The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

September 18, 2013

Kathy Almond looks back at ADDC career

Almond now ready for Chamber of Commerce

By Shannon Beamon, Staff Writer

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 — After more than three years with the Albemarle Downtown Development Cooperation (ADDC), Kathy Almond left her position as executive director on Friday.

“I think the city was very fortunate to have Kathy Almond,” Mayor Elbert “Whit” Whitley said.

“She’s done a tremendous job and we hate to lose her ... though we’re not exactly losing her.”

Almond accepted a new position as the president of Stanly County’s Chamber of Commerce. She will start that position on Monday.

Almond said she will continue to serve as an ex-officio representative at the ADDC.

“We’ve always had a Chamber representative on the [ADDC] board ... they’ll see me around,” Almond said.

Almond, who worked at Stanly Community College before the ADDC, said she came into the position hoping to continue the good work the ADDC had been doing. She aimed to grow businesses, tighten up the ADDC’s internal structure and make it easier for new businesses to get up and running in the downtown area.

Gene Starnes of downtown business Starnes’ Jewelery said what her predecessor started, Almond continued.

“She’s a great gal ... it’s one of the strongest programs for downtown,” Starnes said.

“There are still things under-way...more to get done, but she’s done a great job with it.”

In the time that Almond has been there, the ADDC has given out grants to downtown businesses such as Uwharrie Learning Center, Vitality Cafe and K&J Treasure Hunt to improve their storefronts and signage.

In the past year alone they headed up seven major events including the fall festival, Christmas parade, and the Outdoorsman’s Bonanza.

“They have so many activities they do through the course of the year, “Whitley said.

“The Bonanza ... she and her staff have worked hard on that, and it’s been very successful.”

Almond said, “We’ve seen record numbers [at the Bonanza] for the past couple years.”

Almond also notes the farmers market has grown significantly in her time there. According to the ADDC’s 2012-2013 annual report, there were more than 700 vendor slots used in the past year.

Almond advises the next executive director to be adaptable.

“Be open-minded to new ideas and change.”

Applications are already coming in, and Almond said the selections committee is busy.

To submit story ideas, call Shannon Beamon at (704) 982-2121 ext. 24 or shannon @stanlynews