The following information was submitted to Perkiomen Valley Patch:
The Collegeville Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) which sponsors the Collegeville Main Street Program now has a new manager to work toward revitalizing Collegeville’s commercial area. The Main Street Program includes Collegeville’s entire business district, which is its Main Street and its two shopping centers.
Rachael Morrison, formerly the Sea Isle Revitalization Director of Sea Isle City, had her first day in her office on March 12. Rachael replaces Linda Flederbach, who left the position at the end of 2011 to work full-time in her own business, Joe Paws Dog Bakery in Boyertown.
“We are really fortunate to have Rachael as our new manager,” said Brian Dubas, CEDC President. “She comes to Collegeville with significant experience in owning and operating her own business as well as heading up Sea Isle Revitalization, a nonprofit organization. We intend to take full advantage of her Main Street management, business and marketing skills.”
Rachael started and ran a boutique clothing business called Haven for seven years on Sea Isle City’s Main Street, which is named Landis Avenue. In addition to successfully promoting her own business, she became promotions chair for Sea Isle Revitalization. In that capacity she worked for three years promoting the town’s entire business district. Her enthusiasm, ability to get things done and track record convinced the Sea Isle Revitalization program to create a full-time paid position for her as their Director. Some of Rachael’s successful programs include starting and running a 20-vendor farmers’ market, an “Artists on Landis,” promotion, an annual wine festival, “Harbor Fest,” special business nights, where all businesses on their Main Street conducted indoor and sidewalk sales, a “Mother’s Day Weekend,” and “Girls’ Weekend,” which combined clothing and apparel store sales in conjunction with restaurants among other promotions.
Prior to her retail and Main Street careers, Rachael also spent 10 years in marketing for a pharmaceutical company.
In 2011, Rachael relocated to the Philadelphia area in order to be closer to her family as her children grew older.
Rachael says she was interested in the Main Street position because “I am huge advocate of small towns. I grew up in a navy family and we moved frequently, and you realize how important having a sense of community is to your quality-of-life. In ‘small town America’ people recognize you when you walk down the street, and they stop and talk. The businesses you shop in know your likes and dislikes, and I believe you get the best products at the best price through them. When I had my boutique, I always had specific customers in mind when I bought my inventory. Small businesses know their customers and honestly care about them, not just about the business’ bottom line.”
The CEDC commissioned the JGSC Group to perform a comprehensive market analysis of Collegeville’s entire business district in 2010, which they completed in March, 2011. The result is a detailed plan on how to create a more robust business district specifically for Collegeville. Rachael has reviewed the plan and for some first steps, would like to work to attract some small clothing boutiques that would appeal to students and residents as well as interesting niche stores to differentiate Collegeville from Providence Town Center. She would also like to see the creation of an attractive entranceway into Collegeville, and is looking at ways to attract grants and sponsorships for the Main Street program.
In the next couple of weeks, Rachael will be introducing herself to local businesses. A welcome reception is also being planned to introduce her to the Collegeville community. Individuals interested in meeting her can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call at 610 454 1050. Her office is at 476 E. Main Street, Collegeville, PA 19426.