Wendy DuBord describes her new job as Wellington Colorado Main Streets Program executive director as “a perfect match.” She began her work November 20.
When DuBord retired from her position as deputy city manager of Steamboat Springs and moved to Fort Collins in early 2012, she welcomed the opportunity to pursue the outdoor activities she loves full time. Both newly retired, she and her husband hiked and mountain biked, camped, fished and discovered new places to ski on the Front Range.
They still embrace the outdoors and spend as much as they can on their favorite activities, but these days DuBord spends half time as special projects manager and executive director of Wellington Colorado Main Streets Program, a non-profit organization formed to promote the revitalization of downtown Wellington.
Dubord’s enthusiasm for her job derives from the wealth of experience she brings to it combined with her love of small towns. “When we moved to Steamboat Springs in 1975, it was about the size Wellington is now,” she said. “I love small towns.”
And therein lies the challenge for DuBord. She hopes to preserve the friendly, old-fashioned, hometown atmosphere of downtown Wellington and at the same time encourage the growth of a vibrant, revitalized town center.
An important early task will be preparation of an application for Wellington to become an officially sanctioned Main Street town under the auspices of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. At present Wellington is an affiliate. Official designation would make the town eligible to receive grants for redevelopment and could make historic preservation projects possible as well. The application is due in July 2015.
She has been struck by the fact that Wellington is surrounded by several large residential developments yet the downtown has not grown and changed to reflect the increasing population.
Dubord has already discovered the friendliness of Wellington residents and intends to spend a good part of her first four-to-six months on the job visiting downtown businesses and listening to their needs and wishes as the Main Street project progresses.
She will attend town trustee meetings every month and weekly Main Street board meetings. The town of Wellington is a sponsor of the Main Street project.
In early December she attended Main Street training in Denver and was pleased to network with Main Street directors from other Colorado towns. As part of her job in Steamboat, she was involved with applying for official Main Street status for Steamboat and creating and sitting on the board of directors.
“Wellington is on the verge of change and I look forward to the challenge of being part of that,” DuBord said. She’d like to see downtown as a place where local residents can eat, shop, do their errands and enjoy their free time without driving 10 to 15 miles. She also envisions Wellington as a destination for people in the surrounding area to visit by bike or by car, to enjoy the charm and ambiance of a grown-up but still small town.
The combination of enthusiasm and experience DuBord brings to her job makes her a welcome addition to downtown Wellington’s effort to reinvent itself.