As the Main Street manager and acting executive director at the King Drive Main Street Business Improvement District (BID), Marjorie Rucker was responsible for applying the Main Street approach to community revitalization.
Now, as the new commercial revitalization specialist at LISC Milwaukee, Rucker can apply her experience, leadership skills and passion for Milwaukee’s central city to more communities.
The Main Street Four-Point Approach® is an economic development tool that helps revitalize communities by leveraging local assets such as cultural or architectural heritage, local businesses and community pride.
Rucker’s experience with the four-point approach made for an easy transition to her position at LISC, where she started in January. As the program officer for the Commercial Corridors project, she works to support distressed commercial corridors in LISC’s five Sustainable Communities: Lindsay Heights, Layton Boulevard West, Clarke Square, Washington Park and Harambee.
“We felt she was someone who could really relate to the commercial corridors in our neighborhoods because she had direct hands-on experience to share with others,” said Dawn Hutchison-Weiss, LISC Milwaukee director of communications.
“It’s been a great experience so far,” Rucker said. “I’ve been able to expand my knowledge of what commercial corridors are doing and look forward to working with them to make goals happen.”
Rucker, a proud graduate of Milwaukee Public Schools, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Mount Mary College and a Juris Doctorate from Vermont Law School.
“Law school helped me think outside of the box and taught me you don’t always need a traditional approach to things,” Rucker said. “There is always a creative way to bring things together to make it work.”
Rucker said she is still getting settled at LISC, the local affiliate of a nonprofit organization operating in more than 30 cities and rural areas nationwide. She is assessing what adjustments, if any, need to be made to the Commercial Corridors program.
“We’re delighted to have her because this is an area where we wanted someone with expertise,” said Leo Ries, executive director of LISC Milwaukee. “One of the things LISC is known for is being pragmatic and highly experienced.”