(Hartford, CT – August 16, 2012) – Connecticut Main Street Center is pleased to announce the selection of Susan Westa, AICP, as the organization’s Community Engagement Director. In her position, Ms. Westa will work with local private and public leadership and volunteers to build a consensus vision for their downtowns, engaging regional planning organizations and state agencies as appropriate. She will lead a comprehensive education and communications program targeted at both CT Main Street member communities and other key communities, especially along transportation corridors, to help stakeholders understand the benefits of restoring and/or building high-quality, compact mixed-use neighborhoods centered around transportation choices.


Ms. Westa has 25 years of experience working with communities to help them plan for the future. For the last 11 years, Susan was an Extension Educator with the University of Connecticut, serving as Co-Director of the Green Valley Institute, where she developed outreach and educational programs for municipal leaders that addressed smart growth, community planning and design, and natural resource issues. For two years, she also served as the Coordinator and Planner for the Borderlands Village Innovation Pilot Project. Prior to that Ms. Westa worked as a planning consultant in upstate New York. She is a Certified Planner and has an MS in Environmental Science.


“We are thrilled to welcome Susan to our CT Main Street team, and look forward to introducing her to our member network,” said John Simone, President & CEO. “Sue brings expertise in planning, land use, and civic engagement to Connecticut’s Main Streets. She has worked with towns to identify strategies to promote downtown development as a way to protect rural areas and natural resources. This on-the-ground experience furthers our goal of being the leading downtown technical assistance provider in the State.”