The newly-opened Georgetown Main Street organization introduced Jessie Himmelrich as its executive director at the Jan. 17 meeting of the Georgetown Business Association.
The organization’s goal, which opened on Dec. 1, is to help small retailers with limited resources on the Wisconsin Avenue corridor between Whitehaven Parkway and K Street. It will receive a $175,000 start-up grant from the Department of Small & Local Business Development.
Himmelrich, a Tulane University graduate, was previously with the Urban Land Institute where she managed leadership programs in the organization’s Women’s Leadership Institute. Prior to that, she was a member of the institute’s fundraising and sponsorship teams. She also holds a masters degree from Georgetown University in urban and regional planning.
“We need to focus on neighborhood revitalization and help small and local businesses prosper,” Himmelrich said. “We’re going to be doing fundraising initiatives, but have not yet fully discussed what those will be. People donating to the organization will help Georgetown thrive in the face of competing neighborhoods.”
The organization’s temporary board of directors consists of the executive committee of the Georgetown Business Association, which provided interim financing that will be repaid to get the organization started. One of Himmelrich’s first jobs will be to help recruit the board of directors. She is currently setting up a plan and figuring out her first steps.
“We’re going to host events along the corridor to increase foot traffic and small business visibility,” she said.
The organization will be administering grants for technical assistance to the service area’s small businesses to improve their signage, facades and marketing efforts.
“Our mission is to promote and retain diverse small and local businesses,” Himmelrich said.