For Immediate Release
March 8, 2022
Communications & Strategy Director
CT Main Street Center Welcomes New Development Director
New position will enrich current supporters, grow funding network
HARTFORD, March 8, 2022 – Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) is pleased to announce the addition of Brian Thomas as its new Development Director. This is the first time in the company’s history that it has a position solely dedicated to cultivating funder relationships and expanding its financial base.
Mr. Thomas began his tenure with CMSC on February 28th. As CMSC’s new Development Director, he’ll strengthen and grow the organization’s relationships with its founding partners, Corporate Investors, community and bank foundations, and individual donors in support of CMSC’s work teaching people to cultivate vibrant downtown neighborhoods.
“Our funders are integral to our success, and we want to make sure they understand just how impactful their support is,” said Interim CEO Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker. “That’s why we’re so thrilled to have Brian join our team. With his passion for relationship-building and enthusiasm for local communities and philanthropy, we know our current supporters will feel even more valued and appreciated, while we also grow relationships with new funders who can feel equally confident investing in our work.”
Mr. Thomas’s transition from the corporate world to the non-profit sector was inspired by a personal loss. He’d been working at Hewlett Packard for 15 years when he lost his cousin to cystic fibrosis. Inspired to make a change, he became the first Executive Director of Outrun 38, a local non-profit organization focused on running, healthy living, and raising funds for the adult cystic fibrosis community.
Mr. Thomas helped develop Outrun 38 from the ground up, fostering partnerships with shoreline communities, small businesses, community organizations, and local elected officials. Under his leadership, Outrun 38 successfully raised funds for the adult CF community through community events, road races, and a half-marathon, made possible through community partnerships and sponsors.
From there Mr. Thomas moved to the Muscular Dystrophy Association of CT as a Development Manager, raising funds for individuals and families affected by muscular dystrophy. At MDA, Mr. Thomas worked closely with community and corporate sponsors on a variety of fundraising events, including golf tournaments, walks, galas, and 5k races.
Looking for a new challenge, he then moved to the American Cancer Society as Senior Development Manager in February 2020. There he was tasked with leading the Relay For Life of Farmington Valley, the fourth largest Relay in the country, as well as working with community and corporate partners, and all-volunteer event leadership teams. Even during the pandemic, Mr. Thomas found ways to work with the volunteer team, community and corporate partners to host a “socially distant” Relay for Life – allowing ACS to continue to raise funds to support cancer research, as well as support services for those affected by cancer.
About Connecticut Main Street Center
CMSC is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel our state’s prosperity. Our mission is to assess, educate, convene, and advocate to develop and grow our traditional downtowns, village centers, and urban mixed-use neighborhoods. We provide education and training, resources and technical assistance, and function as the statewide champion for downtowns and Main Streets of all sizes.
CMSC is supported by its Founding Sponsors, the CT Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) and Eversource Energy. CMSC is also supported by its Growth Sponsors, UIL Holdings Corp. and the State Historic Preservation Office . More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org.