Gloucester native Jennifer Dutton Haggerty has been named the new Executive Director of the Gloucester Main Street Association (GMSA), the GMSA Board of Directors announced this week.
“This is an exciting time in the history of the Gloucester Main Street Association and we couldn’t be more excited about Jennifer leading the Association and helping take all of the businesses in the corridor to new heights,” said Cordon Davis, Chairman of the GMSA Board of Directors. “She knows Main Street, she loves Main Street and she is eager to work with everyone in the community to strengthen it even more.”
The GMSA, a non-profit organization supported by the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust, is a group of Main Street business owners, residents, commercial and residential property owners and other individuals who have joined together to promote tourism, commerce and awareness of the historic corridor. Guided by a Board of Directors, the GMSA hosts annual events, such as the Blues and Brews Craft Beer Festival, the Beer Garden during the Daffodil Festival, annual holiday open house, Trick or Treating on Main and Wine Walks.
“While the community sees the events we host, the organization works to do so much more to benefit the community,” said GMSA Board Vice Chairwoman Stephanie Heinatz. “The events are key ways we raise awareness of what’s available on Main Street, but we also proudly support the Main Street businesses with robust marketing efforts to help bring people in to shop, dine, explore and find professional services.”
A strong and vibrant Main Street impacts the entire county, said Jenny Crittenden, Executive Director of the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust.
“Main Street is an anchor in our community, and when we can show how well businesses can grow and thrive there it helps us to recruit new businesses to the region and create the very jobs that support economic development for all of Gloucester,” Crittenden said. “Having Jennifer, with her experience and love of Gloucester, lead the GMSA will only mean great things for us all.”
Gloucester, Haggerty said, “has always had a special place in my heart. My parents raised my sister, brother and me with a strong sense of community and instilled the importance of always giving back. This new position allows me to do that in so many ways.”
After graduating Gloucester High School in 1988, Haggerty left the area to travel and start her adult life, but when it came time to settle down and raise a family, Gloucester pulled her back in.
Before joining the GMSA, Haggerty worked at the Gloucester Department of Social Services and Riverside Health System’s Sanders Retirement Community, located off of Main Street.
She is no stranger to the GMSA. Haggerty formerly served on the GMSA Board of Directors and volunteered at many of the organization’s events.
“I have loved working for businesses on Gloucester Main Street and watching it grow and mature,” Haggerty said. “It’s one of the reasons I have always volunteered to assist with any Main Street event. When the opportunity presented itself for me to become the Executive Director, I jumped at the chance.”
Haggerty said she loves the sense of camaraderie among the businesses on Main Street and looks forward to launching new initiatives that continue to promote each of them.
“You really can get everything you need right along Main Street, and support small, family owned businesses,” Haggerty said. “My son is now grown and proudly serving in the U.S. Army, but Gloucester is and always will be my hometown, where I am proud to serve.”