Commerce will be looking for a new Main Street manager and civic center manager soon.
Denise McKay, who holds both positions, turned in her notice on Dec. 24. Her resignation will be effective on Feb. 2.
“It’s been three years since Charles (her husband) died,” McKay explained. “I decided it is just time for a change in my life. Not having family in the immediate area, I miss my kids.”
McKay’s daughters live in Kentucky and a stepdaughter lives in Spalding County.
As for her plans, they’re up in the air.
“In all honesty, I really don’t know what I’m going to do,” she said. “I’m just praying to have the strength to go wherever I need to be and wind up wherever God wants me to be. It was not an easy decision to make. It took a long time and the kids and I made it together as a family.”
McKay said she’s interested in a couple of job possibilities in the Henry County area, where she still owns a house.
“It’s our home in Georgia,” she said. My in-laws live there, I have a house there. If the kids came to visit me, they would feel like they were coming home.”
Should that not pan out, other options include locating near her daughters in Kentucky or returning to Wisconsin, where she has other family.
Among the highlights of her term in Commerce, McKay counted the donation of the Oxford building to the city with the idea it can be restored and developed, the development of the Downtown Development Authority’s web site, the creation of the Folk to Fine Art Festival & Expo (the third annual FFAF&E is coming up March 7-9), holding the inaugural Commerce Cruisin,’ starting the week-long drama camp held every summer with the Cold Sassy Players, and the partnerships established for the annual spring cleanup day, particularly with Southeastern Toyota.
“It seems to me a lot has been able to be accomplished,” McKay observed. “In the last four years we’ve had a gain of 17 businesses in the downtown during the height of the recession.”
Until August, McKay served as executive director of the Downtown Development Authority as well as Main Street manager. When Lee Chastain was hired as community improvement director, he took on the role as DDA executive director and McKay was named manager of the Commerce Civic Center, although she retains the title of Main Street manager.
For the full story, see the Jan. 15 issue of The Commerce News.