By LINDELL JOHN KAY
Monday, March 27, 2017
A local blogger has received state recognition for writing about downtown Rocky Mount.
Stepheny Houghtlin was named a Main Street Champion, which are individuals who have gone the extra mile in working to make their downtown successful, announced N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony Copland.
Houghtlin has a tremendous love for downtown Rocky Mount, said John Jesso, the city’s downtown development manager.
“If you do not subscribe to her blog Main Street Rocky Mount, you don’t know what you are missing,” Jesso said.
Houghtlin blogs about the opportunity and need for the community to get involved, Jesso said.
Downtown districts are important economic engines in North Carolina, Copeland said.
“The men and women we’re recognizing today are the people who keep those engines running, generating prosperity for communities all across North Carolina,” Copeland said.
Houghtlin blogged: “It is never too late to have a grand passion.”
Houghtlin has several passions. One is architecture. She grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and was exposed to the magnificent architecture of the Windy City. Her interest in architecture was renewed when she came to Rocky Mount.
“Rocky Mount is a community rich in history and with a vast architectural inventory,” Houghtlin blogged.
Jesso said Houghtlin deserves the recognition because she doesn’t just talk about making a difference, she rolls up her sleeves and engages the community in sharing their stories.
“This year’s champions represent Main Street board members and volunteers, elected officials and city employees, developers, entrepreneurs, artists and leaders in the local food economy,” said Liz Parham, director of the N.C. Main Street and Rural Planning Center.
Houghtlin and 35 other Main Street Champions across the state who have advocated for downtown revitalization were recognized for their commitment at a recent awards ceremony breakfast in Shelby. This year’s group of Main Street Champions brings the total number to 639 since Champions were first named in 2000. Today, the Main Street Center celebrates its 37th anniversary as the state’s leading resource in downtown revitalization.
Since 1980, the N.C. Main Street program has generated $2.5 billion in private and public investment. More than 22,400 cumulative NET new full-time and part-time jobs and 5,500 new businesses have been created in North Carolina Main Street districts since the program’s inception.
More information about the N.C. Main Street and Rural Planning Center and its programs is available online at nccommerce.com/MainStreet.
Houghtlin’s blog can be found at https://mainstreetrockymount.com/tag/main-street-rocky-mount/.