MMain Street Hall Manager Veronique Ramirez is enjoying her new community and looking forward to the busiest time of the year coming next month with the start of the annual Wonderland of Lights.
Ramirez is just one of many Marshall women who play a vital role in the well-being of the community, as well as its many downtown businesses.
Ramirez said she learned about the importance of community growing up in her hometown of Falfurrias.
“My family did not know any strangers and the sense of community was deeply rooted,” she said. “I saw my parents and siblings lead a very robust civic lifestyle, and I learned to honor community service efforts where volunteering was not seen as a chore, but rather as an activity. anticipated. “
Ramirez said that growing up as a child of small business owners, she felt a connection with the many business owners in the Marshall community.
“When I was little I saw my mom and dad working as partners to turn their dream of owning a small business into reality,” she said. “So when the Marshall Main Street career opportunity presented itself and I learned more about the program’s ‘four point approach’, which encourages the promotion of community engagement and essentiality small business, I knew it was a complementary role to what I have spent most of my life familiarizing myself with. ”
While Ramirez has been in Marshall for less than a year, she said she already has a deep respect for the new place she calls home.
“In the seven months that I called Marshall at home, I have learned and appreciate that our community is resilient,” she said. “I admire a city that recognizes its rarity and makes a conscious effort to collectively preserve its importance.”
Ramirez said she appreciated the unique aspects of her job and the opportunities it presents.
“My job is unique in the event that it is a multi-faceted position,” she said. “I am mainly the director of the downtown district and also the historical preservation officer. The two roles complement each other as the Main Street program was created over 40 years ago to economically revitalize historic downtown areas and is a recognized partnership between local, state and national organizations.
Ramirez said she appreciates that Marshall is such a historically significant city.
“Downtown Marshall is a historic district identified by state and federal governments as Certified Local Government (CLG),” she said. “This means that our charming downtown area has been approved as having a historic character and that the community agrees to engage in historic preservation efforts that result in social, economic and environmental benefits. Most recently, I worked with Marshall Economic Development Corporation Director Rush Harris and City of Marshall Director Mark Rohr to continue their introduction of a Historic Preservation District design standards and help create the process for downtown stakeholders to apply for a certificate of suitability and facade permit. To agree.”
Ramirez said in her role she was involved in everything from promoting businesses to catering and tourism efforts.
“My main job as Marshall Main Street Manager is to promote the program’s four point approach: economic vitality, design, promotion and organization,” she said. “The division is a grassroots movement supported by volunteers to help me continue to develop an economic recovery by working with real estate developers to improve and rehabilitate buildings, inspire entrepreneurs and consumers to invest downtown and help businesses. promotional efforts for established and potential entrants. companies. “
“Recently, I worked closely with the City Planning and Zoning Department, Economic Department and Fire Department to change an ordinance that would allow small-scale breweries, vineyards and distilleries to operate. downtown. Additionally, I researched and worked with the Texas Commission on the Arts, and with support from local arts organizations, we introduced an ordinance describing a cultural arts district that was successfully approved by city council. and allow downtown Marshall to eventually qualify for state funding. . “
Ramirez said his tasks go beyond business promotion and preservation and restoration efforts.
“My job is not just to preserve history and economic growth, but also to oversee the maintenance of downtown grounds, real estate availability. Lights, she said. “Ultimately my goal is for our downtown to be a reflection of Marshall’s community, character and culture.
While Ramirez has said he sees downtown Marshall thrive as the manager of Marshall Main Street, the real result is seeing the effect on people in the community.
“I have always been very social, a trait I inherited from my father. I love talking with people, exchanging ideas, watching plans come to fruition and learning how to make positive changes that benefit the present and hopefully will be appreciated and appreciated by the future, ”she said. . “The most rewarding thing is being able to shop in a small business because it supports a big dream. It teaches you the importance of community and, ultimately, how to be a good neighbor.
Ramirez said that as a female entrepreneur in the community, she wants to encourage other women and girls to get involved in their communities.
“If I could offer any tips or advice to women who want to get involved and contribute to their community’s business district, it would be to volunteer or work to learn as much as possible about the industry, so that you can then invest wisely and without reserve, ”she said. “For example, when my parents started their small business, my mother was afraid to get involved, fearing that she would lose a life’s savings for the family. My grandfather explained to her that she could keep talking about the projects she wanted to do or act and invest in a future that she could create. That being said, there is a difference between recklessness and fearlessness, so allow yourself to think about your interests, create goals, and move wholeheartedly towards creating your vision.
As the mother of a young woman, Ramirez said she not only tries to instill these values and passions in her daughter, but also learns tips on her daughter’s motivation and ambition.
“I believe she teaches me everyday how I can be successful. My daughter has the biggest heart, she is patient, polite and confident. When she was finishing her eighth year, she received a Student Merit Award which is displayed in the hallway of the school for her studious dedication, volunteer initiative and commitment to her school’s mission. She even wrote and performed a song for her school. She really teaches me everyday to be grateful and happy, ”Ramirez said. “I raised my daughter in a single parent family and while struggling to make ends meet I knew it was imperative for me to create a roadmap that would help me get a bachelor’s degree, establish a career and create a comfortable life. So if there is a skill that I hope my daughter will learn from me, I hope that she will learn perseverance.