Monday September 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT
Wednesday September 17, 2014 at 12:00 PM CDT

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Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center
1600 Government Street
Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Driving Directions 

Hotel Reservations:

Gulf Hills Hotel - Ocean Springs
(228) 875-4211
$77 room rate (single or double occupancy)
Room block: Mississippi Main St. Association

Hampton Inn - Biloxi/Ocean Springs

(228) 872-6370
$89 room rate
Room block: Mississippi Main St. Association

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites - Biloxi/Ocean Springs
Book online or call: (228) 872-7255
$89 room rate
Room block: Mississippi Main St. Association

Looking for Destination Downtown Exhibitors!
More information here.


Denise Halbach
Mississippi Main Street Association

2014 Destination Downtown 

Please join Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana Main Streets on September 15-17 in Ocean Springs, Mississippi for our 2014 Destination Downtown! This year's conference will be held on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in beautiful Ocean Springs, 2013 Great American Main Street Award Winner.
Destination Downtown is a regional conference sponsored by Mississippi Main Street Association and co-sponsored by Main Street Arkansas and Louisiana Main Street, attracting more than 200 professionals in preservation-based, commercial district revitalization, including new and experienced downtown and neighborhood Main Street directors, board members, architects, planners, economic development professionals, public officials, volunteers, and consultants. Attendees hail from communities of all sizes, from small rural towns to urban neighborhoods in large cities.

Monday, Sept. 15

11 a.m.-5 p.m.  Registration at Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center

Tours: Select one on registration form. Only one tour per person and changes cannot be made once registration is complete. 

 1-3 p.m. Ocean Springs/Biloxi Tour (Bus pick up and drop off at Mary C.)
The official sight-seeing tour of Ocean Springs and Biloxi. Includes: Ocean Springs Murals, Beachfront, Small Craft Harbor, Anderson family compound, Charnley-Norwood House, Biloxi Katrina Memorial, Biloxi Town Green, and Biloxi Visitor's Center/Lighthouse with local refreshments.
Tour guides: Margaret Miller, Ocean Springs Main Street and Kay Carter, Biloxi Main Street
Sponsored by Ocean Springs Chamber-Main Street-Tourism and Biloxi Main Street

12-3 p.m. "Save my Place" Lunch and Brewery Tour (Bus pick up and drop off at the Mary C.)
Enjoy lunch on the grounds of the restored Charnley-Norwood House designed in 1890 by internationally renowned architect Louis Sullivan and his then journeyman assistant Frank Lloyd Wright.  Badly damaged in Hurricane Katrina, this irreplaceable treasure was purchased and restored by a coalition of determined preservations, led by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.
  Lolly Barnes with the Mississippi Heritage Trust and Amber Lombardo with Webz Advertising will share the secrets behind Save My Place, an educational outreach program which celebrates and commemorates 29 historic places affected by Hurricane Katrina. Lunch will be followed by a tour and beer tasting at the Crooked Letter Brewing Company in Ocean Springs. Souvenir tasting glass included.
Tour fee: $10
Tour guide: Cynthia Sutton, Ocean Springs Main Street

Lunch sponsored by the Mississippi Heritage Trust

12-3 p.m. Anchor Square, Downtown Pascagoula Tour (Bus pick up and drop off at Mary C.)

Enjoy the sights, tastes and shops of downtown Pascagoula! This fun-filled tour will highlight attractions in downtown and afterward, attendees can eat lunch in downtown for under $10 and shop around. Visit Anchor Square, a collection of 16 Mississippi Cottages originally used as temporary housing following Katrina, now repurposed into a specialty shopping village in the heart of downtown Pascagoula. These businesses include gift shops, skin care services, bath and body products, a photography studio, hair salon, clothing and accessories, and a barbeque restaurant, and employ more than 25 people. There have been four businesses to graduate from Anchor Square into downtown vacant buildings. Anchor Square has become a hub for community activity while fostering small business growth for downtown Pascagoula.
Tour guides: Rebecca Davis, Pascagoula Main Street and Tripp Muldrow, ArnettMuldrow & Associates 
Sponsored by City of Pascagoula, Pascagoula Main Street, and the Pascagoula Police Department

3 p.m.  Guided tour of the historic Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center, formally the Ocean Springs High School

1-5 p.m. Exhibitors set up – Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center, First Floor Exhibit Hall

5-7 p.m. Welcome Reception at the Community Center next to the Walter Anderson Museum of Art (510 Washington Avenue, Ocean Springs, 39564)
Sponsored by the Ocean Springs Chamber-Main Street-Tourism Bureau

7 p.m. Dine Around Downtown Ocean Springs
Enjoy an evening of great food and and networking in downtown Ocean Springs.   



