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Thurmont Main Street manager jumps right in

Stephanie Mlot
Frederick News Post

(2/1) Thurmont's Main Street Manager position has been a revolving door for the past three years.

When the Thurmont First Main Street Maryland program began in 2005, Vickie Grinder stepped in as manager, resigning in 2008.

The office sat empty for more than a year until former City of Frederick public information officer Nancy Poss filled the vacancy in August 2009.

After Poss resigned in October, the town quickly filled the position, announcing at a Jan. 10 meeting that Cindy McKane-Wagester is the new Main Street manager.

"We did this one pretty quick," Mayor Marty Burns said about hiring McKane-Wagester. "We wanted to," he said during the Jan. 25 town meeting.

The Woodsboro resident, now in her second week on the job, jumped right into the position.

An extensive background in business, along with a true interest in fundraising, working with nonprofits and marketing, helped draw McKane-Wagester to the position, after a neighbor and Thurmont business owner mentioned it last year.

Her fundraising experience is a positive quality, the board said last month, helpful in a position coordinating town events.

"If I were to make a career change, what do I want to be this time when I grow up?" McKane-Wagester asked herself before applying.

Chosen by the mayor and board of commissioners, McKane-Wagester was one of four candidates.

"I was honored that they chose me," she said.

When the new manager was publicly announced, Commissioner Ron Terpko called her "energetic (and) enthusiastic."

With a laundry list of projects to complete, McKane-Wagester, 54, has given herself six months to really get things rolling. Her highest priority is earning Thurmont its long-awaited nonprofit status.

The 501(c)(3) designation will open more possibilities for the town to earn grants and other funding, a process already in place since Poss' time in the post. The new manager said she is already very, very close to completion.

McKane-Wagester plans to focus also on seeking grants for both the town and local businesses, as well as fundraising to help promote the community.

Officially on the clock from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday, McKane-Wagester said she is available to the town whenever needed.

The part-time position offers time for the manager to do clerical work in the office and for trips into the community to network with businesses.

McKane-Wagester spends her days away from Thurmont working in the health care industry in Baltimore two days each week.

"This is not necessarily a destination, because we're ever learning and absorbing knowledge," she said of her new part-time job. But McKane-Wagester doesn't plan on leaving the position any time soon.

"If they can accept me and I can do a good job," she said, "then I'm here for a while."

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