Main Street Leadership Awards

The Main Street Leadership Awards recognize key leaders who offer creative approaches to commercial district revitalization challenges. Each year the National Trust Main Street Center, along with strategic partners, selects individuals or organizations that have provided strong leadership, locally or nationally, in the following ways: 

  • Significant, lasting contributions made to commercial district revitalization;
  • Inspiring actions that can be duplicated in other communities;
  • Ability to serve as a national role model or spokesperson; and
  • Long-term contributions to a community's revitalization over time.

2009 Main Street Leadership Award Winners

Main Street Leadership Award winners NTHP Trustee Barbara Sidway (left) and Oregon First Lady Mary Oberst (right) pose with NTHP Executive Vice President David Brown at the Opening Plenary of the 2009 Main Streets Conference.

Credit: Linda S. Glisson

At the Opening Session of the 2009 National Main Streets Conference in Chicago, the National Trust Main Street Center named two Oregonians — Oregon First Lady Mary Oberst and business leader Barbara Sidway — as recipients of the 2009 National Main Street Hero Awards for their efforts in restoring the Oregon statewide Main Street program.

Oberst and Sidway were co-chairs of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2005 National Preservation Conference, held in Portland. The conference was a huge success, and Oberst and Sidway decided to keep the task force alive to focus on other preservation issues in Oregon. They decided that a key goal would be to revive Oregon's statewide Main Streets program — the state had been without a program since 1998. Over the last few years, the task force successfully worked with Governor Kulongoski to restore funding for the program. Last year, Oregon Main Street, a program of the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, hired its first staff member and is already working in almost 50 communities across Oregon.

Mary Oberst

Oregon First Lady Mary J. Oberst chaired the Capital Campaign for Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum, which raised $1.5 million to restore the museum. She serves on the Board of the Campaign for Equal Justice, which funds Oregon Legal Aid offices, and the Oregon Minority Lawyers' Association. She is also president of the OR150 Board, a statewide volunteer organization in charge of planning Oregon's sesquicentennial. Oberst is an Advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Barbara Sidway

Barbara G. Sidway is principal and founder of Sidway Investment Corporation. She was involved with the restoration of the Geiser Grand Hotel in Baker City, Oregon, which received the Governor's Livability Award and a National Trust Honor Award (1998). She was appointed by the Oregon governor to a third term on the Oregon Heritage Commission, where she also served as a past chair. Sidway is a member of the Joint Interim Task Force for Cultural Development and Livable Oregon's Governor's Livability Awards Jury. She is a board member of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition; Friends of Historic Baker. Ms. Sidway is the Chair of the National Main Street Center Board of Directors and the Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.