Just Announced: Patrice Frey, a 2022 Mary Means Leadership Award Recipient

May 18, 2022 | Just Announced: Patrice Frey, 2022 Mary Means Leadership Award Recipient
| By: Alicia Gallo, Senior Manager of Strategic Communications |

Left: Speaking at the 2019 Main Street Now Conference in Seattle, Washington. Center: With Texarkana Main Street, Texas Main Street, and City staff in Texarkana, Texas. Right: Visiting California Main Street program in Livermore, California, 2018. Credit: Main Street America.

Main Street America (MSA) announced Patrice Frey, President and CEO as a 2022 Mary Means Leadership Award recipient. This prestigious award is the organization’s top honor recognizing outstanding leaders in comprehensive preservation-based commercial district revitalization and highlighting the critical role that leaders play in shaping the Main Street Movement. Nominated by the organization’s board of directors and senior leadership, and selected by a national jury, Frey is being recognized for her dedicated service to the field, exemplary collaborative leadership, and entrepreneurial mindset.

“Patrice has done an outstanding job of leading Main Street America over the past decade,” said Darryl Young, MSA Board Chair. “She has created an organization that is stronger today than it has ever been in its 40+ year history.”

Left: Placing a live oak tree in honor of Arbor Day and DeFuniak Springs, Florida in 2019. Right: On stage with keynote speakers at 2017 Main Street Now Conference in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Credit: Main Street America.

Patrice joined the National Main Street Center as President and CEO in 2013. She swiftly and confidently began developing time-tested and forward-thinking strategies to strengthen the organization and deepen its impact. In partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), local Main Street organizations and Coordinating Programs, and partners, Patrice has infused new energy, ideas, and vitality into the program, demonstrating that Main Street is a force for preservation-based economic revitalization across the United States, improving quality of life and generating transformational economic impact and opportunity in over 2000 communities.

“Patrice’s leadership has inspired a new generation of Main Street leaders,” commented Michael Wagler, MSA Board Member and Chair of the Main Street Coordinator Leadership Council. “Her actions have empowered a bright future for our national movement.”

Left: At the 2016 Main Street Now Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Center: Cheering on the Chicago Cubs with Main Street America staff in 2016. Right: Working hard at2016 Main Street Now Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Credit: Main Street America.

During her tenure, Patrice developed strategies to breathe new life into the program, such as establishing the organization as an independent subsidiary of the NTHP, implementing a comprehensive “refresh” of the Main Street Approach to adapt the organization’s signature revitalization methodology to today’s challenges and opportunities, and rebranding the organization as Main Street America. Patrice played a pivotal role in re-energizing MSA’s educational offerings through the Main Street America Institute and annual Main Street Now Conference.

Concurrently, Patrice was steadfast in her commitment to growing the organization resulted in generating millions in private funding to support MSA programs and services to the network, growing membership approximately 25%, and increasing the team from six in 2013 to 35 in 2022.

Patrice and Main Street America staff at the 2022 Main Street Now Conference in Richmond, Virginia. Credit Main Street America.

Patrice’s vision of MSA as an organization and movement that ensures Main Streets are truly welcoming to all is reflected in the creation of new initiatives, including the launch of a program focused on older and historic neighborhood commercial districts in larger cities, supported by incubator and capacity building opportunities. Internally, Patrice has also led the creation of new departments designed to help the organization better understand and community the impact of the work of MSA and its member communities, as well as raise the visibility of this work with legislative decisionmakers in order to secure more federal resources for MSA’s communities.

Learn More About Patrice Frey >