Opelika Main Street Names New Interim Director

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MELISSA MUNFORD-MCCURDY

BY WIL CREWS

SPORTSCREWS@OPELIKAOBSERVER.COM

OPELIKA —

Melissa Munford-McCurdy has been named the new interim executive director of Opelika Main Street, the organization announced Thursday, Nov. 17.

“I’m really excited to be headed with Main Street into its future, growing our program and keeping everything positive,” Munford-McCurdy said.

Munford-McCurdy will take over for current director Ken Ward, who accepted a position as manager of public affairs for Montgomery County. Ward has served as executive director of Opelika Main Street since 2019. During his time the organization opened up the new Downtown Resource Center, installed the Industry On Track sculpture art exhibit, hosted the Main Street Alabama LAB conference, completed numerous placemaking/beautification projects and won 16 Main Street Alabama Awards of Excellence.

“I have truly enjoyed my time serving Historic Downtown Opelika as the executive director of Opelika Main Street,” Ward said. “We have accomplished many great things for this community and I look forward to seeing downtown Opelika continue to grow and thrive for years to come.”

Munford-McCurdy has worked on the Opelika Main Street board for three-and-a-half years and was involved in the initial hiring of Ward as executive director.

“When we hired Ken, we had a pretty specific direction we wanted to go in,” Munford-McCurdy said. “And Ken has executed that well for us. I’m pretty much going to keep with the same tenacity in doing the things we have already laid out.”

Munford-McCurdy currently works as a real estate agent with eXP Realty, and as a life insurance advisor with Allstate, but will transition to a full-time role as interim executive director over the coming weeks. With her prior experience with Opelika Main Street, she said she is expecting a smooth transition.

“We will just segue [me] into the role so we can keep what we have going,” Munford-McCurdy said. “I offered myself to do the position because I work so close with Ken and all the events we do. As a board, we decided it ould be a great opportunity or me to go into the lane. We will be going into it slowly, transitioning throughout the remainder of the year.

“The day-to-day will essentially change. Checking in with merchants and making sure everyone is happy and if there is anything we can do, trying to meet the needs of people in the ways that we can — that will be my day-to-day. Any services we can provide, we want to offer them up.”

The main purpose of Opelika Main Street is to grow and enhance downtown Opelika. “Myself, and the entire board are looking forward to working with Melissa in the interim as we partner with the city, to serve the businesses that make downtown Opelika such a great place to be,” said Opelika Main Street Board President Jonathan Savage. McCurdy said she is excited to have the opportunity to put her stamp on the organization’s efforts.

“I will bring hopefully new ideas, new things to further grow the downtown, strengthening our relationship between the merchants and everyone downtown from the city to keep everything cohesive as it’s set up now,” Munford-McCurdy said. “We got new things coming and we just want to keep the momentum going and keep the downtown area going strong.”

While nothing is set in stone, McCurdy said there is a possibility she drops the “interim” in her title next spring.

“We did make plans to make it a permanent thing,” Munford-McCurdy said. “Sometime by March we will be making a decision on whether it will be permanent or if we would search for something else. That’s what we have planned on doing as a board.”

In her new role there, Munford-McCurdy looks forward to engaging with the community and continuing to make a positive impact with Opelika Main Street.

“It’s been a labor of love, and we want to continue that growth,” Munford-McCurdy said.

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