In December, Banning Engineering’s DeeDee Leonard was appointed as a Main Street Plainfield organization board member. During DeeDee’s time at the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce, she co-founded and launched the organization.
In February of 2019, DeeDee was working for the Chamber when Plainfield’s Town Manager, Andrew Klinger, mentioned forming a Plainfield Main Street Program to Chamber President/CEO Brad DuBois. DeeDee heard about Indiana Main Streets and researched the program. She saw potential in Plainfield participating in the program and looked forward to assisting in the development and formation of Main Street Plainfield. DeeDee was advised to connect with Stephanie Singh, Plainfield’s Director of Communications and Marketing. They met and contacted the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) to discuss their ideas and the process of forming Main Street Plainfield. Following these discussions, they worked on finding supporters to push the concept forward and began recruiting board members. To gain interest, OCRA came and formally presented the program. After gaining support, DeeDee filed for 501(c)(3) in June 2019. The community began recognizing the efforts of the Main Street organization and was encouraged to apply for community grants to assist with startup funding. Businesses such as Duke Energy, Walmart eCommerce, and Walmart Neighborhood Market were some of the first to contribute to the organization. Following the Indiana Main Street Four Point Approach, the team began building the board and committee.
In 2020 DeeDee left her position with the Chamber and stepped away from the Main Street program. Two years later, in 2022, DeeDee joined our Banning team as an Engineering Project Assistant. She was thankful to discover that there was still interest in her participating in Main Street Plainfield, and DeeDee has since been elected as the board’s vice president.
The organization’s mission is “developing and promoting a healthy and prosperous downtown within the context of cultural and historic preservation”. Since 2019, Main Street Plainfield has made great strides in growing the organization, such as applying for and being accepted into OCRA’s Downtown Affiliate Network (ODAN) program, rolling out a successful façade grant program to downtown business owners, participating in multiple community engagement events, and hiring a full-time executive director in 2022. Currently, the group is working towards its 2023 Goals which include grant opportunities, an alley activation project, and continued participation in events such as Quaker Day, historic walking tours, and other downtown events.
DeeDee was instrumental in forming this group. We are excited to see her again involved in an organization she built years ago. We are thankful for organizations/volunteers who are promoting and cultivating a fruitful Main Street for community members and visitors to enjoy.
Are you interested in learning more?
Follow the organization on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mainstreetplainfieldindiana) and check out their website (https://mainstreetplainfield.com/) to see what’s going on consistently in Downtown Plainfield.