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Updated: 08/16/2014 08:00:01AM

The search is on

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Main Street Bartow is searching for a new executive director, which they have been without one since Mikel Dorminy tendered her resignation May 2013. This was first made public at the Aug. 4 City Commission work session by Commissioner Trish Pfeiffer, who is also a member of the Main Street Bartow board.

In her announcement, Pfeiffer, who with her husband, Bob, co-owns Simply Storage, said during the work session that the board would be assisted in this search, in part, with advice from Ronni Wood, the State Coordinator of the Florida Main Street Program, which is administered by the Florida Department of State, Bureau of Historic Preservation. Wood also was a Main Street executive director for the cities of Lake Wales, Winter Haven and Haines City. Wood met with Main Street Bartow board members earlier this year.

“Ronni met with the board at the end of July,” said Jen Daniels, also a Main Street Bartow board member. “She expressed an interest in getting us back up to speed.”

Wood was not available for comment when contacted by The Polk County Democrat.

Interest was also expressed by Carol Westmoreland, the executive director of the Florida Redevelopment Agency, said Pfeiffer, who added that Westmoreland would be attending the League of Cities conference held this Thursday through Saturday.

“It will be good to get somebody back in to handle the day-to-day matters,” said Pfeiffer in a separate interview when asked her opinion of the search for a new executive director. One of the pressing needs in her opinion, is what she termed a “meeting of the minds” between Main Street Bartow and those who own buildings downtown. Another is coming up with design standards.

The search for a new executive director is not limited to local outlets, said Mary Jordan, Main Street Bartow executive assistant.

“We have placed a job announcement with the Florida and national Main Street organizations,” said Jordan. “We’ve received several inquiries thus far.” Unlike her position, which is and will remain part-time, this will be a full-time position, she added. Jordan also said it has to be a full-time position.

“That’s in order to maintain and continue to be official under that designation (by Florida Main Street). It’s a stipulation.”

On the National Trust for Historic Preservation website the proposed salary for the position is $35,000-$38,000 a year and the deadline to apply is Sept. 9. People interested can contact Karen Guffey at 863-519-0508 or email

Like a number of organizations, Main Street Bartow has been affected by the economy and funds are tight. This past March it held its first “Mr. Bartow” fundraiser. The event, in which voters paid a dollar per vote to select one of 12 candidates, exceeded expectations and raised approximately $12,000.

However, much of the funds Main Street Bartow receives comes from the Community Redevelopment Agency, as well as from the City of Bartow.

“They’ll be receiving some funding from the CRA this year,” said Gail Murray, with the CRA. “How much is not known. That won’t be determined until the CRA meets Aug. 27. Last year, Main Street Bartow asked for $30,000, the same amount they’re asking for this year.”

Funding also comes in the form of membership and sponsorships.

About Main Street

Main Street Bartow sponsors and/or promotes a number of downtown events. The most prominent one is the monthly Friday Fest, held every third Friday (except during December). According to the website, bartowchamber, Main Street Bartow Inc., is a volunteer driven organization whose mission is to enhance our community’s identity and encourage the preservation, economic stability and improvement of the heart of Bartow through education, design, promotion, organization, and economic revitalization.

Want to apply?

Interested applicants can contact Main Street Bartow at 863-519-0508, but bear in mind the office is staffed on a part-time basis. Additional information may be obtained visiting:

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