After nine years supporting efforts to revitalize downtown Laramie, Laramie Main Street Alliance Program Coordinator Carly-Ann Carruthers is transitioning to new opportunities with Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites.
“If you’ve volunteered with Main Street, you know how critical Carly-Ann has been to our success. She is kind, organized, a team player, hard working, smart and dedicated,” Executive Director Trey Sherwood said. “We couldn’t ask for a better champion for the Main Street movement and Wyoming. We are sorry to see her go but very excited to see what she will do on a statewide level.”
From May 2010 to September 2010 Carly-Ann worked as Laramie Main Street’s AmeriCorps member, assisting the Design Team with the creation of guidelines based on historic preservation best practices and preparing outreach materials for the Farmers Market and organizational support for the Upstairs Downtown Tours. Using her background in historic preservation and passion for Wyoming’s history, she set activated empty storefronts with displays of historic photographs, guided downtown walking tours and created a system for volunteer recruitment.
In 2011, Carly-Ann attended her first, of many, National Main Street conferences. There she discovered the joys of strategic planning and the use of historic preservation as an economic development and community-building tool.
From 2011 to 2014, Carly-Ann stayed engaged with Laramie Main Street as a member of the Design Team and all-around go-to volunteer. She continued to attend trainings with Wyoming Main Street, build support for improvements to Third Street, reviewed façade grants, set up a volunteer database, engaged volunteers and donors, assisted with grant writing and fundraising.
Impressed with her dedication, work ethic and smarts, in September 2014 the board hired Carly-Ann as Main Street’s first every Program Coordinator with a focus on historic preservation and volunteer recruitment. In July 2019, with Carly-Ann’s successful application to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation for a capacity building grant, her position, initially a part-time role, became full-time.
“Carly is the perfect picture of a dedicated Main Streeter,” Communications Coordinator and colleague Jessica Brauer said. “Her dedication to our community, willingness to go above and beyond her duties and enthusiasm for change-making in any environment has undeniably been an inspiration. It has been a gift to watch her work unfold behind the scenes through countless projects, events, programs and growth spurts that have cultivated and nurtured a thriving, engaging and adored downtown district for all walks of life.”
Carly-Ann has been instrumental in providing research, historic preservation resources and design advice for property owners in the district. With her guidance, we’ve been able to save or preserve many of the original facades downtown.
She has managed the “Adopt-a-Pot” flower program, holiday lights, downtown walking tours, and is responsible for district wide clean up days. Behind-the-scenes, Carly-Ann also tracked volunteer hours, donor engagement, maintained a business database and advised on fundraising strategies.
“Carly’s energy and can do attitude is infectious. Carly is always willing to step in and assume duties for tasks and projects when no one else is,” LMSA Board Chair and business owner Shantel Anderson said. “It has been a joy working with her and we are so lucky to have had someone as dedicated as Carly to set the bar high for staff, board members, and volunteers of Mainstreet.”
Long-standing volunteer and former board member Jerry Schmidt said, “Carly is a pleasure to work with. She is always respectful of others, ready to lead or help with the next task, has a good sense of humor, and quietly gets things done. You can depend on her.”
During Main Street events like BrewFest, Mash Up, Farmers Markets and Small Business Saturday, Carly-Ann can be found picking up trash, organizing volunteers, running tech, decorating booths, and doing the heavy lifting during setup. Sherwood shared, “Everything she did, even the smallest chore, she did with a vision for a more vibrant, thriving downtown”.
“Working with the passionate board, staff, and volunteers at Main Street has been a rewarding experience,” Carly-Ann said in regards to her transition. “I've learned so much from our downtown business owners and community leaders, and Trey is a stellar mentor who has given me countless opportunities to grow and succeed. I will miss the energy of Downtown Laramie, but promise to continue volunteering and shopping local!”
Carly-Ann took the lead on many projects that will have a lasting impact on downtown and Laramie’s quality of life. She was the backbone for the development of the Third Street plan, the soon to be executed community-wide wayfinding (directional signage) plan, the update to the National Register nomination, and the feasibility study to save the Wyo Theater.