To *STAR* supporters and friends,

This note is to update you on *STAR*’s recent activities and current projects. I apologize for it being longer than usual, however there is much good news to report.

As most of you know, it has been our desire to see *STAR* in the capable hands of a younger generation of people who also love Stanardsville and are ready and willing to continue work on its revitalization. We have been successful!

We now have a fine new board of directors, under the capable leadership of Corey Jacober. Corey has had a successful career as a business consultant, business owner, and real estate investor. He and his wife are former owners of Jack’s Shop Kitchen. The new board he leads brings a wide range of skills and experiences and has fresh ideas. Some, like Matthew Woodson, have lived and thrived here since they were only a gleam in their parents’ eyes.

The new board includes nine ‘at large’ members elected by the former board members, and six ‘ex-officio’ members appointed by local entities representing Stanardsville Town Council, the GC Board of Supervisors, the GC Historical Society, the Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Authority, and GC Economic Development and Tourism. We are delighted that Marie Durrer, the Chair of the Board of Supervisors, has agreed to take on the role as its liaison.  [See list of new board members on “About Us” tab]

To kick things off, the board and friends held a planning session that was professionally facilitated. One conclusion was that better communications with the public are necessary, especially as new businesses are attracted to town. The outreach will make greater use of social media and our website to communicate progress, needs, and profiles of people and businesses. We also hope to hold more events where we continue to build a strong sense of community.

The current focus is implementing our Community Business Launch grant (CBL) to attract new businesses to town. As required by the grant, we advertised for entrepreneurs with good business ideas who want to establish business here. They were required to take business development training provided by the state’s Small Business Development professionals, before competing for significant business financial assistance to help launch their dream. The initial advertising attracted twenty-one participants. Not all will continue to the ‘pitch’ contest on 5:30pm, May 8that PVCC, but many excellent prospects will. You are welcome to attend. We are delighted that this grant does not require any local taxes or individual contributions and could make a great contribution to Stanardsville’s revitalization.

Julie West has worked with local teams to make the physical aspects of the town more attractive. She and her supporters maintained the small bump-out gardens on Main Street and removed trash along Main Street. Thank you, Julie! Although Julie must step back from leading this effort, she will remain involved as a new team is being formed.

Greene Commons Group had a good winter farmers market, helped by the mild weather. Typically, ten or more vendors bring a variety of excellent food products (produce, meat, eggs, pastries, jams, cheese) and other attractive offerings. The summer market opened on April 6thwith more tasty and healthy food, and creative crafts. Spring offerings have started!

We are looking for one or more enthusiasts to manage the market and the entertainment venue. Ellen is moving to Montana and Judy’s tack business has grown to where she must devote her full time to it. Emily Beyers of ED&T and Sarah Morton of Virginia Career Works have volunteered to fill the gap, at least for an interim period. The arrangements with VCW appear very promising. You will be seeing new smiling faces helping make the market a continued success.

We still work on trying to save the 1840 William Mills House, restore it, and return it to being a striking feature of Stanardsville’s Main Street and a productive business attraction. The owners have many other corporate activities that have priority over our community efforts.

Although I am stepping back from my former role, I am delighted that Roy Dye has agreed to continue as Executive Director through the implementation of the CBL grant. Roy has been the critical person in our streetscape improvements, the creation of the pavilion and entertainment venue, maintaining our status as a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, and everything else *STAR* has accomplished. He would be impossible to replace.

We thank you for your continued support. I especially appreciate all the help you have provided to me over the past 20 years or so. *STAR* thrives, has much more to accomplish, and is now well-equipped to do it.

Regards, Don Pamenter (now called Chairman Emeritus ????)