Washington Evening Journal
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WASHINGTON — Main Street Washington Executive Director Sarah Grunewaldt has announced her plans to leave the role in August. She has led the group since 2014.
“There have been challenging moments, but I have never regretted my decision to come and work here in Washington and to work on Main Street,” Grunewaldt said. “I’m sad, I’m excited, there’s lots of emotions behind it.”
Grunewaldt said she had accepted a position at Johnson County Public Health, where she will take on the department’s outreach and engagement coordinator position. She does not plan to move out of the Washington area.
“I will be doing a lot of what I do with Main Street, but for a county level,” she said. “I still get to work with the workforce development office, I still get to work with businesses a little bit. Most of it is the marketing, the outreach, how we communicate with our community in a way that is meaningful … a lot of that is going to overlap, just the type of information I’m sharing is probably going to change.”
The outgoing executive director has been a pivotal player for Main Street Washington. In her tenure, she oversaw over $12.5 million in the city’s downtown, helped establish the Washington Farmer’s Market advisory board and tracked 29 downtown business starts, relocations and expansions, according to a news release from the group’s board president, Madelyn Widmer.
“During her tenure, Sarah has been one of the driving forces behind Main Street’s growth and success as an organization,” Widmer said in the news release. “Sarah’s vision and leadership will be greatly missed by the volunteers, board, and partners alike. We wish her the best of luck in her next chapter but are thankful that she and her husband are remaining active members of our community.”
Widmer said Main Street Washington would spend the next several months "conducting a thorough search“ for the group’s next executive director.