New director

Abby Pickett, Winchester Downtown Program Corp. former director, left, and the organization’s new main street director, Stephanie Wilson, relax by a sign that serves as a gateway on Dinah Shore Boulevard to Winchester’s Downtown area.

The Winchester Downtown Program Corp. is moving ahead with new Main Street Director Stephanie Wilson after her predecessor, Abby Pickett, accepted a position with Southern Tennessee Regional Health System—Winchester/Sewanee.

Pickett, who is STRHS’ marketing and communications coordinator, shared her thoughts about the changing roles.

“It is bittersweet for me to share that I will be departing from the WDPC as I have accepted a new professional position in our community,” she said. “In reflecting on the past four and a half years in the role of WDPC director and the work that has been accomplished, I am grateful for the relationships and experiences gained.

“The downtown Winchester community is made up of passionate and dedicated individuals, and I look forward to seeing its continued growth and development. Although I am sad to leave WDPC, I am thrilled to be taking on this new opportunity and for downtown’s exciting next chapter with new Main Street Director Stephanie Wilson.

“I wish Stephanie, the Board of Directors, downtown businesses and the program’s wonderful volunteers the absolute best, and I look forward to remaining an advocate for them.”

WDPC Board Chairman Margaret Lynch paid tribute to Pickett for the effort she has made and for a job well done.

 “All of us on the WDPC Board would like to thank Abby for all her hard work over the past four and a half years,” Lynch said. “She has done an outstanding job, and we wish her all the best moving forward.

“We are excited that Stephanie Wilson will be joining our team and look forward to working with her. Stephanie has an incredible passion for what she does and brings that energy and experience to this position. Her prior work with Main Street programs will be a great resource for us as we continue to develop our historic downtown district.”

Wilson is a native of New Hampshire but grew up in Florida and most recently lived in the Atlanta area before relocating to Winchester in May 2017 with her husband, Cliff, who is the chief executive officer at STRHS-Winchester/Sewanee.

Mrs. Wilson has an extensive background of more than 20 years in corporate and small-business management, nonprofit organizations, business development and event planning.

She has also worked with main street programs, welcome centers, and the Chamber of Commerce in areas she has previously lived as a fundraiser and event planner/coordinator.

Mrs. Wilson is a graduate of the class of 2019 for Leadership Franklin County and is an active fund-raiser for many local charities and nonprofit organizations. She has taken special interest in the Winchester Downtown program since relocating here, serving on the promotional committee.

She said she has a passion for everything she does and gets the most enjoyment from being an active member of a vibrant community.

Mrs. Wilson has three daughters and a stepson whom she said keeps her young at heart, and she enjoys traveling, lake life and supporting the local community.

“The handoff that I have received from Abby over the last week has been incredible,” Mrs. Wilson said. “She has been generous with her knowledge and time.

“I, like many, wish her much success in her next role, and I’m sure we will find ways to collaborate in the future.”

Mrs. Wilson also wanted to express how excited she is to be working with all the merchants in a spirit of collaboration toward increasing the awareness of the Downtown Square and seeking growth opportunities to further enhance the local community.

The WDPC is a nonprofit organization and a National Main Street Community with a primary goal to create and support a sustainable, vibrant downtown that will be a highly desirable destination.

The organization is responsible for the redevelopment and promotion of a well-maintained and vibrant historic downtown district with a successful mix of businesses ready to satisfy the cultural, residential, and entertainment needs of the different segments of the community.

Mrs.  Wilson can be reached at (931) 962-3393 or by email at

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