Falck is new downtown coordinator
by Anna Oakes
Add Virginia Falck to the list of people who adore downtown Boone.
As the new downtown coordinator for the town, Falck is responsible for working with the Downtown Boone Development Association to administer programs and improvements. Falck began work Feb. 1, filling the position left vacant by Pilar Fotta, who was promoted to cultural resources director.
"I love downtown!" said Falck. "The people, shops, food, art and overall vibe are fun and welcoming. Boone's downtown is riding the recession out well and is continuing to grow and thrive."
Falck was born in Birmingham, Ala., but spent most of her childhood in Atlanta. She's also lived in Asheville, Nashville and most recently Huntsville, Ala. She holds a master's degree in public history and an undergraduate degree in anthropology, with a minor in art history.
Her professional and educational background includes experience in field archaeology, museum curation and education, cultural resource management, sales and marketing, recreational tourism, preservation projects and the National Trust Main Street program.
Downtown merchants, Boone's unique history and proximity to Appalachian State University are strengths of the downtown area, she noted.
"I am still learning and observing all facets of downtown Boone," she added. "I have met with the DBDA board, and they are a talented and great group. I feel very supported and encouraged by their professional and friendly demeanor."
Falck said she is currently assisting with ongoing plans for streetscape improvements, special events programming and other long-term projects and hopes to have more specific goals in place this spring.
With the hiring of Falck, the town's new Cultural Resources Department is now completely staffed. Falck joins Fotta, programs coordinator Mark Freed and administrative assistant Tori Allen.
The full-time downtown coordinator staff position was created in 2011 as part of a new arrangement for administration of downtown tax revenues. After two years of review, the town chose to continue its contract with the private nonprofit DBDA for administration of downtown programs and improvements, but it created a new town staff position to coordinate the efforts, replacing the former DBDA-hired director.
The downtown coordinator's salary is $41,021.