The Covington News - - LOCAL - JACKIE GUTKNECHT jgutknecht@cov­news.com

peo­ple ap­plied for the So­cial Cir­cle Down­town Di­rec­tor po­si­tion. For­mer Cov­ing­ton Main Street Di­rec­tor, Velinda Hardy, was cho­sen to ful­fill the po­si­tion.

For­mer Cov­ing­ton Main Street Di­rec­tor has ac­cepted a sim­i­lar role in a neigh­bor­ing city af­ter re­sign­ing from her po­si­tion in Cov­ing­ton in Fe­bru­ary of this year.

Hardy re­places for­mer So­cial Cir­cle Down­town Di­rec­tor Tim Haney who was in the po­si­tion for ap­prox­i­mately six months, So­cial Cir­cle City Man­ager Adele Schirmer said.

Hardy was one of 18 ap­pli­cants for the po­si­tion, Schirmer said.

“There were two se­lec­tion com­mit­tees in­volved in the hiring process, and both were ex­tremely im­pressed with Ms. Hardy’s en­thu­si­asm and ex­pe­ri­ence in down­town and main street pro­grams, her ca­pa­bil­i­ties, her in­ter­per­sonal skills and her in­ter­est in So­cial Cir­cle,” Schirmer said.

“We are very pleased to be able to add Velinda Hardy to the So­cial Cir­cle team as our Down­town Di­rec­tor,” she said. “She will be sup­port­ing the Main Street pro­gram as well as the Down­town Development Au­thor­ity.

“Ms. Hardy comes with a wealth of rel­e­vant and lo­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, as well as en­thu­si­asm for lo­cal down­towns. She brings en­ergy and ideas, she is very fa­mil­iar with the Ge­or­gia Down­town pro­grams and is well re­spected by the staff at the Depart­ment of Com­mu­nity Af­fairs for her work in Ge­or­gia. She also has ex­pe­ri­ence in Main Street and es­tab­lish­ment of pro­grams such as a Farm­ers Mar­ket in Ope­lika, Alabama.”

So­cial Cir­cle’s Main Street pro­gram’s pro­gram is eco­nomic development through his­toric preser­va­tion down­town.

“Its role is to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where busi­nesses can thrive down­town,” Schirmer said. “This is achieved through down­town marketing pro­grams, ad­vo­cacy for down­town busi­nesses, es­tab­lish­ment and man­age­ment of events and fes­ti­vals and ac­tiv­i­ties down- town, op­er­a­tion of the Wel­come Cen­ter, re­cruit­ing and sup­port­ing the development of new busi­nesses down­town, and more.

“The Down­town Development Au­thor­ity is also fo­cused on eco­nomic development down­town through his­toric preser­va­tion and pro­vides and sup­ports the development op­por­tu­ni­ties with façade grants, small busi­ness pro­grams and fa­cil­i­ta­tion of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of his­toric build­ings with state and fed­eral loan and tax credit pro­grams. A cur­rent pro­ject of the down­town development au­thor­ity is the cre­ation of a down­town square.”

Submitted photo | The Cov­ing­ton News

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