DTMS grew during '12Growth seemed to be a theme at Red Wing Downtown Main Street’s annual meeting, which took place Feb. 1 at the Sheldon Theater.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Growth seemed to be a theme at Red Wing Downtown Main Street’s annual meeting, which took place Feb. 1 at the Sheldon Theater.
Not only is the organization physically expanding its borders, it also is bringing three small businesses to downtown Red Wing and hopes to add staff members in the coming year.
“We have some momentum going forward,” said John Becker, the organization’s outgoing president. “We’re very excited.”
Late last year, the DTMS board of directors voted to expand the organization’s borders to include Old West Main Street and the historical Pottery District. That just about doubled DTMS’s territory.
“The Old West Main portion of the community in many respects had been neglected,” Becker said.
The other thing Becker focused on during his last year as president was the Red Wing Innovation Incubator, which is designed to get small businesses off the ground by helping them with things such as funding or consulting.
The incubator helped start Red Wing Brewery and Lake Pepin Innovations. But simply helping businesses get on their feet wouldn’t keep the incubator itself in business, Becker said.
“We knew that wasn’t a sustainable model,” he said.
As of last spring, DTMS rents two suites above Corner Drug on West Third Street to house its incubator.
Just before the annual meeting, three small businesses became clients, meaning they will pay fees to work out of the suites and use the technology — high speed Internet, video conferencing and a collaborative workspace — the incubator offers.
The businesses include Flyway Film Festival, which was headquartered in Pepin. Festival creator Rick Vaicius said moving to Red Wing will “provide greater exposure to independent film for the local and area community, as well as greater accessibility for attendees and filmmakers.”
The Independent Film Project, owned by Lu Lippold, assists the Flyway Film Festival with communications and funding grants. Lippold also runs the McKnight Foundation Fellowships for filmmakers and screenwriters.
By working out of the incubator, she hopes to expand Flyway’s reach, plan educational programs and seminars for the community and expand film arts in Red Wing.
The third business is Emergence Pictures Inc., a video and film production company owned by Dawn Mikkelson. Her business produces documentary-style videos for regional, national and international non-profits.
Looking forward, DTMS will work to achieve a national Main Street accreditation. Board member Jill Prahl said nearly everything is in order for the accreditation to go through. However, the group will need to hire an executive director, which it hopes to do in the next few months.
The 2013 board of directors was also approved at the annual meeting. Julie Eckstrom and Carol Duff are stepping down.
The new board will include: Dawn Bennett, president; Jill Prahl, vice president; Char Henn, secretary; Leslie Hakala, treasurer; and members Colt Ekblad, Nichole Rae Miller, Anthony Nemcek, Andrew Peterson, Tom Quanrud, Suzanne Simonson and Josh Thygesen. Becker will serve as an ex officio member.