Sarah Callender has been hired by the Main Street Board of
Directors as the organization’s new executive director, replacing Kathleen
Herzog, who is retiring.
“I am thrilled to continue the legacy of Main Street Murfreesboro by serving as
the upcoming executive director,” Callender said. “I wholeheartedly agree with
the vision of the Main Street national program, ‘that a community is only as
strong as its core.’ Our downtown is the heart of our community.”
Since 2013, Callender has been the lead community relations specialist for
Special Kids Therapy and Nursing Center in Murfreesboro. In this role, she
successfully secured income from public and private grant foundations, naming
opportunities, individual donors and sponsors. She also helped coordinate
special events and communication and marketing strategies.
Before Special Kids, Callender was a lead preschool teacher at Belle Aire
Baptist Church for seven years. Prior to that, she was a development writing
adjunct instructor at Dyersburg State Community College and district executive
director for Rutherford and Cannon counties for the Middle Tennessee Council,
Boy Scouts of America. Callender has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from
Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. She also holds certificates from the Center
for Nonprofit Management in grant writing, leadership and fundraising.
“I see my role as executive
director as one of collaborating with many partners, including the business
owners, residents, MTSU, the arts district, and city and county government to
make our community's core as strong as it can be,” Callender said. “Everyone
deserves access to a vibrant neighborhood, and the Main Street program's goal
is to support and encourage a downtown that has a thriving local economy, is
rich in character, and features inviting public spaces that make residents and
visitors feel that they belong. Main Street's purpose is to make sure
everyone in Murfreesboro feels they are invited downtown.”
Main Street created a search committee to hire the new executive director.
Every resume received was reviewed by at least eight board members. Bill Jakes,
local real estate agent and this year’s chairman of Main Street, said, “After interviewing nearly half the
applicants, we felt that Sarah Callender possessed the unique skill set needed
to be the next Main Street executive director. No one will ever replace
Kathleen Herzog, but we feel Sarah has the vision to move our organization
forward with a renewed vision for downtown.”
Herzog began her Main Street career first as a volunteer and then as a
part-time employee. She was hired as full-time executive director in February
2010. Callender joins Main Street on June 26.
The nonprofit Main Street Program is affiliated with the National Trust for
Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center and follows the tenets of
that program. Main Street capitalizes on the unique character of the courthouse
square and the surrounding business district with the goal of transforming it
into the cultural, social, professional and retail center of Rutherford County
... in essence, the hub of community life.