Millard and Patricia Stallings named N.C. Main Street Champions
SALISBURY - On Thursday, January 31, Millard and Patricia Stallings were honored as 2012 Main Street Champions at the North Carolina Main Street Annual Awards Ceremony in Salisbury. The Stallings were selected by Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation for this special recognition in appreciation of their exceptional contributions to the downtown revitalization process. Along with Champions from 30 other communities, they received a certificate commemorating this designation, presented by N.C. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dale Carroll and Office of Urban Development Director Liz Parham.
Established in 2000 as part of North Carolina Main Street’s 20th anniversary celebration, the Main Street Champion designation acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of those persons who have played pivotal roles in the revitalization of their downtowns. The dedication and hard work of countless volunteers is required to make a local Main Street program successful. Each of the state’s active Main Street programs is given the opportunity annually to recognize a local Main Street Champion. The addition of this year’s honorees brings the total number of North Carolina Main Street Champions to 500.
“Main Street Champions are those individuals who lead by example. Whether they renovate a building, open a business, volunteer their services, or rally the troops, they step out in front and encourage others to follow. They are recognized for the dedication to their communities that furthers the efforts of downtown revitalization,” said Parham.
In recommending the Stallings for this honor, Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation offered the following:
- Most business transactions are negotiated in board rooms with attorneys and accountants ensuring the “I”s are dotted and the “T”s crossed, but Millard and Patricia Stallings purchased Bistro on Third over cocktails with an agreement written on a napkin. Over an eight-year period, the building at 146 S. Third Street in the heart of downtown Smithfield had seen a number of restaurants come and go, and in February 2010, Bistro on Third, the latest occupant, was struggling.
- The Stallings recognized the benefit of having a fine dining establishment downtown and purchased the business the day before the doors were to be closed. For Millard and Patricia, the goal was simply to meet a need that they saw in Smithfield.
- Local flavor is apparent at Bistro on Third, where ingredients are purchased from the farmers market, works by local artists are displayed on the walls, and the Third on Third Summer Concert Series is held. Bistro on Third has also hosted book signings for local authors and participated in Wine Walks to benefit local nonprofits, contributing to downtown Smithfield’s sense of place.Bistro on Third is a valued asset in downtown Smithfield, as are its owners. It is a privilege to recognize Millard and Patricia Stallings as 2012 N.C. Main Street Champions.
Main Street is a downtown revitalization program for smaller towns based on economic development within the context of historic preservation. The North Carolina Main Street program, which provides technical assistance to its communities, is part of the Office of Urban Development in the Department of Commerce’s Division of Community Assistance.
In 1980, North Carolina was one of six original states, selected from 38 that applied, to launch the work of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center. The North Carolina Main Street program began with five participating cities – New Bern, Salisbury, Shelby, Tarboro and Washington – in September 1980 and has since grown to include 61 communities across the state.
Photo: Left to right: Millard and Patricia Stallings and N.C. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dale Carroll, Photography by Garry E. Hodges