WOOSTER — For the first time in its 32-year history, Main Street Wooster soon will have a new director.
The nonprofit will be led by Shannon Waller, who will join the organization next month and will work alongside current Executive Director Sandra Hull until the leadership transition is made official at Main Street’s annual meeting on Nov. 13.
“It’s a great opportunity to join a very successful organization and be fully engaged in Wooster’s vibrant downtown,” said Waller. “I am very excited to meet the membership and build on award-winning accomplishments that (Hull) and the community have made happen.”
Waller earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of California-Santa Barbara and a law degree from U.C.’s Hastings College of the Law. She served for two years as the executive director of the Medina County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, followed by two years as chief operations officer of the Humane Society of Summit County.
Waller also was president and marketing director for Team Dynamics, a family business that was sold in 2014.
“Shannon brings considerable experience from her private and nonprofit background and this gives her a deep appreciation of what it takes to operate a small business and manage a nonprofit successfully,” said Main Street board chair Greg Brunn of Western Reserve Group.
After advertising the position, a search committee culled through more than 140 resumes, moving 16 candidates to a phone screening step and then selecting eight to an on-site interview, Brunn said. Four finalists — two from Wooster and two from the region — returned for additional interviews before the committee made the offer to Waller.
Hull, who plans to spend time with her family while remaining involved in the community after her departure, has led Main Street since its implementation in 1987.
She started the job when J. Clyde Breneman was Wooster’s mayor and leaves with another Breneman — Clyde’s son, Bob — in the top spot at City Hall.
Bob Breneman said he looks forward to meeting Waller at a reception Tuesday afternoon in her honor. City government and Main Street have “an extremely valuable relationship,” Breneman said. “We are extremely hopeful and excited (about Waller’s hiring) and hope we can continue moving our downtown forward. We will do everything in our power to make our relationship with Main Street even stronger. We wish her the best and look forward to working with her to a great end for our community.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce President Justin Starlin, who said his organization will “welcome (Waller) with open arms” and looks forward to Main Street “continuing to be an important part of Wooster’s economic and community development team.”
Reporter Tami Mosser can be reached at 330-287-1655 or firstname.lastname@example.org.