Ed Wright, left, talks to Medina County Commissioner Bill Hutson Monday at Main Street Medina’s annual meeting and awards celebration at Williams on the Lake. Wright, owner of Miss Molly’s Tea Room, won the Spirit of Main Street Medina award.
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MEDINA — Ten years ago, the owner of Miss Molly’s Tea Room understood the importance of a partnership of merchants in the Historic District, and in December 2007, Main Street Medina was formed.
“He led the merchant group to pursue this,” Main Street Medina Executive Director Matt Wiederhold said of Ed Wright.
The original Main Street Medina board voted to officially apply to become a Main Street community. Five months later, it became a Main Street program. It normally takes years to accomplish that feat.
Miss Molly’s Wright earned the Spirit of Main Street Medina award Monday at the organization’s annual meeting and awards banquet at Williams on the Lake.
“He’s been an ongoing mentor with the program,” Wiederhold said. “He’s been a huge voice of reason. He’s been a true leader.
“He’s offered his expertise and guidance to Main Street Medina.”
Wright was on the original board in 2007, and the association is considered a model program among the 23 Main Street organizations in the state.
After a one-year lapse, it has earned its accreditation again.
Frances Hamilton, director of revitalization for Heritage Ohio, which administers the Main Street Ohio program, was in town to conduct a full evaluation of Main Street Medina.
She said losing Wiederhold, who left as executive director to work for a private organization for one year, hurt the organization.
“When a long-term director leaves, sometimes it causes an organization to topple,” Hamilton said Monday night. “That didn’t happen here. They have big plans for 2018. I was happy to give Main Street Medina its national accreditation today.”
Outgoing Main Street Medina chairperson Carol Kowell said losing Wiederhold put a strain on the organization.
“We are thrilled to have (Wiederhold) back,” she said. “He is truly the best man for the job.”
Wiederhold replaced Jeremy Levine last year.
Main Street Medina Treasurer John Gorsek said the organization lost $30,000 in 2017.
“Thank goodness Matt is back,” he said.
Besides Wright, other awards Monday went to:
- Best commercial rehabilitation — Dan Mason, First Mason Financial. His company rehabbed the building at 32/33 Public Square, which houses the Medina County Convention & Visitors Bureau. It has housed many businesses in its 143-year history. It was built in 1875 by Harvey Albro as the Albro Drug Store. Mason purchased the building in 2015 and restored it to its 1924 appearance.
- Best residential renovation — Estella and Kevin Hutchinson. The home at 238 W. Liberty St. was built in 1886 by Dr. Williard B. Croft of New York as a wedding gift to his bride, Edith. He purchased it for $3,500, a significant price at the time. The Hutchinsons purchased the home in 2016 and restored the exterior with reopened porches, multicolored paint scheme and landscaping.
- Business of the year — The Raspberry & The Rose. It started as a mother-daughter team of Donna Wilcox and Melissa Ziogas, who worked craft shows and the Medina Farmers Market. After Wilcox passed away, Ziogas opened her business in a 400-square-foot shop at 102 W. Washington St. She since has moved the gift shop to 241 S. Court St. She recently opened Nibble, a gourmet food store, at the original location at 102 W. Washington. Her husband, Jim, texted her in Las Vegas where she is on a business trip to inform her she had won the award. “She’s too hard-working to be here to accept the award,” Jim Ziogas said.
- Volunteer of the year: Amy Busby, Medina Schools. The communications director has been an active member of Main Street for two years. She’s on the promotions committee and works on all the Historic District’s events. She gets in the trenches with students and other volunteers to do the work needed, whether it’s creating 1,800 milk jug luminarias or hauling tables and chairs around for an event. “She is a huge asset to Main Street Medina,” Wiederhold said.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or email@example.com.