Chris Chain of Columbus and Michelle Jones of Starkville have been chosen to lead the Mississippi Main Street Association board as president and vice president for 2021-22.
Chain has extensive experience working with Main Streets across the state and has served on the MMSA past board as treasurer. He helped develop Columbus’ Main Street Association, one of the first associations in the state, and served as president for multiple years.
“It’s an honor to be chosen for this,” Chain said. “I’ve worked all of my life to do all of the things that Main Street strives to do, which really is take care of our downtowns across Mississippi. Everywhere I go I talk about downtown which is what Main Street is all about.”
Chain works as the president of Renovation Inc. in Columbus. He is a general contractor, developing and rehabilitating more than 100 buildings across the state.
Jones, owner of the Cottage Industry in Starkville and conference coordinator for the Vernacular Architect Forum, has been involved with MMSA for many years and previously serving as the preservation planning and development director with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and as an association board member.
“I believe in the organization,” Jones said. “I believe in what it does for communities. I’ve seen it at the state level and what it does for my own community. I’m just really excited to be able to serve.”
The Mississippi Main Street Association strives to promote economic development and historic preservation, something Jones said she hopes to further advance through her position. She said as vice president, she will use her connections to not only build Starkville’s Main Street Association but Main Streets across Mississippi.
“From my perspective about Starkville, Mississippi’s college town, the publicity we get from our restaurants, our festivals, all of that is about a Main Street organization promoting what’s special about a community, so I know what it’s done in Starkville, and I know what it’s done in communities,” Jones said.
Chain and the city of Columbus will host the new MMSA board for its board meeting for two nights beginning Aug. 16. Chain said he is thrilled to show off Columbus’ Main Street Association to the rest of the MMSA board.
“The model that Main Street is such a wonderful model, and it’s great for our downtowns across Mississippi,” Chain said.