McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

June 15, 2014

Sudderth takes Main Street helm; Webb to City Hall

McALESTER — McAlester Main Street’s new executive director says she’s enthusiastic about the job and she hopes to help bring more life to both of McAlester’s “main street” areas.

“It’s exhilarating and it’s fun,” said Lacey Sudderth.

Sudderth now holds the McAlester Main Street post previously held by Ginny Webb, while Webb is the new executive assistant and planning technician for Community and Economic Development at City Hall.

Both the downtown area and Old Town are under McAlester Main Street’s  umbrella.

McAlester Main Street President Chris Taylor is impressed by how Sudderth has stepped into the role of McAlester Main Street director.

“She’s doing great,” Taylor said. “She knows a lot of people in the community and she’s a good fit for us.”

Not only is she well aware of downtown, her previous time working at the Whistle Stop Bistro gives her a unique perspective on  Old Town, also known as North Town, Taylor noted.

Sudderth has completed new Main Street manager’s training in Oklahoma City and attended the Oklahoma Preservation Conference at Oklahoma University.

She previously served as the stage manger for the 2013 Old Town Western Festival. She credited Eddie Gray of the Old Town Association and owner of the Bistro with helping her learn how to handle community events.

“Eddie showed me how to do events like the Wild West Festival,” Sudderth said.

Asked about her initial goals, Sudderth said “Bringing more live music to downtown.” She also plans to continue working on the goal of creating upstairs housing downtown, which would require a zoning change by the McAlester City Council. Prior to that, a proposal would have to go before the city Planning Commission.

Asked about the downtown living discussions, Sudderth said “It would be like loft apartments,” with the goal of bringing more life to downtown.

She also plans to devote time to Old Town.

“They’re an asset to this town,” Sudderth said.

In addition to its own projects, McAlester Main Street also works with other organizations in helping promote events such as CultureFest, which is set for August.

Sudderth also looks for volunteers to help with community projects.

“Right now, we need volunteers to water the plants downtown,” she said.

Sudderth, who attended high school in Eufaula, likes to participate in the arts during her free time. She previously has stage-managed plays, but Friday she acted as a character in the play “The Ultimate Demise of Big Mama” at the Grand Event Center.

Meanwhile, at City Hall, Webb is working with Community and Economic Development Director Leroy Alsup and Economic Development Manager Kirk Ridenour.

“I’m more on the planning side,” Webb said. “It’s a totally new challenge and I’m learning new things.”

Webb said she will also be working on writing grants on the economic development side.

Webb also feels she has the left the office of Main Street  director in excellent hands.

“I’m really excited about Lacey being at Main Street,”  Webb said. “I think she’s  going to do a great job.”

Contact James Beaty at jbeay@mcalesternews.com.

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