Melbourne Main Street is proud to have received three Secretary of State awards at the 38th Annual Preservation on Main Street conference Thursday, July 20, 2023. Secretary Cord Boyd presented the 2023 Florida Main Street Awards at the Reilly Arts Center in Ocala, FL.
Secretary Boyd annually recognizes outstanding Main Street organizations for innovative projects, impactful people, organizations, and businesses throughout Florida’s 57 Main Street communities. Secretary Boyd states, “These awards highlight not only inventive projects and processes but also individuals who help distinguish their communities.” Melbourne Main Street and representatives earned the following awards: Local Leader of the Year, Board Member of the Year, and Telling Your Story.
Like many non-profit organizations, Melbourne Main Street relies heavily on volunteers, board members, community leaders, and businesses to promote our district as a premiere destination. Two of the awards recognize individuals working tirelessly to improve Downtown Melbourne for residents, business owners, visitors, and the community.
Local Leader of the Year – Paul Alfrey
In every community, it takes a leader to move the community forward, to lead with strength and grace, and to have the ability to see all sides before making decisions. In Downtown Melbourne, that is Mayor Paul Alfrey.
Mayor Alfrey is one of Downtown Melbourne’s biggest supporters. As a Melbourne native, he has a personal connection with the area and wants to see it reach its full potential. He is respectful of history while working to catapult it into the next generation. He is always at the forefront of advocacy for new developments and residential density while maintaining the unique balance we all desire. He doesn’t shy away from complex and difficult situations and always works to ensure a balanced approach to solutions.
Melbourne Main Street began its partnership with Mayor Alfrey in 2021 during the pandemic. During the last year, he has been working in tandem with us, listening, guiding, solving complicated issues, supporting us with personal funds, volunteering, and advocating for the important work we do for our community.
He is a leader who has a vision and understands how public policy, public safety, and city finances work. He keeps an open mind, ensures constitutional rights are protected, and makes good decisions for our community.
Since taking office two years ago, Mayor Alfrey has had the most impact on his leadership as it relates to the homeless in our community. He has been a huge advocate for homeless issues in the area, allocating $2.5 million from American Rescue Funds from the city’s budget toward a new comprehensive facility. He works alongside city staff, Melbourne Main Street, Daily Bread, and local property owners to find compassionate solutions to solve this extremely complex situation.
Mayor Alfrey clearly understands how vital economic development is to our community and downtown and embraces new ideas while understanding and educating himself. He works to negotiate and work with others to enable our community to thrive. Meeting with property owners, developers, and critical partners – all to find the best opportunities and projects for Downtown Melbourne.
He regularly attends the Melbourne Main Street board and business owner meetings, listening and speaking on current issues in Downtown. He is a centerpiece at our annual Candlelight Shopping & Tree Lighting Ceremony as well as the Best Bite presenter at our annual Downtown Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
Mayor Alfrey is a huge proponent of Melbourne Main Street’s work to enhance our community by creating and enhancing our unique location. He is always present, keeps us informed and connected, and is willing to hear new ideas and keep things moving forward.
Board Member of the Year – Corey Runte
Melbourne Main Street nominates Mr. Corey Runte as Board Member of the Year for his outstanding service to our organization. Mr. Runte, whose office is in Downtown Melbourne, has been involved in Melbourne Main Street for more than 12 years in various capacities. He has executed the Four Points through his service on Economic Vitality, Promotions, Organization, and Design committees and consistently makes a positive impact on the organization.
In the fall of 2020, facing the fallout of the pandemic and during a tumultuous time in the 0rganization’s history, Corey volunteered to take the critically important role of Board Chair when the organization and leadership were in crisis. Facing resignations from officers and other board members, he took the reins and got to work. He served for 2.5 years guiding our Board through a full organizational transformation and finished his term in December of 2022.
He was instrumental in the restructuring of the Board of Directors, updating bylaws, recreating our chart of accounts, enhancing technology, and organizing the first-ever Board retreat. In 2022, he also tackled launching a complete rebranding and a new, comprehensive website.
In addition, he led with determination and grace, while welcoming business and community leaders from a wide representation of our community who are committed to the revitalization of Downtown Melbourne. His infectious energy and vision are palatable.
His steadfast vision for a better downtown was supported through thousands of hours dedicated to building relationships with the board and committee members, businesses, and property owners while enhancing relationships with members of the City Council and City staff.
Since April of 2022, Mr. Runte personally raised more than $15,000 for our mission, which surpasses all other volunteers. During his unending devotion to our organization, he has never faltered. Even when welcoming twin boys, moving twice, running for reelection, and building a house!
During the last year, we realized record revenue increases through events and private sector contributions, revitalized events with successful customer satisfaction, repaired relationships, and had more fun than we could capture.
Corey has a special way about him as a person and a leader, strengthening relationships, our mission and reputation and never losing sight of our primary goal of revitalization. Melbourne Main Street and Downtown Melbourne would not be what it is today without him, and we are eternally grateful for his service and his continued impact. Corey Runte is incredibly deserving.
Telling Your Story (Category B)
Melbourne Main Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to positioning Historic Downtown Melbourne as the center of the community and the preferred destination for authentic economic activity. The mission is to revitalize and enhance the economic growth of Historic Downtown Melbourne by strengthening and showcasing the community’s positive unique characteristics.
After many years of a stale and outdated brand, the Melbourne Main Street Board of Directors invested in a rebranding of all assets to further propel the mission for the community and our organization. A brighter, more vibrant logo and a comprehensive website were a top priority and a considerable investment.
With a strategic partnership from a local advertising and marketing company MTN Advertising, which also has a passion and desire for the improvement of Downtown Melbourne, the organization was able to produce a stunning new brand to propel the community forward.
The beginning phases of the discussion circled around the name identity of the organization and the district. During the rebranding, the shift was made to identify this area as DTMB with Melbourne Main Street also included. The syllable-based acronym was developed for simplifying communication in digital conversations.
When people talk about visiting our community and posting about their experiences, most refer to it as Downtown Melbourne, which we now term DTMB. This new clarity has helped better market the mission of Melbourne Main Street for revitalization. Downtown Melbourne and better connect to the community and visitors about our mission, allowing for a fun and memorable way to describe our area.
The identity was crafted with bold block letters symbolizing timeless revitalization and economic growth, while the simplistic sail, crane, and wave carved within the negative space help preserve the unique characteristics of the Historic Downtown Melbourne waterfront location.
This refreshing new logo is prominent up and down New Haven Avenue on signage and street poles and helps identify this quaint, yet vibrant community of DTMB. All new publications, marketing, and assets now showcase the DTMB logo which can be seen on billboards, the website, rack cards, the Visitor Guide, letterhead, folders, promotional materials, membership program brochure, and throughout the district.