The National Main Street Center is pleased to announce that Donnie Rodgers, Jr. of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, Inc. in Lee’s Summit, Missouri is among the first cohort of recipients of the Main Street America Revitalization Professional credential, the highest credential achievable through the Main Street America Institute. Rodgers was recognized along with eight other recipients from across the country at the 2017 Main Street Now Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., on May 3, 2017.
“I am honored to be one of the first professionals to receive this national recognition. I deeply believe in the power of the Main Street Approach® to transform our communities and am blessed to work with such an amazing group of business owners and volunteers here in Lee’s Summit,” said Donnie Rodgers, Jr., executive director of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, Inc.
Rodgers has been with Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street since February 2014, initially serving as assistant director and was elevated to executive director in October 2015. He has spent his professional career working in Missouri downtowns and Missouri Main Street programs including Downtown Springfield Association in Springfield and Old Town Cape in Cape Girardeau. He has a master’s degree in Community Development from Kansas State University and a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Drury University.
“Donnie is a passionate advocate of Downtown Lee’s Summit and has proven leadership skills that ensure results working with other community leaders to stimulate re-investment, create jobs and foster pride of place,” said Gayla Roten, state director for Missouri Main Street Connection. “We are very proud that Donnie is one of the members of the first graduating class of Main Street America Institute. He has great vision and is doing a superb job for the Lee’s Summit community.”
“These MSARP graduates have taken an important step forward to ensure they have the tools needed to address the unique challenges and opportunities confronting 21st century urban and rural downtowns and commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center, Inc. “Their accomplishment is a direct reflection of their commitment and dedication to leading inclusive, community-driven revitalization efforts.”
Launched in 2016, the Main Street America Institute is the National Main Street Center’s targeted professional development training program aimed to equip downtown and commercial district leaders with the knowledge needed to lead results-oriented and preservation-based community revitalization organizations. Through the completion of a series of ten online courses, two multi-day workshops, and a capstone examination, MSARP graduates demonstrate mastery of critical leadership development practices and advanced fundamentals of community development techniques through the lens of the Center’s refreshed Main Street Approach®.