On Friday, March 18, Todd Johnson was honored as Smithfield’s 2015 Main Street Champion at the North Carolina Main Street Annual Awards Ceremony in Goldsboro. Johnson was selected by the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation for this special recognition in appreciation of his work to preserve Downtown Smithfield's rich history.  Along with Champions from 36 other communities, he received a certificate commemorating this designation, presented by N.C. Secretary of Commerce John E. Skvarla, III and Liz Parham, Director of the N.C. Main Street and Rural Planning Center.

Established in 2000 as part of North Carolina Main Street’s 20th anniversary celebration, the Main Street Champion designation acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of those persons who have played pivotal roles in the revitalization of their downtowns. The dedication and hard work of countless volunteers is required to make a local Main Street program successful. Each of the state’s active Main Street programs is given the opportunity annually to recognize a local Main Street Champion. The addition of this year’s honorees brings the total number of North Carolina Main Street Champions to 603.

“Main Street Champions recognize the possibilities in their downtowns and strive to make those possibilities a reality,” said Commerce Secretary Skvarla. “N.C. Main Street Champions represent some of our communities most valued leaders.”

“This year’s Champions represent Main Street board members and volunteers, nonprofit leaders, downtown developers and small business owners, elected officials, city employees, and boy scouts,” said Liz Parham, director of the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center.

”These individuals give 110% to their community and then ask; what’s next.”

In recommending Johnson for this honor, the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation offered the following:

“Few people have been as instrumental in preserving Smithfield’s rich history as Todd Johnson.  Professionally, Mr. Johnson served as the first Director of the Johnston County Heritage, a position he held until 2003 and assumed again in 2014, also serving as a member of the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation Board of Directors.  Personally, Mr. Johnson has served on the Town of Smithfield’s Historic Properties Commission, and was instrumental in the recognition of Smithfield’s Brooklyn and North Smithfield’s historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places, and in the creation of design guidelines.  Todd is a tremendous resource for the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation, the Town of Smithfield, and Johnston County, and is always willing to lend his time and expertise for the benefit of others and the preservation of our unique local heritage.  It is our privilege to recognize Todd Johnson as Smithfield’s Main Street Champion.”

As a Main Street America™ Accredited program, the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation is a recognized leading program among the national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities who share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. All Main Street America™ Accredited programs meet a set of National Accreditation Standards of Performance as outlined by the National Main Street Center.
Smithfield is a North Carolina Main Street Community, designated by the NC Department of Commerce and Main Street & Rural Planning Center.  The Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation is charged with administering the program at the local level and building a public-private partnership to spur economic development in partnership with the state agency. 
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