Q&A: Tricia Meyer

THREE RIVERS – Tricia Meyer has been involved with the ongoing revitalization of downtown Three Rivers long before she was officially named the executive director of the Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority.
Since moving to Three Rivers in the mid-1990s, Meyer has played an active role in the restoration and renovation of downtown buildings with her family, has served on the TRDDA board both as a board member and as the TRDDA’s chairperson, and served as the organization’s interim executive director twice in the last three years.
Late last week Meyer took time out of her busy schedule to answer a handful of questions regarding her “new role” with the TRDDA and what her plans are for downtown Three Rivers going forward. The following interview was conducted via email by Managing Editor Alek Frost.
AF: How long have you been directly involved with the TRDDA? I know you were on the board for quite a while, acted as chair for a short period, and have acted as interim executive director on at least two occasions. Could you give me an overview of your time with the TRDDA?
TM: I first came to Three Rivers in 1995 and was immediately drawn to our charming historic Downtown. My family was involved in building restoration and renovations, and I played a very active role in that. Eventually that turned into volunteering for the DDA and ultimately serving as board chair for two different terms. I was also the head of the Steering Committee when we competed for the Select Level Designation with Michigan Main Street. When the opportunity came up in 2016, I also had the privilege of serving as the interim executive director. Most recently I served a second time as interim executive director.
AF: More than a year ago you decided not to seek another term on the TRDDA board after serving as chair, what made you change your mind to return to the organization?
TM: I can sum that up in one word and that would be timing.
I had some other professional opportunities I was focused on and other family obligations but I have always had a desire to be a part of our success story, so when this opportunity came back round, well, let’s just say the “timing” was right.
AF: A question I’m often asked is what exactly does a Downtown Development Authority do? How would you answer that question for our readers?
TM: The Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority exists to create an environment within the district to inspire public and private investment; to attract and provide local residents a vibrant space to explore; and to foster and strengthen connections between city government and local businesses to boost commerce in the district. The DDA further seeks to maintain our distinctive sense of community while enhancing our Main Street atmosphere.
AF: How do you plan to address the TRDDA’s longstanding budget concerns?
TM: As far as our current budget the Board has worked diligently to position our program (for success), and our budget concerns have been addressed.
For future budget concerns, I would like to remind the stakeholders, volunteers and those serving in leadership that this program truly operates best with broad based community support. Our strategy needs to be built around targeted work that will create a new sense of enthusiasm that will maximize our work’s effectiveness and efficiency. We want and need people to partner with us because together we can make it happen!
 AF: Ultimately what do you hope to accomplish as executive director?
TM: I want to see Three Rivers reach its fullest potential. I feel like we have so many great successes but we still have even more to accomplish. I want to be a positive, uplifting voice to inspire and connect people of all ages to join us in the journey. I truly feel our best is yet to come.
Alek Frost can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or alek@threeriversnews.com.

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