Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

About

We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

Overview Who We Are How We Work Partner Collaborations Our Supporters Our Team Job Opportunities Contact Us
Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

Our Network

Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

Overview Coordinating Programs Main Street Communities Collective Impact Awards & Recognition Community Evaluation Framework Join the Movement
Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

Resources

Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

Overview Knowledge Hub Field Services Government Relations Main Street Now Conference Main Street America Institute Small Business Support Allied Member Services The Point Members Area
People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

The Latest

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

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Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

Get Involved

Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

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Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

About

We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

Overview Who We Are How We Work Partner Collaborations Our Supporters Our Team Job Opportunities Contact Us
Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

Our Network

Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

Overview Coordinating Programs Main Street Communities Collective Impact Awards & Recognition Community Evaluation Framework Join the Movement
Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

Resources

Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

Overview Knowledge Hub Field Services Government Relations Main Street Now Conference Main Street America Institute Small Business Support Allied Member Services The Point Members Area
People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

The Latest

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

Overview News & Stories Events & Opportunities Subscribe
Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

Get Involved

Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

Overview Join Us Renew Your Membership Donate Partner With Us Job Opportunities

Celebrating Outstanding Leaders

The Mary Means Leadership Award recognizes exceptional local leaders for their extraordinary vision, determination, and commitment to community-led transformation. 

A small group of people wearing hi-vis vests and hard hats stand in the middle of an intersection celebrating the kick-off of streetscape improvement project.

Wytheville, Virginia © Downtown Wytheville Inc.

About the Mary Means Leadership Award

Recipients of the award are celebrated for their exemplary leadership and the crucial role they play in shaping the Main Street Movement. Introduced in 2019 and announced annually at the Main Street Now Conference, the Mary Means Leadership Award also recognizes the outstanding and steadfast leadership of Main Street America’s founder, Mary Means.

Eligibility: Current employees or volunteers of a Coordinating Partner or Local Program that has an active membership are eligible to be considered for the Mary Means Leadership Award.

Nominations: The Mary Means Leadership Award nomination period typically takes place during the late fall/​early winter months. Individuals may nominate themselves or others for the award. Eligible communities were invited to submit nominations for 2024 Mary Means Leadership Award recipients from November 27, 2023-March 12024.

Selection Process: Winners are selected from a nationwide pool of nominations by a jury of past recipients, Main Street America staff, external partners. Evaluation criteria include a nominee’s track record in: building local capacity, leading through strategy, centering equity in their work, convening diverse stakeholders through shared vision, demonstrating a commitment to continuous learning, advancing a preservation ethic, and exhibiting innovation and integrity.

Accolades & Ceremony: The 2024 Mary Means Leadership Award recipient will receive a $1,000 professional development stipend for the Main Street America Institute, a $500 professional development travel stipend, media relations support, and a special feature on the Main Street America website. We look forward to celebrating them at the 2024 Main Street Now Conference in Birmingham, Alabama! 

Questions: Email samraen@​mainstreet.​org.

The 2024 Mary Means Leadership Award is generously sponsored by Regions Bank.


The Latest Mary Means Leadership Award News

Announcement

John Bry Named 2023 Mary Means Leadership Award Recipient

Main Street America is proud to recognize John Bry, Program Coordinator at Main Street Oakland County (MSOC) in Michigan, as the 2023 Mary Means Leadership Award recipient.

Meet John
John Bry (left) poses with Mary Means (right) for a celebratory photo. They hold John's Mary Means Leadership Award.

John Bry with Mary Means. © mark manne photography/​Main Street America

Recipients