Step Three: Understand the Role

The Main Street Executive role is incredibly dynamic. It requires an energetic individual who thrives on making connections, problem solving, and making things happen. It’s not suited for someone who would rather stay behind a desk. Additionally, each community has different needs that may require an emphasis on certain skills, abilities, and knowledge. It’s vital that the Search Committee has a very good understanding of the role and the community served.

Watch “A Day in the Life of a Main Street Executive”

CMSC put together a short video “A Day in the Life of a Main Street Executive” to help your Search Committee and community get a better sense of what the role entails on a day-to-day basis. We recommend that your whole Search Committee watches this short video.

Survey the Board of Directors, Search Committee, and Community

To get a better understanding of what your community needs, survey your Board of Directors, Search Committee members, and community stakeholders. Provided in this toolkit is a Community Survey Template.

Host a Community Focus Group

Holding a community focus group of 20-30 individuals allows for even more stakeholders to be involved in the search process. This informs the Search Committee of real wants and needs the community has for its Main Street in order to find the right leader.

Invite the following types of stakeholders to the focus group:

  • Property owners
  • Business owners
  • Public Safety
  • Public Works
  • Leaders of key institutions located on Main Street (e.g. Public Library, museum, theater, house of worship, hospital, bank, etc.)
  • Main Street volunteers
  • Active community member(s)
  • Residents
  • Employees who work on Main Street
  • Municipal economic development leader

Additionally, prioritize inviting stakeholders of different genders, race, ethnicities, abilities, and other individuals with unique lived experiences.

CMSC has prepared a customizable PowerPoint presentation to help guide your community conversation. At this meeting, you can also distribute the Community Survey.

Tips for hosting the Community Focus Group:

  • Find a location that is big enough to accommodate the attendees with tables and chairs with a projector.
  • Select a facilitator for the evening to keep the conversation moving forward.
  • Select a notetaker(s) for the evening to keep track of all the conversation.
  • Provide light refreshments from a Main Street business.
  • Hold the focus group in the evening to accommodate different schedules.
  • Consider using nametags.

Time Frame

  • Watching “A Day in the Life of a Main Street Executive”: The Search Committee should watch the video within the first week of forming.
  • Administering the Community Survey: Depending on how and who you decide to administer the survey to, it could take 1-2 weeks to send and collect the survey. If you host a community focus group, you can administer and collect the survey that day.
  • Hosting a community focus group: Scheduling and sending invitations in advance of this step can take 2-4 weeks.

Action Kit Resource

To Do

  • Search Committee watches “A Day in the Life of a Main Street Executive” video
  • Administer Community Survey
  • Host community focus group