Nationally-recognized Main Street strategist to keynote 2020 downtown annual meeting


For the second year in a row, the Downtown Hattiesburg Association will feature a nationally-recognized keynote speaker for its annual meeting.

Main Street strategist Joe Borgstrom will share the importance of a vibrant downtown in the new economy with key techniques and proven strategies for revitalization and commercial development.

The annual meeting is set from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Historic Train Depot. Tickets are available for purchase online, and the public is invited to attend.

With more than 20 years of experience in downtown district and traditional commercial revitalization, Borgstrom has conducted extensive workshops and training sessions for successful real estate development and commercial districts. He has been a featured keynote speaker at statewide downtown conferences in Louisiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, North Carolina and Delaware. Borgstrom was also a featured speaker at the White House Placemaking Summit as well as a presenter at the 2019 National Main Street Conference in Seattle, Wash. He is scheduled to present in 2020 at the National Main Street Conference in Dallas, Texas, this spring.

Downtown Hattiesburg Association Executive Director Andrea Saffle says the association’s leadership understands the importance of bringing national perspective and best practices to Hattiesburg’s Main Street program.

“I am excited that we are bringing Joe to Hattiesburg,” Saffle said. “His compelling presentation at the National Main Street conference was standing room only. Joe’s passion for downtown redevelopment is infectious, and his message is one that will resonate with anyone interested in moving Hattiesburg forward. The insights he shares at the luncheon will be valuable, along with the strategic evaluations he conducts during his site visit. Borgstrom’s feedback will be combined with work of the DHA board to create a strategic plan and vision for the future of Downtown Hattiesburg,” Saffle said.

Jim Coll, chief communications officer for The University of Southern Mississippi, is serving as the 2020 president of the Downtown Hattiesburg Association. Coll believes 2020 will be a solid year of growth and opportunity for the downtown district.

“The Downtown Hattiesburg Association has set aspiring goals for 2020 – goals that will set a stage for sustainable success for decades to come,” Coll said. “This year promises to be one of great ambition for DHA. And, I expect that the annual meeting featuring Joe Borgstrom, a nationally recognized Main Street strategist, will only further energize DHA staff, its board and membership in its passionate pursuit of those goals,” Coll said.

During the 2020 annual meeting, Downtown Hattiesburg will also share the 2019 economic impact of the downtown area and present its local Main Street awards.

Tickets are $25 for association members and $30 for non-members. Lunch is also included in ticket price.

Tickets are available for purchase on Downtown Hattiesburg’s Facebook page and on Eventbrite. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged.

For organizations wishing to purchase full tables or to request an invoice, please email Andrea Saffle at