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Meet Sharon Stroh, executive director of Main Street Fort Dodge

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in a military family and have lived around the world. I went to kindergarten in Taiwan and high school in Honolulu. I am the mother of twin daughters attending Central College, where they are juniors majoring in engineering and computer science respectively. My favorite activity is reading a good book.

How does Fort Dodge benefit from being a Main Street community?

The whole premise of the Main Street movement is to reclaim downtown as a purposeful and prosperous commercial district with vibrant retail, office, or even residential spaces with little to no vacancy. That’s a big ask of any Main Street community, but there are many resources available – both locally and at the state level – that can assist us in that mission. Change is incremental, and that is how Main Street Fort Dodge approaches it.

What are your priorities as you take over as executive director?

Several:

1. to provide for our own organizational sustainability

2. examine the organization’s priorities and adjust if necessary

3. to become knowledgeable in the grant and loan programs available to the district’s property owners

4. build relationships with Main Street businesses

5. work cooperatively with other local stakeholders

Not necessarily in that order.

What are you most excited about as executive director of Main Street Fort Dodge?

Getting familiar with a whole new community. It’s exciting to learn about the history and progression of Fort Dodge. Every day I read a headline that has interest to me as a Dodger; past, present and future. It isn’t often one can see a place through a newcomer’s eyes, and it’s a joy to discover what Fort Dodge has to offer. There is so much here to appreciate.

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