Canton Chamber of Commerce
Main Street Association
I chose to come to Canton just over a year ago to be the director of the Canton Chamber of Commerce Main Street Association. Even though I knew no one and had no connections, my decision was simple: I fell in love with this community. The courthouse, the architecture, the lights, the square, the historic homes, and, most importantly the people I have met.
Over the past year Madison County, Canton, and myself have gotten to know each other a little better, and what I have discovered will keep me in the community for years to come. I was truly surprised with the wealth of leadership in this county. I started my job right as the Strategic Plan was presented and committees were forming for implementation. I volunteered immediately for the Quality of Life committee. I was a little hesitant honestly- I didn’t really know much about Madison County yet or anyone involved.
I snuck into the first meeting and told myself I would keep my mouth shut, but that only lasted about fifteen minutes. The goal of the group was to improve the quality of life in Madison County and specifically to improve the availability of housing for the growing base of young professionals and technology workers and focus on the redevelopment of areas that have experienced decline. Well I consider myself a young professional and my day to day job focuses on a community and historic downtown that have been experiencing decline, so I chirped in with my opinions not expecting anyone to listen. I was thoroughly surprised when Gail Pittman, the committee chair immediately came up and starting discussing in detail with my ideas for the City of Canton and for affordable, flexible housing options for young professionals.
I tell the story of that first meeting to bring home my point that Madison County is blessed with so many quality leaders of so many different varieties and the strategic planning process has given us the opportunity to bring those leaders together. The group I have worked with the past few months includes developers, city officials, artists, lawyers, nonprofit leaders, and more. Each of these individuals have invested a large deal of time and personal effort into making sure Madison County remains a fantastic place to live. This county has an extremely high quality of life, but also recognizes that we still have areas to improve. A plan is only great if someone is there to inform it and implement it. I’m proud to work on the strategic plan and look forward to looking back at our progress.