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Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House - A Great Success

Since taking over the helm as Executive Director on July 26, 2012, Gerald Robbins has been righting his ship, getting to know the controls and setting course on a journey whose destination is still under planning.

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street (HJSMS) held a Holiday Open House on December 6, 2012 at Gail's Cafe, 268 Centre Street. A joyous affair, it was matched in style, energy and ambiance to the energies of the Main Street group and to the expectations of a holiday gathering.

Police officers, dressed in their finest, stood at the entrance greeting everyone - friendly, outgoing and welcoming. Inside the event was almost boisterous as people laughed, traded stories and consumed their choice of spicy chicken, pasta with broccoli, sauteed tangy potatoes, meat balls in meat sauce, salad and spinach pie. Just excellent.

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House

After the Open House, community residents strolled up chilly Centre Street to view the festive holiday lights. The district's beautiful winning window display, Sonia's Bridal and Quinceanera, received a recognition award at the event.

"This is our first real community event," said Mr. Robbins. "We've also had a daffodil planting, and a community cleanup and we helped the businesses promote other activities that are sponsored by other organizations. At the present time we are aiming for low hanging fruit to establish relationships. We want people to stay in the neighborhood."

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House



The Open House was a celebration of the Hyde Square and Jackson Square neighborhoods and a chance for the organization to re-introduce itself to the neighborhood as well as to publicize the new executive director.




Getting to Know the Businesses

Kay Kaigler, who has been with Boston Main Streets for 15 years, said that "every neighborhood is so very different in its dynamics that it becomes difficult to compare one Main Street to another Main Street. But I am a little prejudiced. I think this group is doing extremely well."

As a new executive director, Gerald said that his first goal was to "get the administrative stuff up in order - the filing system, the accounting system, email notification system - the administrative heart of any organization."

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House



That's not what impressed Kay about Gerald's performance. What she saw was how quickly he reached out to the businesses in the long stretch of Centre Street from Columbus Ave to Huntington Ave. " A new Main Street director has to get to know the business owners and the property owners. The most effective way is to walk in the front door of a business. Gerald is very skilled in the way he deals with people, and he is very forward thinking in how to move the Main Street program and therefore the neighborhood."

She continued: "Gerald, I think, has visited every single business in the business district. It is amazing. He has already brought in storefront projects - Boston's Restore Program. And he is not shy about any of it."

Gerald's description of his first month was similar. "How many businesses are there? 137 and I have already visited 130 of them." And what was his goal in month number two? "Continue to introduce myself to business owners, take care of our accounting issues and start to think about what we're going to do to move forward strategically."


In Praise of the Board Members

He praises his six board members who meet with him every two weeks, alternating programming and promotions with administrative issues. Since the Main Street program is on course, they are beginning the process of identifying and vetting another four or so individuals who will be announced as the new board members at an annual meeting in late winter / early spring.

"I believe in transparency. At every board meeting, I have a complete set of reports about everything that I'm doing. The status of the checking account and our finances is reconciled monthly.  The executive committee of our board is kept completely up-to-date and would be able to step in if something happened to me."

Right now their board meetings are closed to the public. "We are a private organization. I agree that opening our board meetings up selectively to the public might be a great idea. At the present time, the agenda is too specific for general public understanding."

On the other hand, why wait for a board meeting? Gerald Robbins offers you this invitation: 

"Head over to the Main Street office at 339 Centre Street.
Introduce yourself and share your ideas.

What more could Main Street could be doing to help the business district grow?"



Contact Information

(617) 522-3694
info@hydejacksonsquare.org,
http://www.hydejacksonsquare.org

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House





Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House


Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House




Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Open House

Hyde Jackson Square Main Street


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Posted: Posted: December 15, 2012     Nancy J Conrad
 

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