now being a full-time position, I can offer that.”

Hiring a full-time director was one reason it sought a $25,000 contribution from the City of Port Washington for 2019, City Administrator Mark Grams said.

Although part-time co-directors Cathy Wilger and Amy Gannon have done an admirable job in keeping Main Street’s many festivals and activities on track, Grams said, it’s important that the organization have a director.

“With downtown growing, you really need someone in place,” he said. “You’re looking for a marketing, public relations person. You’re looking for someone to oversee the activities and someone to connect with the businesses — mainly, it’s communication.”

Main Street board president Lindzy Willborn agreed, saying that although the Main Street events continued without a director last year, other initiatives languished.

“The events alone are a part-time job,” Willborn said. “On top of that there’s everything from running the office to being a resource for downtown businesses.”

One thing that’s fallen by the wayside without a director are efforts to network with the state Main Street program and other Main Street communities, Willborn said.

“There are so many great ideas out there,” she said. “We haven’t had anyone to take those ideas and do something with them.”

Alexander, she said, is an energetic, talented and driven individual who is a good fit for the job.

“As soon as we sat down and talked to her, everyone said, yes, she’s the one,” Willborn said. 

The board had many candidates for the job, including some with more practical experience, she said, but Alexander has a varied resume that will translate well into her position.

Alexander, who has a bachelor’s degree in dance and a master’s degree in international business, will be paid $50,000 annually, Willborn said.

Due to the transition in leadership, Willborn added, Main Street has decided to postpone its popular Ladies Night Out event until September.

“Ladies Night Out is a pretty big event, and we didn’t want to do it a disservice by having it come up right after we hired a new director,” she said. “This will give us, and Melissa, more time to prepare for it.” Main Street’s next event will be the Hippity Hoppity Easter event, sponsored jointly with the Greater Port Washington Kiwanis Club on April 13.

In addition to Willborn, the other new board members are vice president Jeff Lamont, secretary Laura Burke and treasurer BreAnna Porth, who were elected about two weeks ago.


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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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