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 $.18 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 – Marty Garris | Community Member, Former Co-Owner of Tig’s Courtyard
  • Vice President/Secretary – Preston Von Arx | ComForCare 
  • Past President/Treasurer – Reggie Harrison | Artisan Leaf, Downtown Property Owner
  • Economic Vitality Chair – Abder Allen | Downtown Property Owner
  • Design Co-Chair – Mary Sargent | Downtown Property Owner
  • Design Co-Chair – John Misback | Tate Design Group, Downtown Property Owner
  • Promotions Chair – Cathy Hardison | Wilson Arts
  • County – Ron Hunt | Wilson County, Manager
  • City – Rodger Lentz | City of Wilson, Assistant City Manager
  • Mayor Carlton Stevens |Wilson City Council
  • Councilwoman Gillettia M. Morgan | Wilson City Council
  • Commissioner Sherry Lucas | Wilson County Commission
  • Commissioner Chris Hill | Wilson County Commission
  • Captain Russell Winstead | City of Wilson, Police Department
  • Allyson Moye | Womble Real Estate Company, Downtown Property Owner
  • Ryan Simons | Wilson Chamber of Commerce, President
  • Dr. Michael Bell | SaYum Jamaican Restaurant, SayFresh Market, Downtown Property Owner
  • Wendy Moore | Foundation YMCA, Downtown Property Owner
  • Mahalia Witter-Merithew | Casita Brewing Company
  • Bill O’Boyle | North State Consulting, Downtown Property Owner
  • Shawna Moses | Samora Naturals, Downtown Property Owner
  • Bankston Lewis | Midsouth Roofing & Construction, Downtown Property Owner
  • Josh Hawn | Ambata Properties, Downtown Property Owner

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.  

  • Kimberly Van Dyk – Downtown Development Director | Planning and Community Revitalization Director
  • Meg Edwards – Downtown Marketing & Communications Coordinator
  • Aramith Trimiar – Downtown Business Specialist
  • Kirsten Miller – Center City Special Events Coordinator
  • Roy Palmer – Arts Innovation Coordinator 
  • Catesby Denison – Senior Planner 

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 Vibrancy.  Volunteers comprise these committees as well as various subcommittees.

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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 Liaison: Kimberly Van Dyk

  • Chair – Marty Garris | President
  • Preston Von Arx | Vice President, Secretary
  • Reggie Harrison | Treasurer
  • Denise Stinagle | Representative, Wilson County
  • Rodger Lentz | Representative, City of Wilson
  • Cathy Hardison | Chair, Promotions Committee 
  • Mary Sargent | Co-Chair, WDDC Design Committee
  • John Misback | Co-Chair, WDDC Design Committee
  • Abder Allan | Chair, WDDC Economic Vitality Committee


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 Liaisons: Meg Edwards, Downtown Marketing & Communications  | Kirsten Miller, Center City Special Events Coordinator

  • Chair – Cathy Hardison | Wilson Arts
  • Lindsay Perry | Wilson Chamber of Commerce
  • Kathy Daughtey | Barton College
  • Will Robl | Wilson Community College
  • Amanda Gardner | Wilson County Public Library
  • Jennifer Byrd | Imagination Station Science & History Museum
  • Mahalia Witter-Merithew | Casita Brewing Company
  • Shannon McKinnon | Member at Large
  • Shawna Moses | Samora Naturals, Downtown Property Owner
  • Kristi Misback | Tate Design Group, Downtown Property Owner
  • Stefanie Keen | City of Wilson, Communications Specialist
  • Officer Angie Harold | City of Wilson, Downtown Police Officer 


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 Liaison: Catesby Denison, Senior Planner, City of Wilson 

  • Co-Chair – Mary Sargent | Downtown Property Owner
  • Co-Chair – John Misback | Tate Design Group, Downtown Property Owner
  • Josh Peede | ISCO Landscaping
  • Lori Oxendine | Deetleskeet Design
  • Sebastian Correa | Artisan Leaf 
  • Bobby Jenkins | Wilson Paint & Wallpaper
  • Bill Bass | City of Wilson Public Works
  • Scott Hedgepeth | City of Wilson Public Works
  • Bert Garris | Downtown Property Owner
  • Allyson Moye | Downtown Property Owner
  • Duffy Healey | Downtown Property Owner

Economic Vitality

The Economic Vitality Committee supports existing businesses, recruits new businesses and encourages 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 Liaison: Aramith Trimiar, Downtown Business Specialist

  • Chair – Abder Allan | Downtown Property Owner
  • Ryan Simons | Wilson Chamber of Commerce
  • Henry Walston | WDDC Past President
  • Marty Garris | Community Member, Former Co-Owner of Tig’s Courtyard
  • Melissa Evans |Wilson Community College Small Business Center
  • Scott “Pick” Pickens | State Farm
  • Bankston Lewis | Midsouth Roofing & Construction, Downtown Property Owner
  • Robert Hiett/Kelly Skinner | UCPCOG
  • Rhine Sharp | Downtown Property Owner
  • Bryan Radford | Radford Law Firm
  • Loree Locus | Realtor
  • Josh Hawn | Ambata Property, Downtown Property Owner
  • Bill O’Boyle | North State Consulting
  • Nagi Nasser | Downtown Property Owner
  • Barb White | The Edge Wilson, Downtown Property Owner
  • Cameron Cochran | Wilson Forward

Would you like to get involved in the #downtownturnaround?

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.