February 7, 2013 10:06:39 AM
Barbara Bigelow was not the first choice. But she may well be the best choice.
When the Main Street Columbus Board of Directors announced Wednesday that it had selected Bigelow as the organization's new director, no one familiar with Columbus was compelled to ask, "Who?"
Since Bigelow and her husband, Chuck, arrived in Columbus 13 years ago, they have been active members in the community. But really, to call the Bigelows active is an understatement. When the news of her selection was revealed, it was a choice universally and immediately lauded. In Bigelow, Main Street Columbus has director who is noted for her abilities as an event organizer, has a wonderful rapport with area merchants and exudes an unflagging enthusiasm for the town she will now be charged with promoting.
Curiously, Bigelow was among the finalists for the position in November, when the board chose instead Georgia native Nickie Nicholson as director. In retrospect, it was a poor choice. On Jan. 31, just seven weeks after Nicholson began her job as director, the board decided to terminate Nicholson and start over.
That search took only a week, mainly because the board had already talked to the best candidate for the job in November. That Bigelow was also on the Main Street board strongly suggests that the best candidate for the director's job was right under their noses.
There should be little guess-work when it comes to Bigelow's ability to perform the job. Her track record is impressive. Not only has she played an active role in many of the events Main Street Columbus produces each year, she has also served as a member of the Lowndes Community Foundation and the Exchange Club.
More specific to the role she will play with Main Street, Bigelow has built a reputation for creating, planning and executing events as director of The Y, where she initiated such events as Healthy Kids Day, National Senior Health & Fitness Day, Possum Town Mile-A-Day Marathon and Snacks with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
In short, Bigelow is a known commodity.
And what we know, we like.
Main Street Columbus may have driven into a ditch with its previous hire, but we strongly suspect it will cruise with Bigelow now in the driver's seat.