Announcing the Winners of the David J. Brown and Mary Thompson MSAI Scholarships

January 22, 2020 | Announcing the Winners of the David J. Brown and Mary Thompson MSAI Scholarships

Congratulations to the inaugural recipients of the Main Street America Institute scholarships in honor of our distinguished former National Main Street Center (NMSC) board members, Mary Thompson and David J. Brown.

The Main Street America Institute (MSAI), NMSC’s education and professional credentialing program, offers two full scholarships to participate in the Institute’s 10 online courses and two workshops, concluding in a final exam and receipt of the Main Street America Revitalization Professional credential. These annual scholarships honor two of the NMSC’s former board members, who through their long experience in preservation and revitalization and contributions to the Main Street America movement, embody the professional achievements to which MSAI participants aspire.

Our inaugural scholarship recipients were selected in close coordination with our honorees, with particular attention to their potential to share what they’ve learned with their communities and expand the reach of this education.

Chelsea_Tallo-Little.jpgThe David J. Brown Scholarship was awarded to Chelsea Tallo-Little, Executive Director of the Hammond Downtown Development District in Hammond, LA. Ms. Tallo-Little returned to her hometown of Hammond with a goal to impact her community through preservation-based economic development. She will combine her MSAI experience with concurrent education via the Certified Louisiana Economic Developer Program to help ensure investment in Hammond’s diverse business district.

“I'm honored to be awarded the David J. Brown Scholarship. The extensive Main Street America Institute education will not only help me to spur my career further into Main Street, but it will have a large impact on my hometown of Hammond, Louisiana. I can't wait to start the program and make my community proud!”

The Mary Thompson Scholarship was awarded to Darin Rutledge of Downtown Klamath Falls, OR. Through the scholarship, Darin will aim to align his background and experience in economic development with his new Main Street role. He looks forward to the potential to share information with his community to jumpstart their revitalization efforts and create a renewed sense of pride.
“I am thrilled and honored to have been selected as a recipient of this scholarship. Klamath Falls Downtown Association and Main Street organizations across the country are doing wonderful work in our communities, and I’m excited to bring the knowledge and experience gained through the MSAI back to my community to make that work more meaningful and impactful.”

Again, congratulations to these Main Street leaders on this next step in their professional development journey and thank you to all those who submitted for consideration of this scholarship opportunity. For more information about the Main Street America Institute, visit us online at and consider joining us for an online course or a workshop.