Wyatt resigns as Main St. director
Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:02 PM
After four years leading the organization, the Madison Main Street Program executive director is leaving.
Wyatt (Courier file photo)
Whitney Wyatt has resigned from her position according to a Wednesday press release. Wyatt will continue to work through a transition period as the group’s board searches for her replacement.
“Whitney has worked as director of Madison Main Street Program for over four years and has brought much energy and enthusiasm to the program,” board president Sandy Palmer wrote in the release. “She will be missed. I, and the entire Main Street Executive Board, appreciate all she has done to move our program forward, to support Madison merchants and residents and to help build a strong organization. I know her decision to leave our organization was difficult for her but know that she will apply all her considerable energy and enthusiasm to being a fantastic mother to Alaina and wife to Brian. I wish her the very best and know she will continue to be a valuable resource to our community.”
Wyatt, who had her first child in August, said she’d been considering the decision for the past month or so, and finally spoke to board members on Friday before delivering letters of her intent on Monday.
“I really wanted to try,” Wyatt said of balancing her work and home-life in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.
“I really wanted to stay because I really care and have a lot of ambition for the work.”
But, she said, the job doesn’t come with a “predictable schedule.”
Though the exact details of her exit are not final, she said, Wyatt has agreed to work for at least another month, but that it’s up to board.
“I’m committed to making sure it’s a good transition,” she said of her hope for seeing things off to a “good start,” with a new director.
When Wyatt took her position in May of 2012, she said her biggest goal was to “bring the program back... Back to its full functioning power,” and “setting it up for a strong financial future.
“It wasn’t surviving well through the economic downturn,” she said.
Looking back on her time as executive director, Wyatt points to highlights including the Music in the Park concert series, new and expanding businesses, grant projects with the City of Madison, September’s Farm to Table Dinner supporting the Jefferson County Farmer’s Market and being involved in the America’s Best Communities competition.
Rehabilitation, she said, is “something we’ve always wanted to do,” but required a larger budget. Wyatt said she hopes work on Mulberry Street will expand and inspire more downtown developments.
“It needs a director with a lot of energy and enthusiasm and the ability to lead,” she said.
Though she maintains positive ambitions for both the organization and herself, the decision is somewhat bittersweet.