At the ceremony, Mary Rae Carter, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Rural Development congratulated the communities and pointed out the visible results of their leadership. Next, DHCD Director Bill Shelton highlighted some of the cummulative outcomes across Virginia: this year’s net job gain of 663 jobs and the more than $275 million privately invested over the past five years.
The keynote speaker of this year’s luncheon was nationally recognized sustainable preservation expert Jean Carroon, FAIA, LEED AP. Ms. Carroon reminded the audience how important their work is in preserving their communities and protecting the planet. “People often forget that before we recycle, we can reduce consumption and reuse existing products,” she said. “A building is the one of the largest handmade objects we have. Reusing a building reduces our environmental impact in a way far greater than recycling an aluminum can.”
Finally, Virginia Main Street presented the Milestone Achievement Awards. Fifteen communities received awards in categories such as building rehabilitation, private investment, and volunteer investment. A milestone for the entire group was the first $100 Million Award for Private Investment, earned by the Old Town Development Board and the City of Winchester. Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. received special recognition for their Be a Culpeper Local campaign. The full list of award recipients is available here.
Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients.