Michael Lisle, executive director of Summerville DREAM, will leave his position at the nonprofit by the end of this month. However, his work improving the Summerville economy is far from over.
Lisle accepted the position of full-time economic development coordinator for the Town of Summerville.
“The great part is I’m just moving across the parking lot,” Lisle said.
In recent years, Madelyn Robinson served as both director of administration and economic development.
The full-time economic development director position was added to the 2019 budget.
Town Administrator Colin Martin said he is “delighted,” that Lisle will fill the “much-needed full time position.”
“He will be able to hit the deck running with his in-depth knowledge of our community and the many attributes that make up our wonderful town,” Martin said. “This first-hand knowledge, combined with his engaging personality, articulate communication and in-depth business acumen make him a perfect fit for the job.”
The timing could not be more ideal for such a transition, Lisle said.
“It’s a natural breakpoint,” Lisle said.
Summerville DREAM reaches the end of its current strategic plan this summer while the Town is currently building its comprehensive plan. The Town will soon receive results of a retail market study that will provide insight into Summerville’s economic activity.
“The value of that market study is it is going to identify what Summerville is missing...what makes people leave summerville and spend their money elsewhere,” Lisle said.
During his two and a half years at DREAM, Lisle worked on a number of projects that had an impact on the overall health of the historic downtown district.
Under his leadership, staff and volunteers completed six facade improvement projects, with three more in the works. Lisle was part of a lighting project on Short Central that brightened the retail area and he worked alongside Molly Willard to expand some of the Town’s most popular events.
At DREAM, Lisle was primarily concerned with the downtown area. At the Town, his work will encompass all of Summerville.
Lisle said he will spend much of this summer familiarizing himself with the Town’s other commercial nodes- Oakbrook, Knightsville, Nexton.
The Summerville DREAM Board of Directors is preparing to recruit for a new executive director.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at DREAM and it is a fantastic, wonderful organization,” Lisle said. “They’re going to continue to do great work downtown and I will look for ways to stay involved.”