Volunteer board members are the heart of the Vineland Downtown Improvement District/Main Street Vineland organization.
Currently, these outstanding community leaders sacrifice their time, money, and energy in the interest of their town and deserve to be recognized by all:
Main Street districts throughout the country function with four volunteer teams. They are Organization, Design, Promotions, and Economic Vitality.
The teams’ responsibilities are these:
Organization (Macleod Carré, Chair) – Promotes the Main Street program to stakeholders and the community; raises funds for activities and administration; organizes and coordinates volunteers to help carry out projects in the all committees; produces a monthly newsletter; and develops policies for the Main Street organization.
Promotions (Brian Lankin, Chair) – Responsible for getting “feet on the street.” The Promotions Team develops a marketing strategy; enhances the downtown’s image; and develops special events and promotions that help bring attention and people to The Ave.
Design – (TKTK, Chair) -Responsible for making the downtown area attractive, safe and inviting. The Design Team plans public improvements in the downtown area; provides design education and technical assistance; conducts a building inventory; organizes annual Spring and Fall Planting Days; and looks to bring art downtown for additional color and vibrancy.
Economic Vitality (Jane Jannarone, Chair) – Develops business retention, expansion and recruitment strategies; plans seminars to help downtown businesses capitalize on the Main Street effort; collects data about downtown businesses; and develops business incentives.
Vineland has another volunteer component: a Millennial Advisory Board (chaired by Sarah Bradway Johnson) to bring the voices of Gen X and Gen Y—the new and future entrepreneurs and consumers -- to the local Main Street program and its teams. This board is integrated with the standing teams.
All four Main Street Vineland teams are open to the public and meet monthly at the Main Street Vineland office (603 E. Landis Ave.) at the following times:
- Design: 2nd Thursday, 8:30 am
- Promotions and Organization: 3rd Thursday, 8:30 am
- Economic Vitality: 4th Thursday, 8:30 am
As a volunteer-driven organization, Main Street Vineland uses volunteers almost every day and in many ways. Throughout the year, their volunteers often plan and carry out festivals and fundraisers; set up tables and chairs at special events and then break them down at the end of the fun; take pictures at events; attend team meetings; sort, organize and archive news clippings for the past ten years; help comply with grant requirements; perform clerical duties; carry banners during a parade, and countless other jobs that truly make a real difference.
Main Street Vineland has traditionally been blessed with having many hard-working volunteers from all walks of life. Its goals for downtown are broad and far-reaching, but can only be accomplished with the help of others to join the hard-working board members, staff, and current volunteers who are already committing their time, money, and resources to making our downtown a nicer place to live and work.
Executive Director Russell Swanson said, “I’d like to give a shout out to having such an awesome board of directors, who not only support us in words, but in action.
“They come to as many of our events that they can, support us financially during our annual fundraiser and are very committed to working to see our downtown be the best it can be.
“The same goes for my staff, an extremely dedicated and very hard working group who put in far more time than they need to. All share the same vision to make Vineland as great a place as it can be. And of course, the volunteers, whose dedication and hard work never ends.”
Especially valuable volunteering opportunities are clean up and planting days. It’s a chance to come away feeling pride in doing your part.
“It’s fun, it’s healthy exercise, and it goes far to help make our downtown look the best it can be,” said Russell Swanson of VDID.
He said with more people on board, more can be done and the easier it’ll be. Ivy Acres always donates the flowers for Planting Days.
VDID also uses the days to get interest in the Adopt-a-Block program, where groups of volunteers adopt entire downtown square blocks for regular clean up and beautification. For this, VDID works in conjunction with other organizations, groups, and individuals to go out and concentrate on various parts of the downtown that can use a clean up and some beautification.
Participants may bring their own gloves or hand tools, but they are also supplied.
“We know that, after a few hours of work, people get hungry, so we always have pizza to enjoy,” Swanson said.
No matter if you only have a few hours to help plant flowers, or have more time and wish to help in the office or at events, or serve on one of the standing teams, VDID has a place and a need for your help.