HARTFORD, DECEMBER 1, 2016 – John Simone, President & CEO of Connecticut Main Street Center, announces his retirement, effective August 2017.
Mr. Simone has been CMSC’s President & CEO since the organization became a non-profit in 2000, after Eversource Energy (then CL&P) became the only private corporation in the country to solely sponsor and administer a Main Street Program in 1995.
During his tenure, the organization has grown from a staff of two to its current form, with four full-time employees, one part-time employee, a year-long VISTA Volunteer, and two interns. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Simone oversaw the growth of the CMSC member network, with membership growing from six to over 70 communities, and played a pivotal role in creating the award-winning Come Home to Downtown program and subsequent passage of expanded Tax Increment Financing legislation that allows communities to create TIF districts, making it easier to take advantage of this valuable resource.
“I am looking forward to stepping back, slowing down a little and taking the time to consider what my next adventures might be,” said Mr. Simone. “However, until next August when I do retire, I plan on working closely with a very supportive board and capable staff to ensure a smooth transition. I intend to do everything in my power to make sure we have set the stage for a new person to take the reins and launch the next iteration of CT Main Street Center.”
In preparation for Mr. Simone’s successor, the CMSC Board of Directors has established a transition team to guide the search for a new leader. Both the Board and Mr. Simone are confident the organization’s recently adopted strategic plan will provide guidance for a smooth transition. Said Mr. Simone, “Our new plan embodies a bold vision to transform our main streets into a collective economic engine for the entire state. We now have a road map to facilitate a collective impact to achieve large-scale systemic change and, with our coalition of public and private entities, play a major role in building a vibrant future for the state, main street by main street.”
CMSC Board Chair Ted DeSantos added, “CMSC is strongly positioned for this next chapter. This is a great time for downtown, and with John’s willingness to provide time and assistance to bring his successor up to speed, I have no doubt CMSC has a bright future ahead.”