Downtowns and main streets are complex, incorporating many different components like retail, transit and placemaking that all need to be addressed in order to create a thriving, vibrant commercial district. At CMSC, we recognize that communities sometimes need specialized expertise beyond our capacity to provide, which is why we created our Professional Affiliate network.

Our Professional Affiliate network is comprised of industry leaders who understand the many facets of a healthy downtown and who can help communities find the solutions they need.  Representing a wide range of industries, our network is diverse, knowledgeable and here to help.

Here are three things you should to know about this valuable resource:

  1. Professional Affiliate Mike Goman, Goman + York, moderates a panel discussion during our recent Retail in the Age of Disruption summit.

    Our Professional Affiliates have specialized knowledge related to downtown management & revitalization

CMSC members have a great resource at their fingertips – our Professional Affiliates represent the fields of preservation, economic & community development, land use, transportation and responsible growth policies, organizational development, marketing and other key areas. Whatever, you need, chances are one of our affiliates can help you.

  1. They’re great teachers

CMSC Professional Affiliate Laura Brown, UCONN Extension, leads our BRIDGE Series event on Downtown Trails as Community & Economic Development Drivers.

Because of their incredible depth of knowledge, we often ask our Professional Affiliates to present at CMSC workshops, especially our BRIDGE Series events. Short yet focused, these events are the perfect venue for sharing concise information on areas of interests to downtowns. In fact, our upcoming BRIDGE event on March 6th will feature CMSC Professional Affiliate To Design as Principal Phil Barlow leads a talk on The Value Urban Parks & Public Spaces. (Haven’t signed up yet? Don’t worry, it’s not too late to register.)

We also rolled out our new CMSC Blog as another way for our Professional Affiliates to inform and inspire our members and others. Our blog post last month was authored by CMSC Professional Affiliate Ben Levenger from Downtown Redevelopment Services, who eloquently described why it’s important to have an actionable downtown management plan. You can expect to see many of our other Professional Affiliates offering similar guidance here, like To Design, who’ll be featured in our March blog.

  1. They’re easy to find

Want to know more about our Professional Affiliates? You don’t have to look far. There are many ways to learn more about our network and how to contact them.

  • Resource Guide – This colorful booklet lists CMSC’s Professional Affiliates by industry and includes contact information for each. Look for it at our events, or as an online PDF.
  • Newsletter – Each monthly edition of our e-newsletter, Downtown Update, has a clickable listing of our Professional Affiliates at the bottom. Just scroll down to find the one you’re looking for.
  • Website – Similarly, all of our Professional Affiliates can be found on the CMSC website with links to each organization.
  • Blog – Be sure to check out our monthly blog posts to learn more about our Professional Affiliates and how they can help you.
  • CMSC Events – Our Professional Affiliates know and love downtowns as much as we do. As passionate, curious leaders in their field, they’re often in attendance at our workshops in a variety of roles – as sponsors, attendees and speakers. Feel free to introduce yourself and start a conversation!


About the Author

Christine serves as the Marketing & Development Director for the Connecticut Main Street Center, a small but mighty non-profit that champions downtowns and Main Streets all across the state. She is Hootsuite-certified in Social Marketing and a member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS). She is also the author of numerous publications and has a particular affinity for puns, plays on words, and taking complex information and making it engaging and easy to understand.