NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A going away reception in honor of Nacogdoches Main Street manager Sarah O'Brien was held Wednesday.
O'Brien is moving to Marshall. She will be that city's Main Street manager and tourism director.
O'Brien began her duties with Nacogdoches Main Street in 2008. The city's Main Street program has made many strides under O'Brien's leadership.
Interviews with Sarah O'Brien were so plentiful that the meeting spot outside City Hall was playfully dubbed as "O'Brien corner." It's where the first and last interviews with O'Brien occurred.
"Now you're going to get me to start crying and I didn't want to do that on camera," O'Brien said.
O'Brien's nervousness in those early years has been replaced by total confidence.
"I think I've gotten very comfortable and I think my people skills have always been one of my greatest assets," O'Brien said.
Main Street managers are often placed in difficult situations that go beyond Main Street. Merchants, tourists, political leaders, and others who don't always agree use Main Street as a sounding board. Over time, O'Brien got them all on the same page.
"I think it's the network and the relationships that I've been able to build with our partners at the chamber, and at the Convention and Visitors Bureau and economic development corporation," O'Brien said. "We've really been able to work together."
The partnership led to new restaurants, downtown revitalization, and a signage program. Soon a promotional video, which O'Brien coordinated shoot locations on Wednesday, will be released. She's a woman who city management calls a "high energy doer," but O'Brien's advice to her successor is …
"Every day is overwhelming," O'Brien said. "I think I was doing seven things at once a minute ago, but you got to take it one step at a time."
And as O'Brien steps out to Marshall she will only have to look down to be reminded her roots are in Nacogdoches.
"I thought a purple azalea was the perfect choice and actually my Main Street Advisory Board bought it for me as my going away present, so they'll always be a part of me," O'Brien said.
Sarah O'Brien's last day with Nacogdoches Main Street is Friday. In step with her high energy, she begins her new job in Marshall Monday morning.
A search for her successor has already begun.