Wilson Downtown Development Corporation

Wilson Downtown Development Corporation

Vision Statement

A crossroads of southern charm and modern innovation, Historic Downtown Wilson is the heartbeat of a diverse community where arts, culture and unique business draw people day and night.

Mission Statement

Wilson Downtown Development Corporation’s mission is to lead community investment and drive the social, cultural & economic engine of an authentic Wilson by creating and promoting a vibrant, innovative & sustainable downtown.

Board of Directors

Wilson Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC), a non-profit organization , was created for the purpose of promoting historic preservation and combating community deterioration.  WDDC is managed by a 23-member Board of Directors comprised of downtown business owners, property owners, non-profit leaders, and city and county representatives, all of whom have a passion for revitalizing the heart of the city.  They provide leadership in downtown development by delivering vision, human capital and managing financial resources.

A Municipal Service District (MSD) was established downtown in 1981 in accordance with state law.  Owners of property located within the MSD pay an additional $.17 per $100 value on property taxes.  Approximate annual MSD revenue is currently $65,000. Revenue generated from the MSD tax is used within the MSD boundaries by WDDC for special events, marketing, redevelopment incentives and programs to realize the vision of a vibrant downtown.

  • President – Ken Hill, Merrill Lynch
  • Vice President – Lynne Medlin, Wilson Chamber of Commerce
  • Secretary – Ijeoma Uwakwe, Wilson Value Drug Store
  • Treasurer – Matthew Chesson, The Chesson Agency
  • Past President – Charlie Bedgood, IV, COPI
  • Mayor Bruce Rose, City of Wilson
  • Denise Stinagle, County Manager
  • Rodger Lentz, Representative of Wilson City Manager
  • A.P. Coleman, Wilson City Council
  • Sherry Lucas, County Commissioner
  • Gary Daynes, Barton College
  • Crissy Oravits, Music & More Recording Studio and Arts Council of Wilson
  • Allyson Moye, Womble Realty
  • Lew Langley, Dimple ‘N Lace Photography
  • Chris Hill, Wilson County Commission
  • Ryan Simons, Wilson Chamber of Commerce
  • Sgt. Stuart Haste, Wilson Police Department
  • Larry McKeel, We Can Assist, Inc.
  • Cornelia Ashby, Lovely Interiors
  • Dr. Michael Bell, St. John’s CDC; SaYum Jamaican Food
  • Chuck Williamson, The Chesson Agency
  • Nancy Van Dolsen, Imagination Station Science & Museum

Staff and Office

The organization is a public/private partnership comprised of Wilson Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC) and the City of Wilson Downtown Development Division housed in the Planning and Community Revitalization Department at City Hall, 112 Goldsboro Street E.  The Office of Downtown Development is staffed with three full-time employees:

  • Kimberly Van Dyk – Planning & Community Revitalization Director
  • Larissa Harper – Downtown Business Specialist
  • Susan Kellum – Downtown Marketing & Communications Coordinator

WDDC is a member of the National Main Street Program and is one of North Carolina’s Main Street Communities under the Department of Commerce.  Following the Main Street Four Point Approach®, WDDC operates four core committees:  Organization, Promotion, Design, and Economic Restructuring.  Volunteers comprise these committees as well as various subcommittees.

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Organization

The Organization Committee, also identified as the Executive Committee, is comprised of board officers, committee chairs, and city and county representatives.  Their objective is to increase ongoing strong leadership, involvement and investment in downtown by further advancing a sense of community and making downtown the commercial, social and cultural hub of the community.  Staff Representative: Kimberly Van Dyk.

  • Charlie Bedgood
  • Ken Hill
  • Lynne Medlin
  • Duran Broadhurst
  • Kris Lynch
  • Lew Langley
  • Chuck Williamson
  • Denise Stinagle
  • Rodger Lentz

Promotion

The Promotion Committee  helps develop downtown as Wilson’s premier destination for social, cultural and business activity.  They develop and execute diverse and innovative ways to use marketing, communications, partnerships, advertising and special events to drive people, investment and sales in Historic Downtown Wilson. Staff Representative: Susan Kellum.

  • Cornelia Ashby
  • Brooke Bissette
  • Paul Handley
  • Officer Angela Harold
  • Stefanie Jones
  • Shannon McKinnon
  • Jessica McLachlan
  • Ryan Mercer
  • Brittney Mercer
  • Crissy Oravits
  • Hannah El Ramey Woodall
  • Kelsey Woodall

Design

The Design Committee strives to enhance the physical appearance, aesthetics and functionality of Historic Downtown Wilson.  They work together to enrich the unique characteristics of downtown, highlight historical characteristics and improve overall cleanliness, maintenance, and beautification.  Staff representative: Ellen Hoj (Planning Division staff).

  • Lew Langley/Chair
  • A.P. Coleman
  • Bill Bass
  • Bryant Bunn
  • John Hackney
  • LaTanya Simpson
  • Lisa Anderson

Economic Restructuring

The Economic Restructuring Committee, also identified as the Economic Development Committee, exists to support existing business, recruit new businesses and encourage positive redevelopment and investment, resulting in viable economic growth in Historic Downtown Wilson.  They expand on the commercial success  of downtown by working to facilitate and grow public and private investment and partnerships. Staff Representative: Larissa Harper.

  • Larry McKeel/Chair
  • Bruce Rose
  • Chris Hill
  • Kenneth Hill
  • Nancy Van Dolsen
  • Greg Godard
  • Henry Walston
  • Dr. Michael Bell
  • Rodger Lentz
  • Ryan Simons
  • Ijeoma Uwakwe
  • Gary Daynes
  • Tom Curran
  • Allyson Miller-Moye
  • Matthew Chesson

Want to Get Involved?

Simply email HistoricDowntownWilson@wilsonnc.org with the subject line:  “I want to get involved” and let us know a little bit about yourself and your area of interest.