CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- East End Main Street's board of directors gained its third president in four months Wednesday when Dickinson Gould was elected on a unanimous voice vote.Gould replaces Andy Milovich, the former West Virginia Power executive vice president, who resigned suddenly in late December to take a similar job in Myrtle Beach.Milovich led the board for less than three months following his election to the post in September. He replaced longtime president Mary Anne Crickard, who decided to step down after eight years.A native of Charleston and a graduate of Charleston Catholic High School, Gould moved back to the East End seven years ago to work in the family business, Buzz Food Services. He became company president and owner two years ago when his father died.
Though he's been involved with the Main Street group for only about three years, he has led the business recruitment and economic redevelopment committee for the past two years.In that time, he's become a familiar face for East End Main Street, appearing before city agencies to promote its projects."We did the East End Bazaar and a couple of other things," he said after the meeting Wednesday. "It's been a busy two years."He doesn't plan any major changes. "I hope to bring more of the same. We've had a great leadership team for the last 11 years."Board members totally revamped their executive officers at their monthly meeting Wednesday at the Charleston Woman's Club: treasurer Marc Weintraub, an East End City Council member, moved up to vice president; secretary Mary Beth Hoover became treasurer; and Amy McLaughlin was elected secretary.Also Wednesday, the board:| Filled two vacant spots on the 26-member board: Kristin Call, marketing director of the West Virginia Power, and WCHS/WVAH TV reporter and anchor Kallie Cart.| Elected former vice president Keeley Steele as president of the board of advisors of its new business association, which is still in the formative stages. Steele is owner of the Bluegrass Kitchen, Tricky Fish and Frutcake.The business association will apply for a 501(c)(6) certification from the Internal Revenue Service, a designation shared by chambers of commerce and business leagues. That will allow the group to recruit business members and donations, and to buy property.Steele said she's prepared to take on more responsibility as head of the new organization. "We're going to start the membership campaign," she said."Now we can pursue an economic development agenda. We don't have to worry about the fine line between economic and non-economic activities."
She plans to tap other business owners to serve on the group's board, such as Dickinson and Mary Ann Crickard of Contemporary Galleries.With several vacant business properties along Washington Street, Steele said the group would consider purchasing sites, "but we'd have to raise funds."She's had plenty of experience. "We bought two properties, filled out six apartments. It's a lot of work -- 100-year-old buildings, knob-and-tube wiring, horsehair plaster."If we could gut a building and put it back in a state where people could see what it could be ... it's hard. It's hard for people to see the good bones [of a building]."Reach Jim Balow at email@example.com or 304-348-5102.