Darrelyn Dunmore looks to the future of Foley Main Street

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 10/14/19

FOLEY - Darrelyn Dunmore has taken over as Director of Foley Main Street, and she’s excited and ready to begin work spreading the word on everything downtown Foley has to offer.

“We are …

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Darrelyn Dunmore looks to the future of Foley Main Street

Posted

FOLEY - Darrelyn Dunmore has taken over as Director of Foley Main Street, and she’s excited and ready to begin work spreading the word on everything downtown Foley has to offer.

“We are delighted to have Darrelyn spearheading the Foley Main Street initiative. She brings years of industry expertise including economic development, business cultivation, and community relations. She is a natural leader with a proven track record of success,” said Chad Watkins, President of the Foley Main Street Board of Directors.

During the recent search for a new director, the Board of Directors continued to keep the program organized, worked to get all the local businesses’ information loaded into the database, and set up the website while keeping up with the Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Now that she’s on board, Dunmore is looking to the future with events, ideas, and studies that she hopes to accomplish. Currently a Main Street event is in the works for March 2020, called “Lucky to Love Foley,” a reimagining of “Lucky to Live in Foley” which took place earlier this year.

Going forward, the next steps are to hold a board retreat and begin recruiting volunteers to help with Main Street, as accomplishing great things will be a group effort. A large focus will be placed on the recent market study results released in June, detailing local resident and business responses for what people would love to see come to downtown Foley. A large number of responses indicated the desire to see the alleyways utilized and decorated, and Dunmore is hard at work researching how to turn that into a reality.

While other ideas are high priority on the list, Dunmore wants to wait to do anything permanent until Foley’s branding is released from Main Street Alabama, a process that will be taking place next year. A team from Main Street Alabama will come in and learn all they can about Foley, from interviewing locals to taking a look into the city’s past, before creating a specialized brand logo and motto for Foley. The brand will be revealed in a ceremony, and once complete Dunmore wants to move forward with using the brand around the downtown area.

By emphasizing Foley’s downtown and everything it has to offer, Dunmore believes this will reintroduce locals to the area.

“We’re trying to bring local people back into downtown by letting them know what services we have here,” she said. “The doctors, the dentists, the computer repair places, we need to be highlighting those places so people know they’ve got a choice of where they can go.”

Another focus will be the sports tourism crowd and showcasing to them reasons to visit downtown Foley. To show everything located downtown to the public, both local and seasonal, Dunmore plans to expand Foley’s social media presence.

“If we can get those numbers up then when someone is looking to expand a business or bring a new business in, they’re going to be looking at who’s interested in Foley and they’ll do that by demographics,” Dunmore said. “The goal is to keep the historic businesses alive and well, but also show there’s so many opportunities and creative ways of blending the old and the new, and that’s what Main Street is all about: bringing the young people back in and preserving the history.”

Prior to Main Street, Dunmore served as the president/CEO of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce for 18 years and represented the Eastern Shore and Baldwin County on multiple boards representing the business and tourism communities. She served as Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama and on the CCAA board for ten years and served on the Alabama Tourism Council. She received the lifetime achievement James Wallace Award for her service to the State of Alabama and her chamber work.

“I am excited and honored to be working for Foley Main Street,” Dunmore said. “I am eager to work with our existing businesses, our board of directors and volunteers on this wonderful endeavor. We are going to shine a spotlight on what a great place downtown Foley is and work together to help shape the future and to grow Foley Main Street.”

For more information, check out the website at www.FoleyMainStreet.com and follow them on Facebook.