Jackie DutyALTON – The Alton Main Street Board has unanimously voted to induct Jackie Duty into the Board of Directors. She will serve as the chair of the Economic Vitality Committee. Jackie brings a wealth of knowledge from almost two decades in corporate media. She sold and managed sales divisions in newspapers, magazines, 15 radio stations, television, and all emerging digital technologies.

For the last several years, she served as an International Development Director for an international academy in which she led the entrepreneur program launching many companies.

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“I’m excited to help all businesses owners grow their companies and help fulfill the vision of the great men and women that have so faithfully served this community for many years. Sara is the heart of this community and I’m excited to be a part of her team in growing the downtown Alton area.” Jackie expressed.

Jackie Duty is a part of Riverbender.com and helps businesses across the Riverbend region market and promote their companies for big impact with a low cost. Her passion is to help business owners and people tell their stories.

The Alton Main Street Economic Vitality Committee works to enhance the business environment through targeted efforts to stimulate economic vitality, sharpen the competitiveness of downtown merchants, and make the district more attractive to investors. The goal is to bring public and private interests and resources to the table to be most effective.

  • Promoting the “SHOP LOCAL” movement
  • Business recruiting & retention
  • What’s Up Downtown quarterly information exchanges, along with other networking opportunities
  • Marketing support
  • Market research & analysis
  • Encouraging residential development
  • Promoting our “Guide to Starting a New Business”
  • Promoting available real estate to find new uses for underutilized space
  • Assisting with business incubation to serve entrepreneurs in the area

There are many exciting opportunities to get involved. September 30, 2021, the organization will host IdeaBounce®.

IdeaBounce® is an event for sharing ideas and making connections. This is an opportunity to pitch your idea (no matter how “half-baked”), get feedback on it, and make connections. Inventors, founders, startups and creatives from all across the region, and those interested in supporting them, are invited to attend on Thursday, September 30th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Jacoby Arts Center, located at 627 E. Broadway in Alton, Illinois.

To assist with advancing the ideas, $1,500 in prize money will be awarded by a panel of esteemed judges: Rhonda Breslin, Assistant Vice President at Busey Bank, Todd Kennedy, owner of EastGate Plaza in East Alton and serial entrepreneur, and Dr. Ken Trzaska, President of Lewis and Clark Community College. A people’s choice vote by the attendees will determine the winner of a complimentary month of private office accommodations donated by Alternative Office Space, a new state-of-the-art co-working facility in East Alton.

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“Alton Main Street is excited to be collaborating with Washington University’s Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship to take our pitch competitions to the next level,” says Sara McGibany, Executive Director of Alton Main Street. “This is another example of the advocacy and support that our organization has been providing for new and existing small businesses and our creative community members for decades.”

Who is Alton Main Street?

The National Main Street Center was established as a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980 to address the myriad issues facing historic downtowns. Working with a nationwide network, Main Street has helped over 2,000 communities across the country bring economic vitality back downtown, while celebrating their historic character, and bringing communities together.

Since 1994, Alton Main Street has led volunteer efforts to transform Alton’s Downtown district into a thriving commercial and residential center. Educating citizens about the benefits of historic preservation through public engagement is central to Alton Main Street’s purpose. The organization fosters an appreciation of our community’s history by coordinating social, economic and beautification activities.

What is the Mission?

Alton Main Street’s mission is to engage our community in the continued renewal of our historic downtown district and Mississippi River heritage by cultivating an attractive center of economic and social activity.

Alton Main Street is seeking a Co-Chair for its Economic Vitality committee to fill the one remaining seat on its Board of Directors. Additional committee members are also welcome to join and assist with efforts to retain and grow businesses in Downtown Alton. Prospective volunteers are encouraged to get involved with this group effort; for more information contact: Sara McGibany at sara@altonmainstreet.org or 618-463-1016.

For more information, contact: Sara McGibany at sara@altonmainstreet.org

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