Another “Main Street Champion” in Tryon

Published 11:39 am Thursday, May 7, 2020

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The NC Main Street Program has once again recognized a Main Street Champion for 2019 from Tryon. Wanda May was honored at the recent Annual NC Main Street Conference in New Bern, NC.

“Every city and town needs a Champion – someone that will step up and invest time and money in the community, improve the quality of life and grow economic vibrancy throughout the state. Commerce is so pleased, each year, to recognize those individuals that are making a difference in their communities,” said Anthony M. Copeland, N.C. Secretary of Commerce.

“The key to the success of the local Main Street program is its people, those individuals who take extraordinary pride in their downtown revitalization initiatives and the vitality of their community and are willing to go the extra mile for success. Those individuals have earned the title ‘Main Street Champion’. They are local elected officials and staff, community leaders, downtown business owners and employees, and program volunteers. They give 110% and then ask, what’s next?”, said Liz Parham, director of the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center.

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May has long been a champion of downtown Tryon. She was one of the founders of the Tryon Downtown Development Association in 1994, encouraging the use of the Main Street Methodology for downtown revitalization.


May owned The Book Shelf, an independent bookstore in Tryon, when she began to work alongside other business owners and community leaders to enhance the downtown district and help businesses be more successful. She has a background in Urban and Regional Planning with degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University.

She served on the Chamber of Commerce board for six years while leading the TDDA. She has served TDDA three times as President and has worked in every aspect of Main Street programming. She can be found at almost every event downtown, from working the gate or working behind the scenes to ensure Tryon’s success.

May says “I have been in love with Tryon since I first visited here in 1980. I never dreamed I would get to live and work here. There is no other place that offers what Tryon has. I am so appreciative of this award, but thankful for all the people here who make Tryon the best.”


Submitted by Tryon Downtown Development Association