AWARDED TO: STORMY TAYLOR
If you are in the Warrensburg community, you know the name Stormy Taylor as she is not only the local go-getter but an outstanding person to have in our community.
AWARDED TO: STORMY TAYLOR
If you are in the Warrensburg community, you know the name Stormy Taylor as she is not only the local go-getter but an outstanding person to have in our community.
Stormy Taylor wears many hats; elected official, director, board member, committee member, dance mom, jokester, and all-around great person, friend, and community member.
Stormy is currently the Johnson County Recorder of Deeds and for many years before taking office, she was the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Johnson County. Stormy and her family settled in Warrensburg after graduating from the University of Central Missouri in the early 90s and truly has made Warrensburg their home. Stormy can be found planning a fundraiser, grabbing a treat from Old Barney’s, or supporting her daughter at a dance competition. She has grown into a Warrensburg townie and her heart for the community shines through.
Stormy was first introduced to Warrensburg Main Street in her days as the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters and quickly became an advocate for the organization. Stormy and Big Brothers Big Sisters became our key community partners when working alongside Main Street to bring back our local fall festival, Burg Fest in 2013. Stormy and her staff worked with Main Street staff and board from 2013 to 2018 to plan, manage, promote, and grow this community-wide festival.
In 2018 Stormy was elected as the Johnson County Recorder of Deeds. Since then Stormy has kicked her support into high gears for Main Street and all things downtown. Stormy has been instrumental in driving support from the various elected officials within the downtown courthouse. Since getting into office she has encouraged the courthouse employees and elected officials to participate in a variety of Main Street activities. She was recognized in 2021 as our community partner of the year for her initiatives in various window decorations competitions over the course of the year at the courthouse including a Christmas Office competition where each office was decorated from floor to ceiling. She was the key contact and participant in our Wedding Walk where she volunteered her time to educate newlyweds on marriage licenses and registering to vote. She helped elevate Main Street’s refreshed Halloween event, the Downtown Spooktacular, by building a haunted house inside the bottom of the courthouse and volunteering with other staff to run it. Stormy has helped create a stronger connection between the county officials and our organization, which only continues to strengthen and show through communication and financial support.
When Stormy isn’t volunteering at events and improving morale in the courthouse, she also finds time to sit on some of our subcommittees. She has been a part of our art committee since its inception in 2019. Stormy is an advocate to bring positive change through art to Downtown. When visiting other communities, she often shares her ideas, visions, and long-term wishlist of what she would love to see Downtown Warrensburg evolve into. She is consistently looking for ways to add art to our community and brings fresh ideas and opinions to each meeting. Stormy also plays a major role on our Burg Fest committee. After a short hiatus, she rejoined the committee in 2019 and has been instrumental in the planning process each year. Stormy volunteers her time during the festival to ensure that the logistics are running smoothly and in 2022 organized the Chalk Walk Competition. Stormy proudly supports our organization and encourages the community to support us as well. Stormy is always willing to help, give advice or promote our organization and downtown. If you happen to be at the Farmers’ Market, Art Walk or any other Main Street event, you will likely see Stormy there cheering on the success of Warrensburg Main Street.
We are lucky to have Stormy as a strong advocate and supporter of our organization, but her support for the community does not stop there. Stormy is also heavily involved in a variety of organizations within our community. She serves on the RISE board which is a nonprofit organization that provides community, employment, residential and vocational services for disabled adults within Johnson County. She is the driving force and board member for CLIMB.CLIMB stands for Community Leadership Involvement Means a Better Community. CLIMB is a 16-week adult leadership program that Stormy organizes and implements each year along with a similar program geared towards high school juniors each spring. Stormy also donates her time organizing for the Children’s Memorial Garden’s annual Purse Palozza fundraiser each year which helps raise funds for families who have lost children. When she is not helping another non-profit organization, she is helping fundraise for Center Stage Academy of performing art or attending a community fundraiser to show her support.
Stormy is a dedicated Warrensburg community member who gives back in a variety of ways. Warrensburg Main Street is so fortunate to have someone like her on our side cheering us on, volunteering, giving feedback, supporting, and making our organization and community a better place. For all of these reasons, Stormy Taylor is our nominee for the Outstanding Public Official.
AWARDED TO: WARRENSBURG RISING SUN MURAL
In 2019 Warrensburg Main Street set a goal of adding more art into our historic downtown district.
We wanted to add a variety of art created by local artists that would add pops of color throughout the district. Warrensburg Main Street created an art committee made of community members, art teachers, inspiring arts, and those who just love art to help generate ideas and visions for Downtown Warrensburg. After several meetings, a plan was made to offer a variety of types of art projects that would engage the local community.
