by Elisa Hawkes
Coastal Journal staff
BRUNSWICK — Stephanie Slocum, executive director of the Brunswick Downtown Association (BDA), announced her resignation on Tuesday, July 17. Slocum said she will continue in her role as director until a replacement is hired. According to the email she released, Slocum is leaving to care for a family member with “serious health issues.”
Earlier this year, Slocum led Brunswick in becoming a Main Street Maine community. The Main Street program is an approach to downtown revitalization developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980. It is currently used in 44 states, in over 2,200 communities. Currently, 10 communities have achieved and maintained the Main Street Maine designation, including Bath, Brunswick, and Rockland.
Slocum became the first part-time executive director of the BDA around 2000. She went on to become Director of Economic Development for the town of Freeport. She also served on the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRS) during this time. The MRRS was responsible for oversight of civilian reuse of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.
Greg Farr led the BDA as its first full-time director from 2009 to late 2010. When he resigned, Slocum became interim Executive Director of the BDA, returning from retirement in South Carolina to do so. Slocum wrote that she will continue as executive director until a search committee can be formed by the BDA board of directors, and a replacement can be found.
Under Slocum’s direction, the BDA was instrumental in bringing many new events to downtown Brunswick. The restaurant week and early bird sale are two notable examples. BDA is also responsible for the weekly summer concerts at the town gazebo on Wednesday evenings, and the holiday tree lighting. BDA has assumed responsibility for managing the visitor center at Brunswick Station.
BDA has been responsible for significant changes in Brunswick, a historically significant town with a thriving downtown neighborhood. Slocum has been instrumental in realizing many of these achievements.
In regard to the BDA, Slocum wrote, “[I believe] significant progress has been made in addressing multiple downtown Brunswick opportunities.”
The BDA runs through the efforts of many volunteers, town staff, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Without community support, Main Street Communities would not exist.
Slocum acknowledged this when she wrote, “Our efforts have been a great example of what partnerships can accomplish. Thank you all for being a part of what we’ve worked on together.”