Main Street Lorain is an official 501(c)3 and…meet our new (first) Director!

Kurt Hernon/ April 8, 2021/ New Businesses/ 0 comments

The organization devoted to promoting downtown also has received official notice of its federal nonprofit tax status.

On April 1, Main Street Lorain announced Max Schaefer will join the organization as executive director.

A Lorain native, Schaefer was the top choice among six applicants for the post, said Kurt Hernon, president, and Chris Cocco, vice president of Main Street Lorain.

“We asked for a dynamic, energetic visionary that is a self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit,” Cocco said. “Max checks all of those boxes. He is Lorain through and through and has a passion for the city that the search committee felt would be invaluable.

“All of the candidates had merit,” Cocco said, “but Max’s work as a champion of our natural
resources and his familiarity with many key people in the city’s infrastructure was pretty
impressive. Not to mention that he walked into the interview with a well-thought out list of
objectives and specific actions to take to get the desired results. That raised the bar.”

Schaefer’s responsibilities will include management of all internal and external operations of Main Street Lorain, including marketing and promotions, fundraising, event planning, advocacy and communications, leadership development, strategic planning, and volunteer management.

He will report directly to Hernon and Main Street’s board of directors.

“I wasn’t looking for a new position,” said Schaefer, currently the Northeast Ohio regional director for the Ohio Environmental Council. “But, this opportunity was too exceptional to pass up.

“I have a constant desire to improve our community and enhance the vibrancy of our downtown and waterfront. I’m eager to get started.”

Schaefer, 30, graduated in 2009 from the former Southview High School and has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Baldwin Wallace University.

He worked at the Lorain County Auditor’s Office before joining the Ohio Environmental Council, where he has worked almost five years.

Recently, Schaefer has worked with the Council on “Power A Clean Future Ohio,” a nonpartisan coalition that works with local leaders to develop and implement proven climate solutions.

Schaefer has run for Lorain City Council and he serves as the city’s board representative for Lorain County Public Health.

He had been involved in the Lorain Historical Society’s Lorain Proud movement and he and his wife, Liz, are founders of the Quick Picks, “flash mob” style neighborhood cleanup events that last an hour.

That experience will help with Main Street Lorain’s series of Mini Sweeps downtown cleaning events starting April 17 and held the third Saturday of the month through October.

A lot of great people and businesses have invested in downtown Lorain, Schaefer said.

They have worked hard to survive the novel coronavirus pandemic, he said.

The novel coronavirus pandemic stifled a potentially amazing summer in 2020.

It is not over yet, but as more people get vaccinated, it is super exciting to resume Lorain’s growth and excitement for Broadway, the waterfront and surrounding areas, Schaefer said.

As of March 30, Main Street Lorain also has received notification the organization is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, named for the relevant section of the federal tax code.

“This has been in the works for a while now,” Hernon said. “It gives us more opportunities for funding to do more of the things we want to do for downtown Lorain and its business owners, residents and visitors. It’s a game changer.”

– courtesy Rick Payerchin and The Morning Journal

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