 Tuesday, Sept. 16

8 a.m. - Registration/Coffee & Conversation/Exhibits open                  Mary C. Lobby

Enjoy a Tato-nut donut with your coffee, a breakfast favorite made in downtown Ocean Springs!

9-10:15 a.m. – Opening Session                                                                Mary C. Theatre

Welcome – Bob Wilson, Mississippi Main Street
Margaret Miller, Ocean Springs Main Street
Mayor Connie Moran, Mayor of Ocean Springs

Keynote - "Main Street Now" - Patrice Frey, President and CEO, National Main Street Center

10:15-10:30 a.m.  Break

10:30-11:30 – Concurrent Sessions

“Girl Power Panel: The Rising Trend of Female Developers, Entrepreneurs and Business Owners"–Karen Ott Mayer, Facilitator, Como Main Street Alliance

A panel discussion on the rising trend of female entrepreneurs and business owners on Main Street and their perspectives on the benefits and challenges of what they do.
Coulter Fussell - Yalo Gallery, Water Valley
Belinda Stewart - Belinda Stewart Architects, Eupora
Rothann Richey - Lula Lee's, Baldwyn
Laura Bolton - Rue Vieux LLC, Biloxi

“Design 101: Making Good Design Happen”– Randy Wilson, MMSA Director of Design Services

This training session takes a Main Street approach to community design and planning. The companion questions and checklists render this workshop a virtual “self-help diagnostic” for individuals and Main Street programs who want to enhance their communities but don’t know where to begin. Individuals will be able to evaluate their community and identify practical responses to design and planning issues that range from gateways to streetscapes, from parks and open spaces to facades and much, much more.


“Board 101: Managing Donor Relations as a Non-profit” - Mary Ellen Calvert, Adult Educator and Nonprofit Consultant

Great Session for managers as well as board members! Topics include: IRS Publication 1771—Charitable Contributions, Nonprofit Compliance, Record Keeping and Substantiation Rules, Written Acknowledgement, Goods & Services, Non-cash Gifts and Qualified Appraisals.

11:30-1 p.m. Lunch on your own

1:15-2:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Save My Place-The Healing Power of Preservation - Lolly Barnes, Mississippi Heritage Trust and Amber Lombardo, Webz Media 

An important part of the recovery process for any community facing the destruction of much-loved historic landmarks is to tell the story of rebuilding and renewal, as well as commemorate landmarks that were lost.  Learn how the Save My Place educational outreach program utilizes social media, traveling computer kiosk exhibits, a web-based application and printed materials to tell the stories of 29 historic places affected by Hurricane Katrina and help the Gulf Coast celebrate its preservation victories. Lolly and Amber will share insights on how to develop your own program with multiple media sources that tells the story of place.

“Design Strategies for Downtown Buildings” – Susan Shaddox, Interior Design Consultant and Mark Miller, Small Business Consultant, Main Street Arkansas

Susan and Mark will show appropriate visual merchandising and window displays for businesses in historic districts as well as employing temporary visual enhancement strategies for vacant buildings. Come away with new ideas for "fixing up" your downtown facades!

“Board 201: Keeping your Nonprofit Legal” – Mary Ellen Calvert

A must for new board members and managers! Topics include: Why Nonprofits have Boards, Legal Duties of Care, Loyalty, and Obedience, The Three C’s--Conflicts of Interest, Corporate Opportunity, and Confidentiality, Third Party Actions, Tips for Avoiding Personal Liability & Liability Insurance, and Basic Responsibilities of Governance Structures.

