by Emily Kaminsky
This week marks a transition in the world of downtown Barre businesses. The Barre Partnership, a Main Street program committed to creating a vibrant downtown Barre, named Josh Jerome as its new executive director. His first day on the job was Dec. 15. I caught up with him the morning of his first day and he was already sifting through documents to get his bearings, planning on visiting one or two business owners, and following up on leads for two new possible events.
“I want to do some cool events,” he says. “I’m already working with some people in the area to create a running event.” In addition, he plans on creating a home-brew and craft beer festival with the hopes of getting enthusiasts to consider downtown Barre as a place to enjoy the product as well as potentially locate a brewery.
On top of all of that, Jerome is transitioning the Partnership’s office from the former Merchants Bank Building in downtown Barre to the second floor of a converted yellow house at the corner of Merchant and Summer streets owned by DLM Bookkeeping Services.
Jerome is a community development professional with links to local businesses and loan investment. He comes to the Barre Partnership from the Barre-based Community Capital of Vermont, where he was a loan officer, helping start-up businesses. Jerome also serves as treasurer for the board of the Granite City Grocery and as treasurer for the board of the Barre Partnership, a position he has resigned now that he has been named the Partnership’s executive director.
Jerome was chosen from among a strong slate of candidates, said Hillary Montgomery, president of the Partnership’s board of directors. “The board of directors was thrilled to receive a large number applications from people who all expressed their desire to work for the Barre Partnership. The pool of highly-qualified candidates speaks to the buzz in Barre and that the Partnership is well positioned to keep it going. I and the rest of the board look forward to working with Josh. ”
“The future for downtown Barre is exciting,” Jerome said, “and I plan to bring that knowledge and a sense of eagerness to move the Partnership to its next level of growth and sustainability.” Jerome, a Graniteville native, has a B.A. in social science from Lyndon State College and an M.A. in sustainable businesses and communities from Goddard College. He replaces Dan Jones, who resigned after four years as the Partnership’s executive director to return to a career in teaching. During his tenure, Jones managed a successful marketing campaign to maintain foot traffic to main street businesses while Main Street was shut down for upgrades to the city’s sewer and water infrastructure.
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