Downtown Pontiac Recognized for Outstanding Revitalization Efforts

Downtown Pontiac was awarded The Lieutenant Governor Revitalization Recognition for Outstanding Design. The recognition highlights projects, activities and events Illinois Main Street communities create and implement to advance successful work in Design, Organization, Economic Vitality and Promotions. Additionally, recognitions honor outstanding volunteers for their involvement in revitalizing their community through their Main Street Program.

On Thursday, November 4, during the Illinois Main Street state conference, Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton and Joi Cuartero Austin, Director of the Illinois Main Street Program and Sr. Program Officer at Main Street America, gave out eight (8) recognitions for program efforts, four (4) recognitions for outstanding volunteers and two (2) special awards for leadership.

The COVID-19 pandemic has added new challenges that stand in the way of our state’s small businesses thriving as they should, so we all have a role in supporting and advocating for them during these uncertain times,” said Lt. Governor Stratton. “My office and the Illinois Main Street Program have been committed to that mission and we will continue to uplift small business entrepreneurs state-wide. The successful return of this conference is pivotal to the growth of our Main Street communities in Illinois. The dialogue and sessions were engaging and energizing, the Jacksonville community was vibrant and welcoming, and this year’s award recipients were inspiring due to their incredible accomplishments. Now we must continue the important work of embracing and supporting our amazing Main Streets.”

Full list of recognitions were as follows:

Recognition for Organization

Crystal Lake Diamond in the Rough Awards

Jacksonville Strategic Planning Efforts

Recognition for Promotion

Bloomington for Curbside Markets

Libertyville for Summer Style Weekend

Recognition for Design

Waukegan for Downtown Clean Up

Pontiac for Downtown Ice Rink

Recognition for Economic Vitality

Batavia Boardwalk Shops

Bloomington for Outdoor Dining Project

Recognition for Outstanding Volunteerism

Nick Little with Jacksonville Main Street

Batavia Main Street Boardwalk Volunteers

Waukegan Downtown Clean Up Teams Jane Ferry & Charlotte Callahan Wozniak

Libertyville Design Committee Audio-enhanced Historic House Walk

Recognition for Dedication & Leadership

Diana Kenney, Executive Director for Crystal Lake Main Street, serving for 21 Years

Judy Tighe, Executive Director for Jacksonville Main Street, serving for 20 Years

“We are thankful to recognize these outstanding Main Street programs and their volunteers,” said Joi Cuartero Austin, Director of the Illinois Main Street Program and Sr. Program Officer at Main Street America. “They all are boots on the ground, putting skin in the game to grow their communities and make their neighborhoods stronger.”

The Illinois Main Street Conference is hosted in partnership with the Chicago UrbanMain program, the office of Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

All projects, activities, or events submitted for recognition/nomination must have been completed in 2019 through June 30, 2021.

Learn more about Illinois Main Street at Keep up with Illinois Main Street and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, or sign up for our email newsletter.



Each year, the National Main Street Center recognizes exceptional Main Street communities whose successes serve as a model for comprehensive, preservation-based commercial district revitalization with the Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). The award recognizes communities exemplifying the use of the Main Street Approach™ to revitalize traditional downtowns and neighborhood business districts.


Illinois Main Street supports a network of communities across the state that are working to bring prosperity to their older and historic downtowns and commercial districts. IMS does this by providing hands-on training, statewide workshops, networking opportunities, and other resources. Illinois Main Street programs have collectively secured nearly $1.2 billion in public and private reinvestment, added over 11,000 jobs, created over 2,300 new businesses, and rehabilitated 1100 buildings since 1992. Illinois Main Street is administered by Main Street America, a national movement of neighborhoods and communities who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Learn more at

Posted in Uncategorized