Meet the National Main Street Center


We’d like to take the opportunity this week to formally introduce the staff of the National Main Street Center by giving you a brief overview of who we are, what we do, and who you can contact if you have questions regarding membership, communications, consulting services, billing, contracts or other more general issues. We are also excited to provide you with information regarding new positions that we will bringing onboard within the near future, including a Senior Director of Programs and Services, an Associate Manager of Network Services, as well as a Manager of Membership.

So without further delay, please take a moment to meet the National Main Street Center!


Patrice Frey, President and CEO, Chicago, IL

Patrice Frey is President and CEO of the National Main Street Center, where she oversees the Center’s work, offering technical assistance, research, advocacy, and education and training opportunities for Main Street’s network of approximately 1,100 communities. Before joining the National Main Street Center in May 2013, Patrice serviced as the Director of Sustainability at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where she oversaw the National Trust’s efforts to promote the reuse and greening of older and historic buildings, including research and policy development work through the Seattle-based Preservation Green Lab.

You can contact Patrice at or 312-939-5547 ext. 37224.

Field Services

Kathy LaPlante, Senior Main Street Program Officer, Pembrooke, N.H.

Kathy La Plante is a Senior Program Officer with more than 23 years of Main Street experience. Her expertise at the National Main Street Center is building organizational capacity and developing promotional programming. Her work primarily revolves around providing direction in program start-ups at the local, regional, and statewide levels. Most recently, she worked to establish the Portland, Oregon, and Idaho Main Street programs. Annually she conducts assessments of statewide programs and conducts new coordinator orientation.  Please click here to view Kathy's listing in the Allied Services Directory.

If you are interested in Kathy’s consulting services for your Main Street Program, please contact her at or 202.297.2893

Norma Ramírez de Miess, Senior Main Street Program Officer, Texas

Norma Ramirez de Miess helps communities across the nation assess organizational and programming needs and implement strategies that build successful revitalization efforts. She has more than 20 years of leadership experience in international heritage tourism, entrepreneurship development, disaster relief, nonprofit management, and direct local Main Street efforts. She developed the National Main Street Center’s diversity services and leads initiatives that promote inclusion and understanding of the process of involving and understanding the business approach of multi-cultural entrepreneurs. Norma has also been involved in developing international collaboration with organizations and governments that are implementing the Main Street Four Point Approach® in Taiwan, Mexico, and Panama. Please click here to view Norma's listing in the Allied Services Directory.

If you are interested in Norma’s consulting services for your Main Street Program, please contact her at or 202.213.6720.

Communications, Membership and Finance Staff

Rachel Bowdon, Associate Manager of Communications, Chicago, IL

Rachel Bowdon joined the National Main Street Center in September 2013 as the Associate Manager of Communications. Rachel is responsible for the membership communication efforts of the Center, including managing social media, maintaining the website, preparing NMSC’s weekly news publication, Main Street Weekly, and coordinating the publication of the Center’s quarterly magazine, Main Street Now. Rachel also participates on the National Main Streets Conference Communication Committee, serving as a key liaison between conference organizers and the Center.

Please contact Rachel at or 312-939-5547 ext. 37227 if you have news or stories you’d like to share or if you have questions, concerns or comments regarding:  

- Main Street Weekly
- Social media including Twitter and Facebook
- Main Street Now
- Solution Center

Anthony Nelson, Interim Network Services Coordinator, Washington, D.C.

Anthony joined the National Main Street Center in July 2012 as the Interim Membership Network Coordinator.  Anthony is responsible for managing the Center's Network Membership program that consists of Standard Network, Allied and Coordinator Package membership programs.

Please contact Anthony at or 202-588-6231 if you have questions, concerns or comments regarding your National Main Street Membership.

Hannah White, Program Assistant, Chicago, IL

Hannah White joined the National Main Street Center in July 2013. As Program Assistant, she provides broad programmatic and administrative support to the Center, serves as liaison to the NMSC board and external stakeholders, and helps to ensure the national network of members have access to the tools and resources they need to continue to advance preservation-based revitalization of commercial districts throughout the country.

Please contact Hannah at or 312-939-5547 ext. 37223 if you have questions regarding:

- General inquiries about the National Main Street Center
- Member benefits and your membership status
- The National Main Streets Conference
- Main Street Publications

Sharee Williamson, Assistant General Counsel, Washington, D.C.

Sharee Williamson is Assistant General Counsel for the National Trust and provides legal services to the National Main Street Center. Sharee draws on her nine years of legal experience to provide support on a range of legal issues including contracting, compliance and intellectual property.

You can contact Sharee at

Debra Wise, Senior Business Manager, Washington, D.C.

Debra Wise is the Senior Business Manager for the National Main Street Center.  Debra brings more than 28 years of experience and expertise in the management of the Center’s financial operations.   As the Senior Business Manager Debra manages a full range of administrative, financial and operational duties which include human resources, budgeting, and accounting responsibilities. 

Please contact Deb at or 202.588.6128 if you have questions regarding:

- Invoices and Payments
- Income and Consulting Contracts

New Positions!

We will soon be hiring a Senior Director of Programs and Services who will take a lead role in assessing and reinvigorating the National Main Street Center’s programmatic offerings and services, developing an expanded membership base for NMSC, and growing national partnerships. We will also be hiring an Associate Manager of Network Services who will work closely with the Senior Director of Programs and Services and the Membership Manager to implement new membership offerings and to deliver outstanding customer service to the Main Street Network. Both of these positions are still open so if either of these positions sounds like a good fit for you or someone in your network, we encourage you to apply or share with others.

We will also soon be looking for a Manager of Membership who will play a crucial role in taking the Center’s existing membership program and services to the next level of member engagement and support, using current platforms and benefits as well as new technologies.  We will let you know when this opportunity is posted—stay tuned!

Thanks for taking the time to get to know us better and please let us know if there’s anything we can do to be of assistance.

Read full bios of Main Street Staff here.