When decisions are being made about downtown Saline, there will a seat at the table for Kelly Idzikowski.
Idzikowski, who graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in advertising in May, was hired to manage the Saline Main Street program.
The community will welcome Idzikowski to town at reception at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at , before Bluescaster takes the stage for the Summer Music Series concert.
This is Idzikowski’s first “big girl” job. But she’s no stranger to the Main Street program, which aims to help communities strengthen their historic downtowns. She spent a year as the communications intern for the Old Town Commercial Association in downtown Lansing. In many Michigan communities, the Main Street program is an arm of government. Like Saline’s Main Street program, the Old Town program was not affiliated with city government. That brings opportunities and challenges Idzikowski understands.
“Our Main Street program is privately funded. Everything is volunteer-driven. So this will be about what the community wants,” Idzikowski said.
In time, there will be business recruitment and beautification projects. But there is a big-picture issue that comes first.
“Primarily, this will be about building an identity for Saline and establishing downtown as a destination that attracts visitors,” she said.
Idzikowski has been on the job since early June, working in an office at 101 S. Ann Arbor St. in Suite 203b, above . She also moved into a flat downtown. She recognized Saline's restaurants as a strength for downtown.
“We have many terrific restaurants that bring people downtown and keep them here into the evening,” she said. “That’s something to build on.”
In Lansing, Idzikowski recruited and managed volunteers, put together an art competition, populated the website and sent out press releases. She also coordinated an event called the Compassionate Feast, which provided low-income residents with items needed to cook a Thanksgiving Day dinner for their families.
Idzikowski grew up in Fair Haven and is a graduate of Algonac High School.