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Howard chosen Gainesvilles new Main Street manager
Kristen Howard is the new director for Main Street for the city of Gainesville.

Gainesville native Kristen Howard is stepping into the position of Main Street manager for Gainesville.

Howard replaces Regina Dyer who moved up in May to serve as manager of the Gainesville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

City Manager Bryan Lackey announced  the hiring of Howard to replace Dyer during a city council work session Thursday. Lackey recruited Howard from the city’s Water Resources Department.

“Kristen’s previous experience with community outreach as the city’s Water Conservation Specialist and her work in the community made her the right candidate for this position,” Lackey said in a statement.

Howard told The Times that she hit the ground running when she started on her new position earlier this week.

“I am fortunate to join one of the most successful accredited Main Street programs in Georgia,” Howard said. “I am looking forward to working with the merchants and the city to increase economic development activity in the downtown commercial district.

Howard comes aboard at a time of big changes in the downtown area with development of Parkside on the Square — a project with 15,000 square feet of street level retail and approximately 33 high-end condominium apartments.

Beautification is continuing downtown with the streetscaping on Bradford and Washington streets.

Howard also expects the carving out of a new downtown dining district, which is tied to revisions to the city’s alcohol ordinance, to keep her busy.