About Us

Berryville Main Street is a not-for-profit first established in 1992 as Downtown Berryville Inc. to promote and support downtown Berryville, which is the seat of Clarke County.

In 1992, Berryville Main Street was accepted into the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Main Street” program that promotes the revitalization of small towns across the United States. Berryville is one of more than 2,400 American communities in the national Main Street Program, and it is one of only 29 Virginia towns with the designation.

Though national in scope, the Main Street initiative is administered by each state. Each Main Street program uses the same four-point approach to achieve its goals: social, political, physical, and economic.

The Virginia Main Street program, managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, provides assistance and training to communities so they can increase the economic vitality in downtown commercial districts by focusing on their unique heritage and attributes.

In 2016, Berryville Main Street and the Town of Berryville were presented with a Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Award that reflected $30 million in private reinvestment in Berryville’s downtown since 1992. Berryville Main Street celebrated its 25th anniversary in February 2017.

The 10-member Berryville Main Street Board oversees the staff and volunteers who serve on subcommittees that work to improve the downtown in these four areas:

Organization
Organization builds consensus and cooperation through partnerships with those who have a stake in the commercial district. By working toward a common goal, Main Street program provides effective, ongoing advocacy for downtown businesses. Volunteers and partners represent a broad cross section of the community, reflecting a range of perspectives. A governing board of directors and standing committees make up the fundamental organizational structure of volunteer-driven revitalization programs. This structure not only divides the workload and clearly delineates responsibilities, but also builds consensus and cooperation among the various stakeholders.
Promotion
Promotion takes many forms, but the goal is to foster community pride and improve consumer and investor confidence in the commercial district. Advertising, retail promotions, special events, and marketing campaigns spread the Main Street message to the community and surrounding region. Promotions highlight the commercial districts unique charm, its businesses, and special events that attract residents, visitors, investors, potential businesses, and property owners.
Design
Design means a Main Street that is attractive, accessible, and safe for residents, visitors, and those who work downtown. Design takes in account all the physical elements of the commercial district: public and private buildings, storefronts, signs, public spaces, parking, street furniture, public art, landscaping, merchandising, window displays, and promotional materials. All these visual elements convey a positive message about the Berryville and what it has to offer. Design also means good maintenance practices and the rehabilitation of historic buildings, encouraging appropriate new construction, and educating property owners about appropriate, long-term planning.
Economic Development
Economic development strengthens existing community assets while growing its economic base. The goal is a diverse and balanced commercial mix. Berryville Main Street supports business owners with opportunities to build their skills, attract new businesses, and convert unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property. The goal is to help build a commercial district that serves customers and the community.

BMS Board Members

Nathan Stalvey |  President

BMS board president Nathan Stalvey is also the director of the Clarke County Historical Association that operates a museum in downtown Berryville and the historic Burwell-Morgan Mill in Millwood.  He earned a masters degree in public history and a graduate certificate in museum management at the University of South Carolina. Before moving to Berryville in 2014, Nathan worked as curator at the University of South Carolinas McKissick Museum and as director of exhibits and collections at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.

Kim Ragland | Treasurer

BMS treasurer Kim Ragland is the owner of the Boyd’s Nest Family Restaurant located on Main Street in Berryville.

Jay Arnold | Town of Berryville Liaison

BMS board member and Town of Berryville liaison Jay Arnold is a lifelong Berryville resident. He owns and operates Berryville Auto Parts, a Main Street business established by his parents in 1961. Jay served on the Clarke County Planning Commission for 15 years and, since 2006, he has served as a Berryville Town Council member, currently as Town Recorder. Jay is a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician. A former Clarke County Citizen of the Year,  Jay was instrumental in forming the original Berryville Merchants group.

Julie Ashby 

BMS board member Julie Ashby owns Hip and Humble Interior Designs on East Main Street In Berryville. She has lived in Clarke County since 1980. She attended Maryland Institute College of Art, majoring in graphic design. After graduation, she opened an interior design firm in Middleburg before moving it to Leesburg. Julie moved her business to Clarke County and opened Hip and Humble Interiors, which specializes in antique and architectural salvage furniture and decorative items. She also volunteered for many years with the Clarke County Historical Association and its biannual Art at the Mill show at the Burwell-Morgan Mill.

Celeste Krawchuk

BMS board member Celeste Krawchuk has been practicing chiropractic medicine for two decades, almost half that time in Berryville. She spends most of her time in Berryville even though she lives in nearby Winchester. Celeste enjoys being in a small town where everyone knows each other and the community comes together to help one another – similar to where she grew up in Tecumseh, Ontario.

William Waite

William “Bill” Waite, retired from ExxonMobil as the Global Payment and Loyalty Solutions Manager in 2016  with 10 years of card leadership. During his 37 years with ExxonMobil, Bill held roles in finance, strategic planning, retail operations, logistics, and IT, where he created the first e-business organization. Since retiring, Bill shares his experience as a member of the Advisory Board of P97 Networks and volunteers as director of the Clarke County (Va.) Industrial Development Authority and leader of Berryville Main Street’s Economic Vitality Committee.

Liz Couture

BMS board member Liz Couture earned her undergraduate degree in art history, a master’s degree in urban and land planning, and a master’s in architecture. She and her husband Dennis lived in Massachusetts and Texas before moving to Northern Virginia. In addition to a career as an educator at the elementary and college levels, Liz has worked with a number of non-profits over the years, including the Frederick Law Olmsted Association (Massachusetts), The Park People (Texas), Wolf Trap (Virginia), the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (Winchester, Va.), and the Shenandoah Arts Council (Winchester). The Coutures moved to Berryville in 2016.


BMS Staff

Sophia Smyser | Executive Director

As the Berryville Main Street organization begins its 28th year, it welcomes Sophia Smyser as its new executive director. The Berryville resident began work on Jan. 22, 2019. Most recently, Smyser was a litigation assistant and office manager for a law firm in Vienna, Va. “I’m kind of a jack of all trades,” said the mother of two young girls. “My range of skills are suited to this position, which requires the director to wear many hats.” As executive director, Smyser will provide overall leadership, direction, and administration of BMS events and programs, including the Fire House Gallery and Shop. The shop, located at 23 E. Main St., showcases the work of local artists and makers.

Lisa Beckwith | Public Relations

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