(March 1, 2021)   The Main Street initiative for The Village, Downtown Grosse Pointe, took its next step forward as the Main Street Grosse Pointe Board selected Cindy Willcock to lead the organization as its new executive director.  A veteran downtown professional, Willcock brings more than a decade of Main Street experience to The Village. 

The Village was selected in June as a Michigan Main Street program, joining a select group of downtowns that have earned the designation. The program, which is part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), supports selected local communities as they implement a community-driven, comprehensive strategy to encourage economic development in traditional downtown districts. The designation brings five years of intensive technical assistance from the MEDC with a focus on revitalization strategies designed to attract business investment, economic growth and job creation within The Village.   

"The Board is excited that Cindy will be filling the role of Main Street executive director in Grosse Pointe," Kasey Malley, Board Chair said. "As the Deputy Director for the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority, Cindy played an integral part in moving the needle on the revitalization of that district." 

Ferndale won the Great American Main Street award during Willcock’s tenure, and she earned certification in Community Transformation and Leadership Development from the Main Street America Institute.  "We are confident that Cindy will bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to Grosse Pointe," Malley said.

Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak, a member of the Executive Committee that spearheaded the search on behalf of the Main Street Board said, “We are pleased to have found such an experienced professional who will help us execute the Main Street plan. This is the first time we have had a full-time professional dedicated to The Village. We are confident Cindy will work well with property and business owners, the City and the larger Grosse Pointe community to create a renewed vitality in the district.”

Willcock is noted for her ability to connect people and organizations and bring them together to serve the community.

Over the next several weeks, Main Street Grosse Pointe will be working with a team of experts from the National Main Street Center and Michigan Main Street to develop a community transformation identification strategy that will help guide the program’s work to enhance and revitalize The Village. Stakeholder meetings, which are key to developing that strategy, will begin later this month and will include a virtual community visioning session in April.

Generated through meaningful community engagement and informed by an analysis of the district’s market position, the resulting transformation strategy will provide a roadmap designed to ensure that the downtown will be vibrant and vital for years to come.

“Despite the challenges that the past year has brought,” Willcock said, “I believe the future is bright for the Village. I’m looking forward to working with the Board, businesses and the community to help make sure the district remains the central destination to shop, dine, work, live and play in Grosse Pointe.”