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DNDA names Main Street Champion

NEWTON, N.C. (March 21, 2016) – The Downtown Newton Development Association named Jerry Hodge as its Main Street Champion for 2015.

Jerry HodgeHodge was instrumental in reestablishing the DNDA and is continually supportive of advancing business opportunities in Downtown Newton. A current member of Newton City Council, Hodge is the former chairperson of the Business Advisory Council, which supports growing and developing small businesses within the city.

“My vision for Downtown Newton is to complement the strength of the downtown property features with business-generating events and promotions, robust organizational energy, and contagious business development that revitalizes the downtown and greater Newton economy,” Hodge said. “Downtown Newton advocates—working cooperatively—can accomplish Main Street goals that make Downtown Newton one of North Carolina’s finest destinations.”

“Jerry’s passion and commitment to Downtown Newton is clear,” Newton Mayor Anne P. Stedman said. “He is actively involved in our community and works every day to make sure Downtown Newton is as great as it can be.”

Shannon Johnson, Newton’s Main Street manager, said advocates like Hodge play a large role in making Downtown Newton a desirable location for businesses and a vibrant destination for visitors.

“The DNDA is thankful for Jerry’s contributions to our organization. We look forward to working with him for years to come,” Johnson said.

N.C. Main Street provides technical assistance, guidance and training to 61 participating communities—including Newton—across the state. The program aims to help selected communities restore economic vitality to their historic downtowns through a process developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The process, known as the Main Street Four-Point Approach, includes organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring.

Main Street Champions from across the state were recognized for their commitment to downtown improvements and strong communities during the N.C. Main Street Conference in Goldsboro on March 18. More than 600 Main Street Champions have been named since 1980.

Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III, attended the ceremony and thanked each of this year’s Main Street Champions.

“Main Street Champions recognize the possibilities in their downtowns and strive to make those possibilities a reality,” Skvarla said. “N.C. Main Street Champions represent some of our communities’ most valued leaders.”

“This year’s Champions represent Main Street board members and volunteers, nonprofit leaders, downtown developers and small business owners, elected officials, city employees, and boy scouts,” said Liz Parham, director of the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center. “These individuals give 110 percent to their community and then ask, ‘What’s next?’”

For more information about the Downtown Newton Development Association and Newton’s N.C. Main Street program, contact Shannon Johnson at or 828-695-4360.