Kay Matthews is a huge fan of historic downtowns-- an outlook that makes her perfect for her new job as manager of the Downtown Georgetown Business Improvement Area (BIA) Board. Matthews is excited about the position she took over from previous manager, Emma Rock, on Jan. 2. "Historic downtowns such as Georgetown's are the backbone of our country and the fibre that binds a community together," said Matthews. "I am proud and delighted to work in Georgetown and assist with the work started by so many that benefits us all." Matthews, formerly BIA manager in Streetsville and communications director with the Mississauga Arts Council, is excited about working in a town much smaller than Mississauga. "I really needed to work in a small grassroots community," said Matthews, a Streetsville resident who conducts historical walking tours in that town. She has fond memories of the downtown area of Arnprior where she grew up and sees historic downtowns as destinations "we need to hold on to in our community and in Ontario." Matthews said one of her first tasks in her new job will be to navigate downtown Georgetown through upcoming road reconstruction, serving as a liaison between project and site managers and businesses and the public. The project is slated to get under way next month and completed in June. It will be Matthews' role to keep the public up to date on how to get in and out of Main St. to visit their favourite businesses. She plans to use the BIA's recently re-vamped web site (www.downtowngeorgetown.com) to keep area residents informed and also by directing e-mailing anyone interested. She encourages people to e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 905-873-4970. Comments can also be posted at the web site. Other top priorities for Matthews will be to create a comprehensive database of all the businesses in the downtown area and devise a business plan for the BIA that will address where the downtown wants to be in five to 10 years. Attracting new area residents to the downtown is a challenge she is looking forward to tackling. She said the solution lies in ensuring the downtown is relevant to those residents and believes the Farmers' Market will be key to bringing them into the area. BIA Board chair Syl Carle is pleased to welcome Matthews, who also has experience as an event manager for the Mississauga Santa Claus Parade, and as a volunteer with the Streetsville Bread and Honey Festival, to the position. "I am looking forward to working with Ms. Matthews who brings a background rich in experience with community economic development, local government, historical communities, communications and event co-ordination," said Carle.
Georgetown BIA's new manager, Kay Matthews (right) was joined by BIA Board Chair Syl Carle as she recently took over the position, at the BIA office at 87 Main Street South. Matthews was the former BIA manager in Streetsville and is replacing longtime manager Emma Rock.