Donna joined the Greater Gallatin, Inc forces in 1993 and soon discovered her passion was in historic preservation, especially as it pertains to historic downtown commercial areas.
Donna has been instrumental in the renovation of the Palace Theater and has been the leading charge in Greater Gallatin’s festivals and concert series.
In a recent interview Donna stated, “Downtown Gallatin is a passion of mine, almost an obsession. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to see our downtown full of people visiting our retail establishments and dining in our restaurants.”
Donna is a firm believer in ‘our downtown is worth preserving’ and spends everyday working with those words in mind.
Greater Gallatin, Inc.
- Building owners, by helping them protect their property values. The more downtown is promoted as the place to be, the more the economic climate will improve, thereby creating a better merchant mix and increasing retail retention.
- Merchants, by promoting, communicating, advertising, bringing in new business, encouraging repeat business, and by being a conduit through which merchants can work together to make the public aware of what downtown has to offer.
- The public, by creating pride in their city, an entertainment center for their community, a revitalized image of the heart of their downtown, and a shopping alternative.
- The corporate sector, by enhancing community livability and, in turn, attracting economic development and making the city an attractive place for employees to live and work.
- Realtors, by marketing the community as a very special place in which to live and work, thus increasing property values and creating a demand for both residential and commercial properties.
- Financial institutions, by protecting their extensive downtown investments, both in their own physical plants and in loans to downtown businesses. The healthier the financial condition of a community’s merchants, the healthier the financial institutions which support them.
- President: Anna Stephens
- V. President: Julie Brackenbury
- Treasurer: Cheryl Puryear
- Secretary: Angela Govan
- Executive Director: Donna Belote
- Kit Sinyard
- Bill Vahldiek
- Kim Starnes
- Zena Parks
Since Greater Gallatin’s inception in 1983, our downtown area has prospered from having over $10,000,000 invested in restoration projects and real estate changing hands.
In 2009 the City of Gallatin and Greater Gallatin joined forces to implement a 2.1 million dollar streetscape project. Brick crosswalks, landscape island, new benches and trash receptacles were all installed making Gallatin a leader in downtown improvements and aesthetically second to none.
Greater Gallatin hosts a number of events that bring thousands of people to the downtown area. Squarefest, held the last Saturday in April and the Main St. Festival, held the first Saturday in October are arts and crafts events that bring craftsmen, entertainers and food vendors from throughout the middle Tennessee area to Gallatin.
State Farm 3rd Thursday on Main is a free concert series beginning in May and ending in October. This event has grown annually and has become one of the most family friendly events in the area. The public is invited to come downtown, eat dinner outside while enjoying top notch entertainers.
Greater Gallatin operates Gallatin’s Farmers Market just off the square during the spring and summer months. A wide variety of homegrown plants, fruits and vegetables are available every Wednesday evening and Saturday. Vendors as well as shoppers have prospered from the seasonal market.
The Tennessee Main Street® (TMS) Program
serves as a statewide resource for communities seeking to revitalize and manage their traditional downtowns. It was established by legislature to assist these communities with their economic development and revitalization efforts. Although TMS serves as a general information source in this capacity, hands-on technical services (including training and research) are typically delivered to local programs that have achieved designation through a structured application process and maintain designation annually by meeting program requirements and submitting an annual report. TMS designated communities have a non-profit organization specifically focused on downtown revitalization and are effectively applying the National Main Street Center’s comprehensive Four-Point Approach®.
Local organizations meeting the Tennessee Main Street® program requirements are awarded designation at the state level. There is also an opportunity to receive accreditation from the National Main Street Center based upon their Standards of Performance for Recognition. All Tennessee Main Street® designated programs are expected to meet these standards annually. However, designation by the Tennessee Main Street® Program does not guarantee accreditation by the National Main Street Center. If TMS determines that the standards have been met, it will make a recommendation to the national program. If for any reason they cannot be met, TMS will continue to work with the local program to achieve this goal for a specified period of time. Meeting the standards demonstrates the following:
Broad-based community support for the revitalization effort, including a strong commitment from the municipal government, Chamber of Commerce and various private sector organizations
- Effective mission and vision statements
- A comprehensive annual work plan grounded in the Four-Point Approach®
- A preservation ethic as it relates to downtown revitalization
- An active board of directors and committees
- Sufficient and sustainable finances (operating budget)
- A paid, professional manager/director
- Participation in on-going training and education
- Accurate reporting of annual reinvestment statistics (new jobs, new businesses, etc.)
- Current membership with the National Main Street Center