Clawson and Holly downtowns top winners as Main Street Oakland County honors 11 communities at gala

Clawson and Holly captured three honors each at the Main Street Oakland County “Main Event” awards celebration at the Royal Oak Music Theater.

Downtown development groups from Farmington, Ferndale, Highland Township, Lake Orion, Oxford, Pontiac and Rochester each picked up two awards during the event, which honors members of the Main Street Oakland County (MSOC) program for their economic development efforts. Other Main Street-member communities recognized Tuesday were Franklin and Ortonville.

“Main Street Oakland County is one of the best programs we ever started during my administration,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “It has literally transformed the downtowns of Oakland County while conserving our heritage. I applaud and congratulate the winners for all of their hard work as they create desirable and viable downtowns.”

Patterson was joined by more than 200 people, including many local and county officials, at the event. It was sponsored by ITC and SMART.

MSOC created the awards program in 2004. It recognizes excellence in downtown revitalization in such areas as design, economic restructuring, organization and promotion.

The award winners were:


  • Outstanding Façade Rehabilitation: Lake Orion, Hanson’s Running Shop


  • Outstanding Business Retention Program: Farmington, Innovate Farmington!
  • Business of the Year: The Oxford Tap, Oxford
  • Outstanding Business Recruitment Program: Clawson, Business Resource Center


  • Outstanding Fundraising Event: Ferndale, Art of the Cocktail 
  • Outstanding Public Relations Effort: Clawson, Business Directory – Age Friendly Main Street 
  • Volunteer of the Year: Brian Cafmeyer, Farmington 
  • Board Member of the Year: John Hirzel, Highland Township


  • Outstanding Event Series: Rochester, Explorers Club


  • Outstanding Historic Preservation Awareness: Downtown Clawson History Walk
  • Guts and Diplomacy: Cristina Sheppard-Decius, Ferndale DDA executive director
  • Outstanding Creative Event: Rochester, Festival of Trees
  • Outstanding Leadership: Molly LaLone, Ortonville DDA executive director
  • Professionalism and Persistence: Virginia Schomisch, Oxford DDA executive director
  • Diplomacy, Determination and Professionalism: Katherine White, Main Street Franklin executive director
  • Parking Management Program: Pontiac DBA Main Street
  • Outstanding Promotion of the Arts: Pontiac DBA Main Street
  • Outstanding MSOC Partner: Donna Zalewski, ITC Holdings
  • Outstanding Community Support: Highland DDA
  • Outstanding Historic Building Advocacy: Lake Orion DDA
  • Most New Businesses Opened: Holly DDA
  • Outstanding Village and DDA Partnership: Holly DDA and Village of Holly


  • MSOC Spirit Award: Holly DDA

Since 2001, MSOC downtowns have generated nearly $650 million in new public and private investment, created 7,000 jobs and established 1,000 new businesses.

In 2014, public and private investment totaled $20 million and resulted in 200 net new jobs; 70 net new businesses; 168 buildings rehabilitated; 30,000 volunteer hours and more than $500,000 in cash sponsorships.

Main Street is a trademarked program of the National Main Street Center in Washington D.C. Clawson, Farmington, Ferndale, Franklin, Highland Township, Holly, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac and Rochester are MSOC “Select Level” communities. Birmingham, Wixom and Lathrup Village are communities in the “Associate Level.” Clarkston, Groveland Township, Hazel Park, Leonard, Oak Park and Waterford Township are “Affiliate Level” communities. Oakland County is the first county in the United States to operate a full-service county-wide Main Street program for the 32 distinct, historic downtowns in Oakland County.