2:15-2:30 p.m. Shortbreak Cookie & Lemonade Break        Mary C. Lobby

2:30-3:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

“Growing your Festival through Social Media Marketing” – Dr. James Barnes, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

Topics include using Facebook to market tourism events including paid advertisement strategies as well as using organic engagement strategies.

“Marketing & Sponsorships: Getting the Most for your Money” – Margaret Miller, Ocean Springs Chamber-Main Street-Tourism Bureau

Learn marketing tips and strategies from veteran Ocean Springs director - not only for events but for your businesses and Main Street program. Find out how Margaret leveraged the information from two festival economic impact studies to increase her marketing and grow her sponsorship dollars.

2:30-4:30 p.m. Session and Tour - Forming an Investment Group in Downtown: The Story of Rue Vieux LLC in Biloxi – Kay Miller-Carter, Facilitator

Rue Vieux LLC Panelists: Laura Bolton and Debbie Collins
This interactive session will be followed by a tour of the Rue View LLC properties in downtown Biloxi, including Gallery 782, the Cousins house, a branch of the Mississippi Craft Center and several properties rehabilitated within the Rue Magnolia & Water Street area.

Free time - Shop in downtown

6-10 p.m. Downtown Street Party: Boots and Spurs!

Wear your cowboy hat, boots and spurs and come on downtown to enjoy a “Taste of Ocean Springs” with food provided by local restaurants, adult beverages sponsored by Blue Moon, Crooked Letter Brewery and Lazy Magnolia and music to kick up your boots to with friends old and new!
Continuous shuttle service from hotels will be provided.


Wednesday, Sept. 17

8 a.m. Coffee and Conversation/Exhibits open             Mary C. Lobby

8:30-9:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions

"The Ultimate Work Plan for Main Street"– Kennedy Smith, CLUE Group

Is your Main Street program in a bit of a rut, spinning its wheels with lots of ideas but not a lot of action? Do you focus on the easier stuff: promotions and marketing and facade improvements instead of tougher economic issues? Hear how your Main Street program can turn around and become recognized as the economic catalyst for your city or town by assessing your longterm vision and crafting a new kind of strategic plan.

“E-First Impressions: A Practical Approach to Selling Online” - Dr. James Barnes, MSU Agricultural Economics

Learn how your business can grow through analyzing and optimizing your website for customer satisfaction and sales.

“When Public Meets Private: Design in the Context of Downtown” – Randy Wilson, Director of Design Services, MMSA 

This highly visual training session takes a quick tour of design issues that affect the public spaces and privately owned buildings of our downtowns, but more often than not, blur the lines between the two. Whether dealing with lighting, signage, streetscapes, open spaces, public realm amenities, or building specific design elements, this presentation will outline basic principles to ensure each issue is sympathetic to a Main Street approach to downtown design.

9:45-10:45 a.m. Concurrent Sessions

“Downtown Living” - Ron Drake, Ron Drake Consulting

Think urban living in a small town is impossible? Think again. Ron will walk you through the development of a unique space in small town Siloam Springs. He will share with you critical learnings and perspective on practical preservation, creating urban-inspired living spaces for the growing Millennial population in the heart of Main Street and the importance of downtown living and its innate contribution to the vibrancy of your communities.

Ask the Expert Panel
- Stacy Pair, Facilitator
We are taking advantage of having some of the top experts in downtown revitalization and giving participants an hour to pick their brains. Questions on best practices, historic rehabilitations, building improvements, retail markets, technology tools, developing trends, you name it. Be prepared for this session to rock your world!

11 a.m. Closing Session - "Innovation Tools for Main Street in the 21st Century" Kennedy Smith, CLUE Group

Kennedy Smith directed the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center for 13 years and is considered one of the world's leading experts on downtowns, downtown economics, independent business development, and the economic impact of sprawl, with a career in downtown revitalization spanning 23 years. This year's Destination Downtown will finish strong with an inspiring session and insight on the future of Main Street and the innovative tools needed to sustain and grow the movement on a national, state and local level.

Noon -  Adjourn