08/04/05 — New Small Town Main Street chairman named

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New Small Town Main Street chairman named

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on August 4, 2005 1:45 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Stephanie Kornegay is the Small Town Main Street project's new committee chairman.

She replaces former chairman Patti O'Donoghue, who resigned her position with the committee as well as her job as president of the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce to write a novel.

The committee is in its third year revitalizing downtown Mount Olive under the guidance of Commerce Department officials Bob Murphrey and Evangeline Ezeilo. Murphrey and Ezeilo are training Mount Olive and three other towns that began the pilot program to carry on the work they have begun.

"If we've done a decent job, you'll be able to continue on your own with meeting occasionally," Murphrey said. He promised to keep in touch through phone calls and emails and not leave the town "in a lurch."

The committee in its first two years has prompted property owners downtown to clean alleys and paint buildings. New businesses have opened, and some have closed. But Murphrey praised the group for helping bring about a net gain of five businesses and eight jobs. The town also received a grant to beautify the 200 block of Center Street to look more like the 100 block.

Ms. O'Donoghue said Murphrey and Ezeilo have been "the catalyst to make things happen."

Promotions Subcommittee Chairman Charles Brown said downtown events have been successful, including one contest to get art to display in downtown windows that drew 700 entries from artists around the area. Only 30 entries were expected, he said.

Brown resigned as subcommittee chairman. Patsy Joyner of the Ruffles and Bows dress shop agreed to take his place.

In other leadership changes, David Kornegay stepped down as chairman of the Economic Restructuring Subcommittee to devote more time to his new post as president of the Mount Olive Committee of 100, and Jerry Gardner of Southern Bank agreed to take his place.