Senior Program Officer and Director of Leadership Development
Norma offers over 20 years of direct leadership experience and a passion for building communities with strong sense of place and economic vitality. As a Senior Program Officer for the National Main Street Center, Norma works with state partners and hundreds of communities across the country defining strategies & supporting effective implementation of revitalization efforts.
Prior to joining the Center, Norma provided direct Main Street leadership and nonprofit management at the local level in Elgin, IL where she was recognized for her leadership in pioneering successful and inclusive downtown revitalization. Her multicultural background continues to be a great asset in helping communities understand increasingly changing demographics. She developed the Center’s Diversity services offering strategies to foster inclusive engagement and support to multicultural entrepreneurs. Raised in a family of entrepreneurs and community leaders also provides direct and unique understanding on the needs of small businesses and the impact of their involvement in district and community revitalization.
Norma has a Bachelor of Science and Language and studied Civil Engineering with an emphasis in transportation. Norma’s previous work includes leading disaster relief efforts that depended on strong public and private sector partnerships coming together to re-energize local economies. She uses her training to educate leaders on the importance of addressing physical improvements while ensuring the preservation of authentic character as a distinctive market advantage for communities. Her work in heritage tourism offer insightful tools that help recognize community assets and promote unique destinations.
Norma was instrumental in leading the first state-wide implementation of the refreshed Main Street Approach™ through a solid partnership with Michigan Main Street. She continues to work with other states to support strategy identification initiatives in communities of all sizes. Norma is actively engaged in building partnerships to establish a strong foundation for Main Street in support of the revitalization of communities in Puerto Rico. She has also promoted the Main Street Approach™ internationally at conferences in Taiwan and through educational sessions for organizations and governments in Panama and Mexico.
As Director of Leadership Development, Norma is passionate about supporting the crucial role of local leaders in building successful revitalization efforts. She helped define the framework for Main Street America Institute, the Center’s professional development program and conducts regular leadership trainings at state-wide and national conferences.
Back to MEET THE TEAM