In 2021 the art committee decided to add a selfie trail with a variety of small pops of art that would be placed in alleys, behind buildings, and on side streets to attract foot traffic. This idea is a twist on a typical selfie wall or mural. A “selfie wall” is when an artist creates a piece of art that an individual can be a part of and then takes pictures or photos with the art. Some examples of this type of art would be angel or butterfly wings. People stand next to the art for an interactive picture. The committees thought a selfie trail in public or hidden parts of downtown would provide added fun when visiting downtown.
We started to seek out bids from local artists to create these unique art pieces downtown. During this process, we had a submission from a local artist and the University of Central Missouri Director of the Gallery of Art and Design, Christian Culter, which caught the eye of the committee. Although the committee did not vote for his design to be considered as a part of the official selfie trail they did feel like the mural should be added to the downtown district.
The art piece was bid as a graffiti-style design using the Warrensburg “rising sun” logo design which was adopted to be the official logo of Warrensburg in 2007. The pattern was hand applied in multiple bright colors of spray paint with a stencil of the rising sun logo. The original bid was for the design to be on a 4ft by 8ft wood panel to be mounted to a wall. Since the committee no longer thought of this mural in the selfie trail, the size of the project no longer had dimension restrictions. The mural was then proposed at the end of 2021 to be the length of City Hall’s retaining wall which measured to be 10ft tall and 75 ft long.
The committee accepted the bid for the Warrensburg Rising Sun wall mural and Warrensburg Main Street began the steps to get the project approved. The art committee and staff proposed the project to the Warrensburg Art Commission. The commission’s mission is to establish and oversee programs related to public awareness of, accessibility to, participation in, and support for arts and cultural activities in the City of Warrensburg. Main Street attended a commission meeting and presented the project to the commission for approval. During the presentation, Main Street shared the contract with the artist that states Main Street will maintain the public art for 5 years using monies raised by Warrensburg Main Street. After five years, Main Street has the option to renew the contract, replace the area with new art, or let the property owner take possession of the art. Once passed by the Art Commission they then would take this to the City Council for approval. By the end of 2021, Warrensburg Sun was officially in motion to be added to the North side of City Hall.
While the project discussion and necessary paperwork began in 2021, the project itself was not completed until Spring of 2022 due to winter weather and the steps needed to prep the location for its new facelift. When the sight of warmer weather was underway, Christian began getting to work. In no time, he was able to quickly brighten the 75-foot wall with greens, pinks, yellows, and blues. The design was exactly the pop of color the Art Committee was looking for. This mural now welcomes train passengers as they come through Downtown Warrensburg and welcome those heading to the University of Central Missouri. This Warrensburg Rising Sun mural is now a staple location for portraits and senior photographs to be taken. This project may have only cost us $600, but the long-lasting impact it has on our community is priceless.
AWARDED TO: THE ALLEY
The alley has been a project near and dear to Warrensburg Main Street’s heart since the first step in 2020.
The activation of this alley truly brought so many community partners, volunteers and visions together. It’s become a place of gathering, a place of art and really a reminder that with a little love and teamwork, anything can become something. The Alley features many local artist talents, it shows creativity and this is just the beginning. This project was funded thanks to our friends at AARP RI Livable Communities and many other in kind donations.
AWARDED TO: MKT CLOTHING CO.
Karen Vick and Rachel Mifflin were nominated with MKT Clothing Co. for their jump start attitude when COVID tried breaking their spirits.
Their creative take on their LIVE Sales and continuous uprising has time after time shown their true love for small business, creativity and ability to adapt. MKT Clothing Co. took a small but mighty challenge and made it into a fun Friday night get away full of their personalities and attention to detail. They have expanded, moved and renovated spaces all while keeping their customers and community in mind.
AWARDED TO: EMERSON ELKINS
Emerson was born with volunteering in his blood. He may be the youngest volunteer to our organization and maybe in the State of Missouri.
Emerson frequently walks in downtown and often visits the Farmers’ Market and Main Street events, but he started to notice an increase in trash downtown. Emerson decided to start doing his part to keep downtown beautiful and vibrant by picking up trash on his frequent walks around downtown. He can be seen on his gator driving around the streets of downtown picking up trash in the alleys, parking lots, and streets. The best part is Emerson is only 4 years old!
AWARDED TO: FAIRWAY INDEPENDENT MORTGAGE CORP.
Our award for the business of the year category goes to a business who relocated to Downtown at the end of 2021.
