ADRIAN — It’s looking like it will be a busy couple of months ahead for local businessman and Adrian resident Jay Marks.
Last week, the city of Adrian along with Adrian’s Main Street/Downtown Development Authority (DDA) board of directors announced the selection of Marks as Adrian’s Main Street/DDA executive director. The position, a news release from the city said, “will help implement a unique approach to historic preservation-based economic development strategies, which focus on leveraging existing social, economic, physical and cultural assets to energize community revitalization efforts and help manage success for the long term.”
In February, Marks was hired as the market master for the new Adrian City Market at the Pavilion, which debuts Saturday, May 21, at the Farmers Market Pavilion along Toledo Street in downtown Adrian. The market is to be a weekly venture from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through Oct. 1.
Marks has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Davenport University in Grand Rapids and has been pursuing a master’s degree in project management from Central Michigan University. He has been an Adrian Public Schools Board of Education trustee for the past four years and is an Adrian High School graduate. The release said Marks is proud of being a part of the Adrian school board, working on “strengthening the district’s financial health, hiring a new superintendent and improving facilities and curriculum.”
As Adrian’s Main Street/DDA executive director, Marks said he is looking forward to capitalizing on the resources of Main Street America and of the statewide partners at Michigan Main Street to not only enhance downtown Adrian but also to help the downtown businesses flourish.
“I am excited to be selected as the Main Street executive director,” Marks said in a text message. “I grew up in Adrian and remember how vital and vibrant the downtown was during that time. I look forward to working with an effective and accomplished Main Street/DDA Board to help revitalize and revive downtown Adrian.
“There is a tremendous amount of work and momentum taking place and I hope to add to that success.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced in October that Adrian was chosen to take part in the Select Level of the Michigan Main Street program. As part of the Select Level, communities receive five years of technical assistance from the MEDC with a focus on revitalization strategies designed to attract new residents, business investments, economic growth and job creation to their central business districts. Adrian and 26 other communities, including Blissfield, are participating in the Main Street program.
“Jay brings an understanding of the city’s history and business environment along with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and community awareness,” the release said.
Marks co-owns The Marks Trading Co. with his wife, Gwynne, who, the release said, will be transitioning to the day-to-day operational role for the local business so that Marks can step away and focus on the Main Street director’s role.
The Markses live in Adrian and have two daughters, Alexis and Allison.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Telegram: Jay Marks selected as Adrian's DDA/Main Street executive director