Women in Business: Marshall Main Street Director looks to busiest time of year coming up – Marshall News Messenger

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Partly cloudy skies. High 87F. Winds light and variable..
Clear to partly cloudy. Low 56F. Winds light and variable.
Updated: October 25, 2021 @ 7:31 am
Marshall Main Street Director Veronique Ramirez is gearing up for downtown Marshall’s busiest time of year with the start of Wonderland of Lights next month.

Marshall Main Street Director Veronique Ramirez is gearing up for downtown Marshall’s busiest time of year with the start of Wonderland of Lights next month.
Marshall Main Street Manager Veronique Ramirez is enjoying her new community and looking forward to the busiest time of year coming up next month with the start of the annual Wonderland of Lights.
Ramirez is just one of several Marshall women who plays a vital role to the well being of the community, as well as its many downtown businesses.
Ramirez said she learned the importance of community while growing up in her hometown of Falfurrias.
“My family knew no strangers and the sense of community was deep rooted,” she said. “I witnessed my parents and siblings lead very robust civic lifestyles, and I learned to honor community service efforts where volunteering was not seen as a chore, but rather an anticipated activity.“
Ramirez said growing up as the child of small business owners, she feels a connection to the many business owners of the Marshall community.
“When I was a little girl, I watched my mom and dad work as partners to turn their dreams of owning a small business into a reality,” she said. “So, when the Marshall Main Street career opportunity presented itself and I learned more about the program’s ‘Four Point Approach,‘ which encourages the promotion of community engagement and the essentialness of small businesses, I knew that it was a complimentary role to what I have spent most of my life familiar with.“
While Ramirez has been in Marshall less than a year, she said she’s already built a deep respect for the new place she calls home.
“In the seven months I have called Marshall home, I have learned and appreciate that our community is resilient,” she said. “I admire a city that recognizes its rarity and makes a conscious effort to collectively preserve its significance.”
Ramirez said she has enjoyed the unique aspects of her job and the opportunities it’s presented.
“My job is unique in the case that it is a multi-faceted position,” she said. “Primarily, I am the downtown district’s manager and also historic preservation officer. The two roles complement each other as The Main Street Program was created 40 plus years ago to economically revitalize historic downtowns and is a recognized partnership between local, state and national organizations.“
Ramirez said she enjoys the fact that Marshall is such a historically important town.
“Downtown Marshall is a historic district identified by state and federal governments as being a Certified Local Government (CLG),” she said. “This means our charming downtown has been approved as having historic character and the community agrees to commit to historic preservation efforts that lead to social, economic and environmental benefits. Most recently, I worked with the Marshall Economic Development Corporation Director Rush Harris and Marshall City Manager Mark Rohr to continue their introduction of a Design Standards Historic Preservation District and assist with creating the process for downtown stakeholders to apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness permit and Façade Grant.”
Ramirez said in her role, she participates in everything from business promotion, restoration and tourism efforts.
“My primary job as Marshall Main Street Manager is to promote the program’s Four Point Approach: Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion and Organization,” she said. “The division is a grass roots movement supported by volunteers to help me continue to develop an economic upturn by working with property developers to improve and rehabilitate buildings, attract entrepreneurs and consumers to invest in downtown and assist in the promotion efforts for established and potential incoming businesses.”
“Recently, I worked closely with the city’s planning and zoning department, economic department and fire department to amend an ordinance that would allow for small-scale breweries, wineries and distillery businesses to operate downtown. In addition, I researched and worked with Texas Commission on the Arts, and with the support of local art organizations, we introduced an ordinance outlining a Cultural Arts District that was successfully approved by city council and would allow downtown Marshall to eventually qualify for state funding.”
Ramirez said her job duties do go beyond business promotion and preservation and restoration efforts.
“My job does not comprise of merely historic preservation and economic growth but also overseeing downtown’s grounds keeping, real estate availabilities and while the program may be under the economic department, I assist the tourism department’s Visitor’s Center and help organize the city’s annual festival Wonderland of Lights,” she said. “At the end of the day, my goal is to have our downtown be a reflection of Marshall’s community, character and culture.”
While Ramirez said seeing downtown Marshall thrive as her job as Marshall Main Street manager, the real take away is seeing the effect on the people of the community.
“I have always been very gregarious, a trait I inherited from my dad. I enjoy speaking with people, exchanging ideas, watching plans come to fruition and learning how to make positive changes that benefit the present and, hopefully, be enjoyed and appreciated by the future,” she said. “The most rewarding is being able to shop from a small business because it supports a big dream. It teaches you the importance of community and ultimately how to be a good neighbor.”
Ramirez said as a female business leader in the community, she wants to encourages other women and girls to become involved in their communities.
“If I could offer some tips or advice to ladies who are interested in being involved and contribute to their community’s business district, it would be to volunteer or work to learn as much as you can about the industry, so you can then invest wisely and without reservation,” she said. “For example, when my parents began their small business endeavor, my mom was afraid to commit, fearful she would lose the family’s life savings. My grandfather explained to her that she could continue to talk about the plans she wanted to make or act and invest in a future she could create. With that being said, there is a difference between reckless and fearless, so allow yourself to ponder your interests, create goals and proceed, wholeheartedly, towards creating your vision.”
As the mother of a young woman, Ramirez said she not only tries to instill these values and passions in her daughter, but she also learns tips about drive and ambition from her daughter.
“I believe she teaches me every day on how I can be successful. My daughter has the biggest heart, she is patient, polite and confident. When she was graduating eighth grade, she received a Student Merit Award that is displayed in the school’s hallway for her studious dedication, volunteer initiative and commitment to her school’s mission. She even wrote and performed a song for her school. She truly teaches me every day to be thankful and happy,” Ramirez said. “I raised my daughter in a single-parent household and while I struggled to make ends meet, I knew it was imperative for me to create a roadmap that would help me earn a bachelor’s degree, establish a career and create a comfortable life. So, if there is one skill I hope my daughter learns from me, I hope she learns perseverance.”
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