April 3, 1990 was the beginning of a 25-year Main Street Morgantown career for Terri Reed Cutright. That part of her professional career will end on December 31, 2014. Terri’s plans are to begin to fully develop her business services company, Terri Reed Cutright & Associates LLC; specializing in project management, grant development, fundraising, community and downtown revitalization, event planning and additional management and marketing services.
Cutright reflects on projects/programs she is most proud of during her tenure at MSM, “Definitely my favorite project is the recruitment of the Morgantown Farmers’ Market to the downtown and then performing and organizing the fundraising on the $803,000 permanent structure, rest rooms and culinary facility.” To see this well designed venue and the “sense of community” on a Saturday morning makes me know it was a job “well done”. I spent so much personal time and had so much passion for this project that I was quoted as saying “I am committed or should be committed.” This project also taught me numerous professional skills about fundraising, building community consensus and working efficiently with three different city managers, eleven city council members and three Main Street Morgantown Board Presidents over the 7 years it took to complete. Kathy Evans, President of the Morgantown Farmers’ Market Growers, said, “We thank Terri for taking on this project and this rough group of farmers who know very little about promoting themselves. The move to downtown was a great one and wouldn’t have happened without her vision”. Other favorite projects are the completion of the High Street Streetscape where she organized and formed (4) Business Improvement Districts (BIDS), a yearly promotional calendar with (6) events that are enjoyed by the community and lastly assisting a large high density housing project on the VFW site (construction begins in 2015). “Building density in a downtown is essential for it to thrive”.
When George Papandreas, MSM Board President was asked about Cutright’s departure he said, “For anyone who has come in contact with MSM over the last 25+ years, Terri Cutright is no stranger. She has brought her contagious optimism, real-world experiences, and true professionalism to not only MSM, but to each and every board or commission she attends. Much of what MSM has become is a reflection of her spirit, dedication, energy and vitality. Although I can only imagine the void that will be left when Terri resigns, I’m sure I speak for my entire board when I wish her only the best in future endeavors, and thank her for making our entire community a better, more interesting, and more caring place to live”. He also pointed out that the Governor Earl Ray Tomblin awarded Terri the Distinguished Mountaineer Award this past June in Charleston at a Main Street West Virginia Awards Presentation.
Cutright says “This is a great year to end my Main Street Morgantown career”. A year that ends with Panera Bread anchoring the top of High Street and the Monongalia County Judicial Center on lower High Street, new exciting restaurants opening, low building vacancy, a large drug/grocery store back in the downtown (CVS), an eclectic mix of small business (yoga studio, juice bar, and boutiques), Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Downtown Visitors Center, and public and private reinvestment totaling $148,414,506.00 over her 25 years of leadership.
The last accomplishment that Cutright noted is the financial stability of Main Street Morgantown. On April 3, 1990, she arrived in the MSM office to discover only $300 in the bank and a vacant office; the furniture had been removed by the donor, as they felt the organization was “going down”. She assumed the role as interim director and told the Board if funds could not be raised she would consider her time as volunteer work for her hometown. It took 6 weeks before she was paid as an employee and today the organization operates with a $300,000 budget.
She credits her professional mentors Dan Boroff and Marca Paparrozi with her success and also counsels interns “Find professional mentors and learn from them while in their company and when you are not say, “How would Dan Boroff handle this situation?”. Cutright looks forward to her new chapter and continued success for downtown Morgantown and downtown Wharf Districts as commercial and community centers in Monongalia County.