SEATTLE – Colville Together, the newest nonprofit organization to earn Washington Main Street Community designation, received the coveted Organizational Excellence Award at Washington Main Street’s Excellence on Main Awards Ceremony on July 20, 2020. The ceremony was held virtually statewide with attendees safely celebrating at socially distanced watch parties.
At the encouragement of Colville City Planner RJ Keetch, a Main Street team began coming together in 2014. This effort was spearheaded by a steering committee of community volunteers, the Chamber of Commerce, Tri County Economic Development District, and the City of Colville. They were focused on learning more about the Main Street Approach™ and eventually joining the Washington Main Street network. As the committee gained momentum, funding became a hot topic. The group knew they wanted to hire an executive director, but the ability to hire staff felt like a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum.
The answer came in the form of formalizing the partnership as an independent but unified nonprofit now known as Colville Together, which then was able to apply for lodging tax dollars and other funding. In 2018, Colville Together hired Rosemary Shaw as its first executive director.
“By starting with a focus on organizational capacity, broad community engagement, and partnerships across different sector, Colville Together has emerged as a standard of quality and cooperation,” said Breanne Durham, Washington Main Street Director.
In the wake of Covid-19, Colville Together has put much of its effort toward Colville’s small business community by galvanizing a community eager to support them. Shortly after the shutdowns, Colville Together organized a crowdfunding campaign that raised $4,500 to help small businesses stay viable. The Main Street organization has also secured grants from Locable and a regional foundation called Innovia, which will allow them to provide ongoing support to Colville businesses through a state-of-the-art e-commerce site.
As Shaw, who still serves as Colville Together Executive Director, puts it, “Working together makes any goal achievable!”
The Excellence on Main Awards, organized by the Washington State Main Street Program, recognize communities, organizations, and individuals who are helping to achieve economic vitality and build sustainable communities through downtown revitalization and preservation. Washington’s Main Street Program is housed in the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and administered, under contract, by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Organizational Excellence award is designed to recognize excellence in the areas related to building a strong downtown revitalization organization while achieving consensus and cooperation among stakeholder groups
For more information, please contact Breanne Durham, Washington Main Street Director, at the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-624-9449.
Local Contact: Rosemary Shaw, Colville Together, at 509-680-2841 or email@example.com