Monday, June 27, 2011

Among those sorry to see Nagy leave

I don't know Doug Nagy well. In fact I've never met the man. Only interviewed him a couple of times by phone. But his reputation is such that I have formed an opinion of the Downtown Painesville Organization's executive director.

I live in Painesville Township a couple of miles from Painesville Square and lived in the city prior to that - a total of 15 years in that area now. I often tell people I really like living in the Painesville area, because of the old architecture downtown, diversity, pedestrian traffic, unique mom & pop restaurants and lack of traffic congestion.

Mr. Nagy may not have had a lot to do with those things, but the overall impression I get is he was good for the downtown and, consequently, the city. My co-workers who have dealt with him can attest to his zeal for getting the word out about goings-on.

I think the most telling thing was when I was covering a Chardon City Council meeting awhile back and there was talk of needing a director like Nagy (don't think his name was actually mentioned) to lead Chardon's fledgling Main Street Ohio program. It seems he is held in high esteem among others who are familiar with his work.

So I was sorry to see when he recently announced he would step down from the Painesville position at the end of August to continue his education in the MBA program at the University of Chicago.

In addition to helping Painesville gain certification as an Ohio Main Street community, Nagy led the organization's revitalization efforts and developed one of the largest college intern programs in the area, recruiting more than two dozen participants.

"Downtown Painesville is making a big comeback," he said. "Over the last three years, more than a dozen businesses have opened, including three new restaurants and a winery. We have taken a hands-on approach to preserving the neighborhood's history and helping our small businesses."

According to a Downtown Organization news release, the neighborhood marketing strategy Nagy implemented in Painesville has become a statewide model for the Ohio Main Street Program.

I am not surprised. I only hope whoever succeeds him has the same tireless work ethic and vision for Painesville.

Thanks, Doug.

-- Betsy Scott,


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