This business purchased a building and a vacant lot downtown with the plan to renovate the existing building and build a brand new building downtown. The rehabilitation and new construction project has made a significant impact on the square downtown. The rehabilitation brought an existing building new life and the new construction was designed to fit into our historic district seamlessly. This project brought significant impact downtown by adding multiple new jobs to the district, 2 additional living spaces and 2 storefront spaces. In addition to moving their business downtown the owners of this business have been volunteers for Main Street for many years; serving on committees, volunteering at Piccadilly and Burg Fest. Adding to their commitment to making our downtown better they have also been an annual sponsor for many community and downtown events. Congratulations Fairway Independent Mortgage, we are so happy to have you apart of Downtown Warrensburg.
AWARDED TO: WARRENSBURG R-VI SCHOOL DISTRICT
During 2022 our partnership with the Warrensburg School district was enhanced and grew in several areas.
The school district has previously been a partner with Burg Fest contributing in kind and financially to the festival. We have used students as volunteers and some classes to do small projects for the organization. We have reached out to the various performance groups over the years to participate in various events downtown. In 2019 we set the goal of getting the schools and students more involved with our organization. In 2020 and 2021 we had a very successful new event, Prom Parade that was heavily influenced by student input. We also engaged students at Reece Education Center to volunteer with the Alley Activation and Burg Fest set up. In 2022 we continued with student involvement with Prom Parade and Burg Fest along with expanding our partnership. We worked with students at Sterling Elementary to plan and implement a Family Movie Night to end the 2022 school year for our Movie on the Lawn Series. We also worked with another Sterling class and RISE to create and install a new public art project titled Dog Shadows. Those interactions lead to Martin Warren reaching out to us to set up a tour of downtown for their students this fall creating the Downtown Business Experience where students learned about the importance of small business support, running a business and saw some stores they maybe were unaware of. All of these connections have enhanced and increased our partnership with the Warrensburg School District.
AWARDED TO: JENNIFER DEBACKER
Jennifer has been a Warrensburg Main Street supporter since 2017. This is the second year in a row that Jennifer has been nominated for Volunteer of the Year for our organization.
Jennifer serves on our Board of Director since 2020 and is the current design committee chair. Jennifer owns a business downtown and is always willing to help make our organization the best it can be. She goes above and beyond to help set up and tear down at events, she donates both in kind and monetarily. Jennifer took charge in the Adopt A Garland program and spent time volunteering on her own to fluff and string lights to garlands. Jennifer believes in giving back to Downtown Warrensburg and our organization and has volunteered over 100 hours in 2022 with Main Street. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into Downtown Warrensburg.
AWARDED TO: THE COUNTS FAMILY
The Counts Family have been fixtures in Warrensburg and Johnson County for many years.
Buckeye Acres Produce was started in 1982 by Jim and Jeanne Counts to provide fresh produce to their family and the community. The farm started off with a u-pick strawberry patch and a few vegetables. Soon the farm branched out into raspberries, blackberries and increased the number of vegetable crops. In 1996 Buckeye Acres was instrumental in creating the Warrensburg Farmers’ Market. The Farmers Market is now over 25 years old and we all owe its longevity and dependability to the Counts Family. Buck and Heather have served as the Farmers Market Managers for many of the years since taking over the family farm in 2009. Buckeye Acres is a legacy family business who advocates for local farmers on the state and national levels. The Counts have been instrumental in the growth of the Farmers Market in Downtown Warrensburg. Heather has served on several committees including the Warrensburg Main Street Board of Directors and many other withing the Johnson County area. During our Evening of Excellence we award the the Counts Family a Farmers Market Legacy Award and thanked them for their vision and leadership in shaping the Warrensburg Farmers’ Market. Their dedication is the foundation for the market that the entire community enjoys each week.
AWARDED TO: MEYER’S MARKET
The business of the year award is to recognize a downtown business that has stood out this past year due to their innovation, involvement or creativity.
Our 2021 Business of the Year winner was Meyer’s Market. Meyer’s Market first opened their doors in 2020 during the pandemic and has only grown since doing so. They have expanded their menu from ice cream and sandwiches to breakfast, charcuterie boards and boozy ice cream. They met the need of a small grocer for the downtown residents and have a featured area promoting other local small businesses. They also started a micro business inside their store called That’s So Darling that features children’s clothing. Kristy & Wade are also very active in Main Street as they make special promotions to go along with Downtown events as well as Kristy serves on the Design committee and Wade is a new 2022 board member.
AWARDED TO: JOHNSON COUNTY CLERK
The Community Partner award is given to a group, business, non profit, organization or community members that have made an impact on our organization this past year.
