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Our board of directors leads our organization. The board of directors works along with Emporia Main Staff to engage and grow our membership, steer our overall vision, and forge partnerships with other community organizations.

Our organizational initiatives create a strong foundation for a sustainable growth of Emporia's downtown commercial district. In addition, organizational initiatives with our city and county partners benefit the entire area.

Organizational Initiatives

Community Initiated Development

In partnership with the City of Emporia, this project is for the community to proactively identify and initiate redevelopment.


Emporia Main Street was founded to serve the business needs of our members. Our board of directors works to grow our membership by ensuring that our programs provide educational, financial, and promotional value to our members.

Vision 2030

A strategic vision for the next decade, led by input from the community and our members.

Homegrown Capital Campaign

Our capital campaign raises funds to grow local business and employment in Emporia, by fostering entrepreneurship. The campaign has funded the new Emporia Main Street facility at 727 Commercial, which includes a business incubator space.

Other Organization Projects

Partnership building

Want to be a part of an active organization who gets things done?

Emporia Main Street makes visible and measurable impacts to help our community prosper.

Board of directors

Kevin Nelson – President
Redline Trucking

Lane Massey – Treasurer
City of Emporia

Lisa Kirmer – Secretary
Flint Hills Technical College

Aaron Sewell
EK Real Estate

Eric Porter
ESB Financial

Amy Bolen
BLI Rentals LLC

Tracy Weltha
IM Design Group

Sally Sanchez
Hispanics of Today and Tomorrow

Cory Faldine
Emporia State University

Jeremy Johns
Radius Brewing Company

Sally Sanchez
Hispanics of Today & Tomorrow

Organization Articles

Mask Up for Trick or Treat downtown on October 31st.

By Jessica Buchholz | October 14, 2020

The Emporia Main Street Board of Directors met this past Wednesday during our regularly scheduled board meeting (the first and third Wednesday’s of every month). One of the agenda items was discussion of Halloween activities. We will not host Haunted Tours this year, but there was a desire to obtain information from both community members…

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Start Your Own Business Class Enrolling Now!

By Jessica Buchholz | October 7, 2020

The first class for the Start Your Own Business session is next Tuesday, October 13th. We have a few class slots open for our limited group (only 12 spots), and this will be your last chance to sign up until fall of 2021.CLICK HERE for CLASS DETAILS.If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, or if you…

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Insight Into the Strategies and Other Economic Development Professionals are Using to Build Better Economies and Communities.

By Jessica Buchholz | September 23, 2020

Most people that know me well understand that I expect to gain something actionable from meetings, retreats, and/or conferences. Meeting simply to meet/network/”get on the same page”/etc. isn’t something that I have a lot of time for. When a colleague of mine invited me to attend the Kauffman EShip Summit, I had some things that…

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A New Tool to Help Local Businesses and the “Gig” Economy.

By Jessica Buchholz | September 16, 2020

Emporia Main Street communicates with other similar programs far outside of our region on a fairly consistent basis. Our emphasis on finding “like” communities, or areas that were once like our region but successfully adapted to new models is important in our efforts to generate sustainable economic growth. If we simply tried to do what…

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Consumer Preferences – Round 3.

By Jessica Buchholz | September 2, 2020

Emporia Main Street has obtained consumer preference information in relation to COVID response on three separate occasions. These responses can help business and organizations determine best practices as we continue to move through the pandemic. From Survey 1 (soon after the pandemic began) to Survey 3 (recently completed) some consumer trends and expectations have changed.…

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Back to Business – Kansas Dept. of Commerce Releases Grant info for Businesses & Non Profits.

By Jessica Buchholz | August 13, 2020

The Kansas Department of Commerce released information concerning COVID Relief Grants for businesses and nonprofits in the following categories ( you can apply for grants in multiple categories ): Small Business Working Capital Securing Local Food Systems Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Procurement Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Manufacturing COVID-19 Bioscience Product Development. Kansas Tech College Advanced Manufacturing Domestic…

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