CharlotteRising, the Michigan Main Street organization for downtown Charlotte, is pleased to introduce Annie Williams as its new Executive Director. Williams will lead the organization as it continues the work it has done since 2017. Williams is a Charlotte resident and graduate of Spring Arbor University. She has extensive professional experience in marketing and event management.
“We are very happy to find someone right here in Charlotte who can take the reins of this organization and add a ton of energy and enthusiasm to our effort,” Bryan Myrkle said. Myrkle is the City of Charlotte Community Development Director and current President of CharlotteRising. “Annie’s professional experience means she will be contributing right away, and I am happy to have her on board.”
“I am excited to begin partnering with our business community to build a strong vibrant downtown for the future,” Williams said.
CharlotteRising was formed in part due to Governor Rick Snyder’s Project Rising Tide program, leading the way during a period of regrowth and revitalization in Downtown Charlotte. In 2014, Charlotte business leaders held an impromptu Economic Summit, expressing their concern about empty storefronts and neglected buildings. They urged the community to focus more time and resources on the downtown business district. “Downtown Charlotte has been transformed in less than 10 years,” Myrkle said, “and CharlotteRising is the organization we need to keep that going.”
Since that time, the City of Charlotte redesigned and reconstructed three downtown parking lots. The Lions and Rotary Clubs formed the Friends of Beach Market, raising more than a half-million dollars to renovate the historic farmer’s market. A coalition of business owners and grant makers raised more than half the money necessary to remake a blighted and contaminated property on Lawrence Avenue into a showpiece downtown park. Sculptures and murals mark several formerly empty spaces, and nearly every downtown building that was vacant in 2014 has been filled or renovated.
CharlotteRising has action teams working in areas of downtown design, economic vitality, and promotion, and is always looking for volunteers to get involved.
Submitted by CharlotteRising