These nominees are often people that work closely with us to achieve our goals and promote community relationships and cooperation. The 2021 Community Partner award went to Stormy Chadbourne Taylor and Diane Norcross Thompson, Johnson County Clerk . County Recorder Stormy Taylor and County Clerk Diane Thompson have significantly increased the participation and support of the downtown courthouse staff with Warrensburg Main Street in 2021. Stormy and Diane have implemented various window decorations over the course of the year for the courthouse including a Christmas office decorating contest. They have opened the courthouse and participated in the Wedding Walk, Downtown Spooktacular and Dickens Christmas. Stormy serves on the Burg Fest committee and both ladies helped coordinate a financial donation from the elected officials for Main Street. We are so appreciative to have their support for our organization.
AWARDED TO: JANIS RUSSELL
The Volunteer of the Year award is for an individual who has devoted countless hours to helping Warrensburg Main Street without any hesitation.
The 2021 Volunteer of Year was award to Janis Russell. Janis was nominated for her overall help with Main Street. Janis has been volunteering with our organization since 2020. She sits on the organization, farm to table and Burg Fest committee. Janis is always willing to help pass out flyers and advocate our events and promotions. Janis volunteers at every event she is available to help at as well as has attended every Main Street training to better understand our organization. She is a true advocate for our organization and strongly believes in helping us accomplish our mission of revitalizing Downtown. We are so thankful Janis continues to advocate for our organization.
AWARDED TO: ADVISORY BOARD
This award was created to recognize some very special people in our organization.
In 2020 we created an Advisory Board for Warrensburg Main Street. This committee is composed of community members who have been active with Main Street for many years and have a wealth of knowledge that we rely on to continue to grow and develop as an organization. Our advisory board are key people who meet quarterly to give us direction and advice based on their years of commitment to our downtown and organization. Many of these individuals are personally responsible for the transformation that has happened over the past 25 plus years in Downtown Warrensburg. There are 4 people on this board who we consider legacy Warrensburg Main Street volunteers. These individuals have been a part of Main Street for over 15 years and we want to recognize them for all of their years of commitment and volunteerism. This award recognized Katie Scully, Rex Smarr, Jason Elkins, and Rhonda Gelbach. These 4 individuals have helped shape and mold our organization. We are so grateful for the many years of dedication they have committed to Warrensburg Main Street but Downtown Warrensburg and it’s growth, expansion and overall well being.
AWARDED TO: UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL MISSOURI
UCM was awarded Community Partner of the Year due to the multiple connections the Alumni Association was able to connect Warrensburg Main Street with during the Fall 2019 semester.
Our office worked with multiple professors that have allowed us to partner with their students. These students have created and implemented a new event for April 2020 called Snapshot of the Burg. Another helped better organize our internal organization system and open many doors within our communication platform, introducing us to GSuite .The last group, IBE students paired with us and choose us as their organization to dedicate volunteer service hours as well as donate their profit from their product. We are using the donated funds to add more art in our Downtown. UCM has also connected us with multiple organizations and individuals to volunteer during many Main Street events in 2019. UCM highlighted Warrensburg Main Street during a fall football game and they also participated during our Dickens’ Christmas Event having their Achauer House open with Holiday Treats, entertainment and added to our friendly competitive Tiny Tim Soup Stroll. Thank you University of Central Missouri for your support.
AWARDED TO: TEENA SIMON
Teena has served many positions within the Main Street board, design committee and advisory board.
Teena brought a new, unique event to life in 2018, Farm to Table. She served as the chairperson for two years straight for this event helping design and run this event. Teena also has been very dependable volunteer for Main Street. She is also open to give us suggestions, ideas and critique to help better our organization. We are so lucky to have this relationship with her because she plays such large role to the organization, the board and staff. Thank you Teena!
AWARDED TO: GREEN TRUCK BAKERY
Green Truck Bakery is the winner of Business of the Year.
Green Truck bakery started as a vendor at the Warrensburg Farmers Market. As their businesses continued to expand they opened a store front in downtown. After remodeling their location they opened with limited hours. but within a very short time they have already increased the days and times they are open. Green Truck Bakery is a big supporter of Warrensburg Main Street with their participation in almost all of our events and they are also the winners of our Burg Blooms competition in 2019.
AWARDED TO: GINA CARLYLE
Gina Carlyle is the 2019 Volunteer of the Year.
Gina has been part of Warrensburg Main Street for many years. Without hesitation, she had taken on many roles including a member of our board, promotions committee and organization committee. She continues to be a major role in our annual Piccadilly by helping with the entire planning process and production day of. She is also a Downtown property owner and co business owner, of Awesome Blossoms. Her business is an anchor in our Downtown as well as when it comes to participating in our events. We are so appreciative of her helping hand and all she does for Main Street.