After nearly 17 years on the job, Holly Epright decided it was time for a change. What that change is, she’s not quite sure yet but she’s OK with that.
“Right now I’m just taking a leap of faith and hoping that there’s something on the other side when I land,” said Epright, who will be stepping down as executive director of the Sedona Main Street Program on July 29. “Considering my age and the fact I’m happy and healthy, I just felt it was a good time to start new adventures and have time for me. I’ve been working since I was 13 — full item since I was 16 — so now is a good time to retire and try new things.”
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
She gave SMSP’s board more than six week’s notice and this way she can stay on through the National Day of the Cowboy and the city’s selection of a vendor to install parking meters in Uptown. She’s not sure if she’ll be asked to give input on those seeking to fill her position but did say that to date, they have received nearly 20 applications from around the country.
“I want to make the transition as seamless as possible because I truly want to see Sedona Main Street Program continue to do well,” she said. “But there’s still a lot that needs to be done between now and the time I leave.”
When Epright came aboard, SMSP was still in its infancy, having been created just a few years prior. Having had a background in occupational therapy as well as many years working for a telephone company, Epright admits she had little experience for this job but quickly learned what was expected.
“The Main Street district has grown by leaps and bounds since those early days,” she said. “Even the city was still a child back when SMSP began in 1996. The city has seen a lot of change and growing pains as it’s gone through adolescence and now into early adulthood. The economy has seen its share of ups and downs but at the same time, we’ve seen a lot of new infrastructure in town, especially in the Uptown area.”
For those not familiar with SMSP, Epript said the role of the two-person office is to “communicate, collaborate, coordinate and facilitate” information between the public and private sector. They also provide information for the businesses, coordinate events such as the St. Patrick’s Parade and National Day of the Cowboy. They also act as a voice for Uptown businesses when needed at City Hall.
“One of the things I’ll miss most is the passion and enthusiasm among our event volunteers,” she said. “We have no many people with different skills and talents who are willing to give their time and effort for Main Street Program. It’s so impressive to see so many people coming together to make something happen.”
Sedona Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jennifer Wesselhoff started less than two years after Epright began with SMSP. Over the years the two have worked closely with one another on various projects.
“Holly has been a such a dynamo to work with over the years,” Wesselhoff said. “She is a go-getter who isn’t afraid to take on projects or issues that are important to her or to the Sedona Main Street Program. SMSP does such great work for the Uptown area and produces many events that our businesses, residents and visitors love. Much of that success is because of Holly’s passion and dedication to her work and to Sedona. It’s been a pleasure working with her and she will be greatly missed.”