After her first week on the job, Susie Bibler was still learning the ins and outs of her new work space at 20 E. Winter St. as of Monday morning.
Volunteers will be coming around this week to assist the newly hired executive director of Main Street Delaware, which is what the organization runs on, she said.
The nonprofit, of course, is known for putting on First Fridays each month. Bibler met with residents, business owners and community leaders at the October one, which attracted about 10,000 people to the downtown Delaware.
“I know I was in a good spot,” she said.
Bibler, who’s lived in Delaware for more than 15 years, became familiar with the organization while working at United Way of Delaware County nearly seven years ago and when she crossed passed with her predecessor, Frances Jo Hamilton.
Hamilton was hired in August by Main Street’s parent nonprofit, Heritage Ohio, as its director of revitalization.
Bibler comes to the position with experience in nonprofits such as the American Red Cross and United Way. She served as a major gifts officer for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium since 2015. She’s also actively involved in several professional organizations including the Delaware Women’s Leadership Network and Association of Fundraising Professionals Delaware County. She continues to facilitate for Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Leadership Delaware class.
“Working in this community was obviously a draw for me,” she said.
Bibler was selected out of 30 applicants in what Chip Gregory, president of Main Street’s board of directors, called a smooth process.
But “it was very difficult,” near the end, he added. “Some of our final applicants were extremely qualified.”
Bibler set herself apart for her connections with the community, experience in development and with volunteers and “outstanding personality,” Gregory sad.
“You got to wear a lot of hats in this role.”
While Bibler brings a different skill set compared with Hamilton, Main Street doesn’t plan to reinvent the wheel but expand upon it, he said.
Main Street continues to cultivate downtown as a destination, Gregory said, that offers something less manufactured compared with mall outlets such as Polaris and Easton and a shorter commute for Delaware County residents compared with the Short North and downtown Columbus areas.
Bibler said it’s a neat time for the organization with downtown at nearly 95 percent occupancy on the first floor and property owners renovating the second and third floors for residential living.
“We have a happening going on in downtown,” she said.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.