After over two decades of serving the Gonzales community as a member of the Gonzales Main Street board, Barbara Friedrich has decided to retire as the board’s manager.
Born and raised in Gonzales, Friedrich graduated from Gonzales High School in 1969. She then attended Durham’s Business School after graduation.
Friedrich initially applied for an accounts payable position with the city. Although she didn’t get the gig, she later learned that Main Street Manager and Economic Development Director Sandra Mauldin was looking for an assistant to the Main Street Program and Economic Development program and called her in for an interview.
“I came on board in August of 1998 as her assistant,” Friedrich said. “Then in 2000 when Sandra left to pursue another opportunity, I became the Main Street Manager and assisted the City Manager with Economic Development.”
When asked what Main Street does for the community and what she enjoys about it, Friedrich explained, “The Main Street Program is a revitalization program. It works on the four-point approach – organization, design, promotion and economic vitality. Main Street brings people downtown to shop, dine and play. What I love about it is seeing our downtown grow, working with our businesses and volunteers for the betterment of the community and meeting a lot of great people.”
Friedrich added that over the last 21 years with Main Street, she has had the pleasure of working with some wonderful folks, including numerous board members, city employees and Main Street managers.
“Main Street is like a family – the people at the Texas Main Street office are wonderful,” she said. “The Texas Main Street Design team is always willing to help with designs for our downtown. Architects Howard Langer and Wayne Bell taught me so much about historic preservation and guidelines for restoring a building.”
Friedrich said that without board members and volunteers the Main Street program would not be a success, as they have put in hundreds of hours decorating downtown Gonzales for Christmas and other holidays, having events and visiting with businesses. She also offers her gratitude to the city employees who work together to make the community greater.
“Without the help of each department, these events could not happen,” she said.
Fellow board member Meena Patel offered some words of her own regarding Friedrich’s retirement, saying, “As Barbara Friedrich retires from her role as Gonzales Main Street Manager I want to thank Barbara for her service, dedication, and countless hours of hard work to plan and execute Main Street events over the past 20 years. Barbara has always had so much enthusiasm for her role as Main Street Manager. She actually inspired me to become a board member and serve. I wish her all the best as she begins her well-deserved retirement."
When asked what she will miss most about Main Street, Friedrich said, “Having the opportunity to meet that new business owner coming into town, working with building owners to renovate their buildings, seeing the faces on the small children when they get to talk with Santa or parade in their Halloween costume, and all my coworkers.”