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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

The Great American Market Canceled for 2020.

By Jessica Buchholz | August 4, 2020

Emporia, Kansas – The Great American Market has been cancelled for 2020. The Market is a joint effort between Emporia Main Street and its title sponsor, the Emporia Gazette, and features local stores, booth vendors, and food trucks within downtown Emporia. The Great American Market is always held on the second Saturday of September, and the cancellation…

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New Assistance for Local Businesses

By Jessica Buchholz | August 3, 2020

The City of Emporia, KS has been awarded $132,000 of funding through the Kansas Department of Commerce’s Community Development Block Grant COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program (CDBG-CV). The City of Emporia Small Business COVID-19 Grant will assist with immediate and anticipated needs of existing Emporia small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. Negatively impacted small businesses…

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Annual Meeting Highlights

By Jessica Buchholz | July 31, 2020

In 2021, the Emporia Main Street organization will turn 30 years old, and we’ve never experienced a year quite like this. Before mid-March of 2020, we saw a year full of expanded events, a lot of new developments, some new businesses, and the formation of new resources that could benefit different types of business startups.…

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Consumer Pandemic Trends

By Jessica Buchholz | July 23, 2020

The mind of the consumer during a pandemic is difficult to track. Even outside of Covid, trying to guess the wants and needs of your customers can be a full time job. We know that information regarding the pandemic continues to change, and with each new alteration in infection rates, medical advances, news releases, or…

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How Has the Pandemic Impacted Your Brand?

By Jessica Buchholz | June 30, 2020

There are wonderful people that work very hard to understand the world around them for the benefit of others. These people aren’t simply watching TV, reading commentary, or listening to podcasts; they are collecting data and refining raw information into something useful. When variables hit a market, shifts in consumer buying patterns and perceptions are…

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Radical Transparency: Your customers, staff, and the general public need to hear from you in a different way RIGHT NOW

By Jessica Buchholz | June 26, 2020

We have many positive traits in the Midwest. The people here work hard, they are punctual, people believe in teamwork, and they typically value getting things done. One of the negative traits we sometimes experience is out ability to deal with knowledge vacuums. When we don’t know something, instead of simply saying “I don’t know”…

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