New Main Street executive director no stranger to program

Jessica  Rodrigo By Jessica Rodrigo

May 7, 2014 at 12:07 a.m.
Updated May 8, 2014 at 12:08 a.m.

Downtown Victoria should be a place the entire community can enjoy.

That's what the Main Street Program's new Executive Director Mary Helen Barrick envisions for the nonprofit organization.

"We have so much potential here," she said. "Victoria is such a beautiful, beautiful place."

Barrick, 54, took the reigns from Sara Rodriguez on Monday after working as the executive director with Billy T. Cattan Recovery Outreach Inc. for two years.

When she heard the Main Street board was looking for a new director, she thought she might apply for the position. She knew her experience with the Cuero Main Street Program about 28 years ago was something she could reference to continue the success of the program.

"I absolutely loved it," she said of her experience. "I thought, 'How cool would it be to do it again?'"

Constance Filley Johnson, Main Street Program president of the board, said Barrick had the perfect blend of nonprofit experience and knowledge of the Main Street Program.

"She is a great team player, and her enthusiasm is contagious," Johnson said.

The Main Street Program hosts events and entertainment throughout the year, she said, and plans to continue offering similar events in the future under Barrick's direction.

"She's not the type to reinvent the wheel," Johnson said. "We think she is going to pick up where Sara left off and run with things pretty seamlessly."

Larry Clark, past president of the board, said the program will benefit from her experience working with Cuero's Main Street Program.

Her restoration projects and work with the Main Street businesses will fit in as the city continues to grow, he said.

"Even though we weren't looking for someone with that background, we really came out ahead with someone who already knows about the program," Clark said.

Barrick hopes to transform the downtown area into a place where her five grandchildren - between the ages of almost 4 months and 6 years old - can come and spend time with their families when they're older.

In her effort to add to the Main Street attraction, she wants to work with area banks, realtors and potential business owners to bring more shopping to the area.

"I dream big, but I won't get there without the help of a lot of people," she said.

By building a connection with other professionals who are invested in the success of downtown Victoria, she thinks it will make it easier for a business to move in, which will also bring in the community.

"I want them to think, 'I need to go downtown to see what they have that's new' or 'We need to eat at that restaurant again,'" Barrick said.



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