The Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We are a nationally accredited Main Street Community, and are associated with the North Carolina Main Street Center. 
The DSDC works to promote downtown as the place to live, work and shop. We offer support to business and property owners within our district through a variety of programs.
The majority of our organization’s funding is provided by a Municipal Service District (MSD), made up of 18 blocks in Downtown Smithfield. We also receive funding from the Town of Smithfield, as well as grant-making organizations, sponsors, and private donors.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation is to develop and maintain an economically vital, socially active and visually attractive downtown for Smithfield’s current and future citizens.

Vision Statement

Nestled between the serenity of the Neuse River and the vitality of Interstate 95, Downtown Smithfield is the center of government, enhanced by thriving, independently-owned businesses.  A destination for the arts, history, shopping, dining, entertainment, and recreation, Downtown Smithfield is the cultural center of the community.

Board of Directors

The DSDC is governed by a Board of Directors made up of 17 members.  Directors are drawn from the downtown community of property and business owners as well as from the community at large. In nominating board members, an effort is made to include every interest that can bring resource and knowledge to the table in service of the organization’s mission. Five board members are ex-officio members make up the board, including the Mayor of the Town of Smithfield, a Johnston County Commissioner, Director of the Ava Gardner Museum, Director of the Johnston County Heritage Center, and Director of the Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield.  The following individuals currently serve as board members:
President Benton Sawrey, Narron Wenzel, PA
Vice President Jud Patterson, Oak City Collection
Secretary Jan Branch
Treasurer Jeremy Pearce
Dr. Kate Coates
Ruffin Johnson, Insurance Unlimited
Todd Johnson, Johnston County Heritage Center
Billie Stevens
Ex-Officio Members
Tim Kerigan, Town of Smithfield Economic Development Liaison
Patrick Harris, Johnston County Commissioner
To email the Board of Directors, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
From time to time, opportunities for board membership arise.  Board members serve three-year staggered terms, are expected to attend monthly board meetings, serve on a committee, and take an active role in the organization.  For more information about board member responsibilities, click here. Board member applications are available here.


The DSDC is staffed by a full-time Executive Director and a part-time Administrative Assistant.
Sarah Edwards
Executive Director
Rachel Ortega
Administrative Assistant

Office Location

The office of the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation is located in the historic Hastings House at 200 South Front Street beside the Town Commons Park and the Neuse River.
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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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