GREENVILLE — Visitors to the Darke County Visitors Bureau on South Broadway will be greeted by a soon-to-be familiar face with an energetic personality and an enthusiastic smile.
Crysta Hutchinson has been named the new executive director of Main Street Greenville, which shares space with the Visitors Bureau in downtown Greenville.
Hutchinson is stepping into the shoes of Amber Garrett, who announced her resignation in March after serving four years as director. Garrett is working at the organization on a part-time basis until May 26.
Garrett’s contributions to the organization and her willingness to share her experience has won a fan in Hutchinson.
“Amber in her time as director has done a phenomenal job,” said Hutchinson. “People love her, her events, her promotions, the things that she’s done have just been excellent, such high quality, and I respect that. I’m incredibly humbled to be selected for this.”
“In that regard, this first year is really learning what Amber has done over the last four years, maintaining all of the good relationships that she has been formed between the businesses and Greenville,” said Hutchinson. “So ‘maintenance’ is really kind of my key word for this first year.”
Hutchinson is a graduate of Xenia High School and has a Psychology degree from Cedarville University. Following college, she first worked for a former professor at Academic Research Resources, a non-profit organization. Working there prompted her interest in non-profit administration.
“I see a lot of similarities between that job and this job,” Hutchinson said. “Seeing the posting for this job as executive director for Main Street Greenville was really exciting because it felt like a natural continuation. It felt like a good next step for me to take.”
Though not a native of Greenville or Darke County, Hutchinson said she has spent significant time in the area during the past year or so.
“I’ve developed quite a few relationships with people who live out here,” she said. “Just kind of dipping my toe in, getting to know things about Darke County. But I’m really excited to continue, because there’s so much that I haven’t been able to do or see yet. So many people left to meet.”
Among the attractions on her list to explore are the Garst Museum, Historic Bear’s Mill and the Maid-Right Sandwich Shoppe.
“My dad asks me all the time ‘Can you bring me back some of those?’” Hutchinson said, laughing. “And I say ‘No, come out here and we’ll all go together.’ You have to see the gum wall to really have the full experience.”
“Free time for me is about experiencing Darke County. I’m pulling out maps and circling things and trying to find time to get out to all these attractions,” she added. “Matt Staugler, Darke County Visitors Bureau has been great, giving me suggestions on where I need to go, what I need to do.”
Hutchinson says one of her future goals is further investigating residential historic sites around Greenville.
“It’s about recognizing the places that matter, recognizing the history that has happened there, and working to preserve that for the next generation,” she said.
Hutchinson also says she is considering some ideas for future downtown events, but that the popular activities currently in place will continue as usual.
“I want to keep First Fridays going, because it’s kind of a hallmark for Main Street Greenville,” she said.
She said her first three days on the job have been busy, but also rewarding.
“It has been very busy, with learning everything that Amber does,” she said. “But at the end of the day, I really feel I’ve accomplished something and I’m excited to get to the point where I feel I’m making a contribution, where I feel like I know this job and I’m able to do it in a way that gives back to the community.”
Main Street Greenville promotes historic preservation and economic development, resulting in a cultural downtown district that attracts and retains businesses and entrepreneurs, making downtown a desirable destination. For more information, visit the organization’s website at www.mainstreetgreenville.org.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com
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