Hickory was designated a North Carolina Main Street city the year Connie Kincaid became Executive Director of the Hickory Downtown Development Association (HDDA). Connie’s passion for downtown and experience in Main Street helped Downtown Hickory create an environment for small businesses to succeed. With her guidance, HDDA created a community vision with a step-by-step implementation plan that helped it reach its vision. More than 32,000 volunteer hours and countless city staff projects incrementally advanced the downtown and it is just getting started. Connie always reminded HDDA of its goals; so much so that the group had to get to work to keep her quiet. During Connie’s 12 years with Hickory Downtown Development Association, downtown experienced a net gain of 132 new businesses with 508 new jobs, generating more than $47 million in downtown investment. Historic preservation and the Main Street Approach to downtown economic development are her passions. Hickory Downtown Development Association recognizes Connie Kincaid as its North Carolina Main Street Champion.