Resource Team Members

Alberta Main Street Resource Team

Kathy La Plante, National Trust Main Street Center – Washington, DC (Team Leader) Area of expertise: Promotion

Kathy La Plante has worked in the Main Street field for over 22 years. She joined the staff of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center in 2007 as a Senior Program Officer. She provides training & technical assistance services to Main Street programs across the county, specializing in organizational development, board training, fundraising, and promotional activities. Prior to this role, Kathy served as the first Director of the New Hampshire Main Street Center for over ten years. Kathy was responsible for initiating the nonprofit New Hampshire Main Street Program and providing comprehensive technical assistance to 23 designated Main Street programs. Kathy began her Main Street career in 1989 as the Executive Director of the Chippewa Falls (WI) Main Street Program. Seven years later, Chippewa Falls was a recipient of the Great American Main Street Award, recognizing it as one of the top five programs in the country. At both Chippewa Fall and New Hampshire she also worked as an independent consultant working with Main Street communities in nine states. Prior to working in downtown revitalization, Kathy spent 12 years in retail management including, ten years as manager of Spurgeon’s Department Stores in WI, MN & IA. She attended the University of Wisconsin – Stout in Menomonie, WI.

Matthew Wagner, Ph.D, Nitro Development LLC, Union Grove, WI. Area of expertise: Economic Restructuring

Matthew Wagner, Ph.D. is the president of Nitro Development LLC. Nitro Development is focused on building innovative downtown and community economies. Through Nitro Development, Matt blends his professional career at the University of Wisconsin as a faculty member in entrepreneurship and director of technology-based business outreach services, with his extensive background in downtown development. As a former manager of the Sheboygan Falls Main Street Program (Great American Main Street Award Winner), executive director of the Downtown Racine Corporation (International Downtown Association, National Sierra Club, and American Institute of Architects Urban Planning Award Winner) and a Senior Program Associate at the National Trust National Main Street Center in Washington D.C, Matt has nearly 20 years of award winning downtown development experience. Recent consulting engagements included market analysis training, performance metrics development, community assessment teams, and various conference presentations in West Virginia, New York and Washington. In addition, Wagner brings a unique focus on urban issues, having worked with urban Main Street districts in Philadelphia, PA, Oakland, CA, and Dayton, Ohio, as well as earning his Ph.D. in urban economic development with a research concentration in minority entrepreneurship from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Anthony Rubano, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Springfield, IL. Areas of expertise: Design and Sustainability

Anthony Rubano is a Project Designer at the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. He has worked extensively with the Illinois Main Street Program within IHPA, where he provides architectural services to almost 70 historic Main Street communities throughout the State. He reviews proposed changes to historic Illinois properties under a variety of state and national programs, and he has consulted across the country on preservation and Main Street design issues. In 2006 and 2007, his work, along with that of his 4 colleagues, garnered awards from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, and the Illinois chapter of the American Institute of Architects. A part-time faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he has taught the history of American architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Anthony earned a Master of Architecture with an emphasis on architectural history and preservation from the University of Illinois.

Elise Tinsley, Corporation for National & Community Service, Washington, DC. Area of expertise: Organization

Elise Tinsley brings more than 10 years experience in non-profit management, community outreach, and development, to the National Trust Main Street Center resource consulting team. Elise currently works as a Program Officer at the Corporation for National & Community Service, where she manages over $9 million of federal grant funding to state agencies and non-profits. Prior to working in the federal government, Elise worked as a Program Officer for the National Trust Main Street Center and the Baltimore Main Streets coordinated citywide program, housed within the Baltimore Development Corporation. Elise has provided technical services to several thriving urban neighborhood programs, and served as project manager for the successful Miracle on Main Street citywide holiday promotion. Elise holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Master’s Certificate of Non-Profit Management from Cleveland State University. She served as a HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) Urban Scholar for four years.