November 30, 2016

Dear Friends, Members & Colleagues

simone-headshot-hi-resI’m writing to you to announce my retirement, effective August 2017.

For those of you who may not know, I’ve served as CMSC’s President & CEO since the organization became a non-profit in 2000 after Eversource Energy (then CL&P) became the only private corporation in the country to solely sponsor and administer a Main Street Program in 1995.

I’m proud of our many accomplishments, most notably that the organization has grown from a staff of two to its current form, with four full-time employees, one part-time employee, a year-long VISTA Volunteer, and two interns. I’m also particularly proud of the growth of our member network, with membership growing from six to over 70 communities, and our work creating the award-winning Come Home to Downtown program and subsequent passage of expanded Tax Increment Financing legislation that allows communities to create TIF districts – which I truly believe can be a  valuable new resource for our downtowns and main streets.

I am looking forward to stepping back, slowing down a little and taking the time to consider what my next adventures might be. However, until next August when I do retire, I plan on working closely with a very supportive board and capable staff to ensure a smooth transition. I intend to do everything in my power to make sure we have set the stage for a new person to take the reins and launch the next iteration of CT Main Street Center.

In preparation for my successor, the CMSC Board has established a transition team to guide the search for a new leader. We’re confident CMSC’s recently adopted Strategic Plan will provide valuable guidance for CMSC’s next leader, as our new plan embodies a bold vision to transform our main streets into a collective economic engine for the entire state.

It’s been a great journey over the last 16+ years here at CMSC, and I’ve enjoyed working with you and seeing how our downtowns are once again being viewed as the epicenters of our communities. It truly is an exciting time for CMSC and our downtowns, and I look forward to seeing CMSC and all of you continue to evolve.

With great appreciation,

John Simone