VERO BEACH – Katherina C. Paliwoda, M.H.P., is stepping in as the new Main Street Vero Beach (MSVB) Executive Director. Katherina was formerly the Program Assistant for the Florida Main Street Program in Tallahassee, which is administered by the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Historic Preservation.
Growing up in Panama City, she developed a love for old Florida, its beautiful history, and uniquely diverse downtowns.
Economic-based historic preservation is her goal for Historic Downtown Main Street Vero Beach. Katherina has a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida State University in Humanities and Master of Arts in Historic Preservation from Goucher College in Baltimore, Md.
Her completed thesis was on The Economic Development and Historic Preservation Benefits of the Florida Main Street Program. She comes to MSVB with exciting plans to partner with many preservationists, historians and cultural arts programs in the local area to keep Vero Beach’s unique history alive while also finding ways to make the downtown’s economy an even more vital and thriving community.
Executive Director Elaine Jones recently retired; however is committed to MSVB as the Vice President of the Board of the Directors. She has brought Main Street Vero Beach important partnerships to the forefront that are key to the future organization.
The success of Downtown Friday has grown from 10 vendors to more than 75 each month under her leadership. MSVB has produced 53 events in the past year alone that promoted Historic Downtown Main Street by bringing people into downtown.
The Baskets2Banners program is a successful partnership with The Indian River Garden Club and also membership tripled during her tenure.
In 1953, The Hibiscus Festival was held for the first time celebrating the City of Vero Beach and naming the Hibiscus flower the official Vero Beach flower. In 1967, as the branding of Vero cultivated, the City Council proclaimed Vero Beach as “The Hibiscus City.”
Historic Downtown Main Street Vero Beach has transformed over the years with the help of the Main Street approach that blends economic development, promotions, design and historic preservation along with a robust public and private investment. These past few years the increased awareness of the downtown “vibe” through the Main Street efforts has boosted foot traffic into the area. Events such as The Hibiscus Festival and Downtown Friday have played a key role with promotion by bringing local residents and visitors from all over the country back to Main Street.
Main Street Vero Beach is a non-profit 501c3 organization of interested property and business owners, professionals, government officials, residents and a Board of Directors that support vitality and return to community independence by emphasizing Main Street’s assets of personal service, local ownership, distinctive architecture, history and the arts. A growing real estate market for new business to relocate to the downtown area has brought a new atmosphere for Historic Downtown Main Street Vero Beach.
The Main Street organization has had a proud past and looks forward to an exciting future under the new direction of Katherina.