Mitch Price
Mitch Price

VAN WERT – Van Wert Main Street executive director Mitch Price can’t say enough about how much he enjoys his downtown work station.

Price recently became executive director of Main Street Van Wert, a position that grows on him more each day.

“I love working here,” said Price. “I interviewed for this job and got it. I love what I do. We have a well-oiled board; I enjoy everything about this job.”

Price, a 2000 graduate of Van Wert High School, received a business degree from the lake campus of Wright State University. Following graduation, he worked for 12 years as program director for the YMCA.

“I love working with non-profit organizations,” noted Price. “I feel that I was put on the earth to do things such as this. This has taught me how to respond to others. I love doing good to help others out.”

Price has been married to his wife Emilee for seven years and shares the joy of two children with her. For two years he served on the Main Street Board and then the door opened for the executive director job.

“The board wants to see us grow,” said Price. “We have a great deal of things we want to accomplish this year. Last year was a great year with growth in retail, businesses, boutiques and a downtown coffee shop.

“I’m very passionate about downtown, “ added Price. “There is a lot going for us here. There are several vacant buildings downtown that we would like to fill. We want to keep the wonderful businesses around here. We’ve grown so much that past few years.”

Price said the first downtown event of the year will be a chocolate outing from 5-8 p.m. on Feb. 8.

“We have a great support campaign going on right now,” continued Price. “Our goal is to raise $20,000 to help businesses downtown. Businesses who have a particular need can come to us for assistance.”

Price said that banners to promote downtown are currently on sale for $400. The goal, said Price, is to sell 37 banners. A new emphasis, added Price, is the addition of downtown speaking events.

“Our downtown beautification improves as things go along,” said Price. “We have a great partnership with Thomas Edison to water the downtown plants. We recently purchased eight hanging plants. We’ve never had those before.”

Price noted that there are currently four committees working under the umbrella of downtown Main Street. They include Business Vitality Committee, Promotions Committee, Organizations Committee, and Design Committee.

“One thing I underestimated was the passion between businesses and what surrounds them,” noted Price. “Van Wert really supports Main Street.”

Price noted that in a recent Heritage of Ohio Award, Van Wert was one of the top cities in the state, earning 98 percent out of 100 percent.

“That’s the best we’ve ever done,” observed Price.