December 3, 2012 10:18:16 AM
Jeff Clark - [email protected]
The new director of Main Street Columbus said she enjoyed the 2011 Wassail Fest so much she decided to move here.
"I had visited Columbus a few times, and I was here for Wassail Fest in 2011," Nickie Nicholson said Sunday. "I thought Wassail Fest was a great community event. I've moved around a lot, and I just decided I wanted to move to Columbus. So, I packed my things and I moved."
Nicholson arrived in the Friendly City in June. She said she traveled during the summer and decided she wanted to volunteer with Main Street Columbus, leading to a major change in both her life and the leadership of the organization.
She begins her tenure Dec. 10, replacing outgoing director Amber Brislin.
"I went down to the Main Street office and met with Amber Brislin and I brought her my resume," Nicholson said. "I was looking for some volunteer opportunities, and Amber told me she was leaving and that I should submit my resume, so I did."
A native of Georgia, Nicholson, 29, graduated from Shorter University in 2005 with a dual degree in music education and vocal performance. After graduation, she moved to Massachusetts, where she worked as a state spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation and taught middle school.
"I loved working for Susan G. Komen for the Cure," Nicholson said. "I did a lot of traveling and performing. I got to sing for the (Boston) Red Sox. It was an exciting time."
Having spent a lot of time in larger cities, Nicholson said she hopes to implement some "big city ideas" in the Columbus community, especially in regard to downtown housing.
"We are looking at ways to boost downtown housing," she said. "We need to make it more accessible. Columbus is number one in the state for upper-level housing. We need to let people know we have this. We want to make it easier for military wives and teachers from (Mississippi University for Women) to find apartments. We want them to know what's available for them before they even get to town."
Another area Nicholson said she will concentrate on is attracting more businesses to the downtown area.
"I hope we are able to lure more merchants to the downtown area," she said. "We are looking to incorporate some variety. I would like to see some more food places downtown. The ones we have are phenomenal, and I eat with them all of the time. I'm grateful for all of the downtown merchants. We just want to bring more people downtown to shop and eat."
She said she plans to serve at the wishes of the Main Street Columbus board and the community.
"I am here to serve," Nicholson said. "My focus is Main Street and how it can make the community a better place."