Q & A: Dana Buster, new Main Street Guthrie Center director
After the sudden departure of former Main Street Guthrie Center Director Julie Bailey late last year, the organization has found someone to fill the vacancy.
Dana Buster, a resident of Lake Panorama, was hired for the position a few weeks ago, and officially took over on March 1.
The Dallas City, Illinois, native moved to the area from Colorado with her husband Mark, and daughter Kinsey, last June so they could be closer to their families. They all love outdoor activities like fishing and boating, and fell in love with the rural small town atmosphere the lake area, and the towns within Guthrie County have to offer.
An avid baker, reader, entertainer and fan of cooking, Buster was thrilled when she was hired for the position. Not only had she been looking for a part-time job, but it also provided an opportunity for her to get more involved with a community within the area she now calls home.
Buster sat down with the Guthrie Center Times to discuss her new position, and her transition since joining the Guthrie County community.
What brought you to Lake Panorama last year?
“I am from Dallas City, Illinois, originally. We had moved, and my husband and I lived in West Burlington, Iowa, where I worked for the city, and we moved out to Colorado for the last five years for his company. And then we decided that we wanted to move closer to home, and live on the lake, and have our daughter go to high school in a small town. This area had the biggest lake, we liked the school district and we liked the feel of the small town. And we needed to be close to the airport to visit family.”
Why did you decide to pursue the open position with Main Street Guthrie Center?
“I saw the job advertised in the paper, and I had been looking for a part time job. I thought this one would be great. I’ve worked for a city before, so I know a little bit about that. I worked for the finance department of the city of West Burlington, then was the administrative assistant for the West Burlington Police Department. Main Street America sounded like a really great program, and something fun and interesting that I could do.”
What does your new job entail?
“The Main Street approach has four points. There’s a beautification committee, a promotion committee, an economic vitality committee, and an organization committee. And then there is the main board. So I will be helping to facilitate the work between the committees and the board. I also work to coordinate volunteers, present the information about what Main Street is doing to the public, the local businesses and community groups. I also assist new and existing businesses with keeping within the scope of the Main Street mission.”
How are you settling in?
“Very well. I’ve already been at a Main Street Iowa conference, so I’ve gotten lots of information from that. I’m excited to get started and meet everyone in the community, and all the down town businesses and their owners.”
What do you have to do to get brought up to speed for this job?
“I’ll be meeting with everyone, as I actually haven’t had our first board meeting since I’ve been hired. Next week, the Main Street Iowa representative will be coming down to meet with me and train me for a day.”
Do you have any plans for the Main Street Guthrie Center program that you would like to tackle in your new position?
“I haven’t met with all the committees yet and don’t know all their plans yet. But we’ll be kind of setting goals for the 2017 year, and getting those out to the public. I know we plan to do the 50115 Fest again. I do plan to update the Main Street Guthrie Center website and maintain the Facebook. I want people to know that if anyone has questions about Main Street Guthrie Center, or Main Street Iowa in general, they can just stop by and talk to me.”
What do you think you bring to this position?
“I have a business degree from Iowa Wesleyan University in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. I am an excellent organizer, a motivator of people. And I’m good at coordinating events and groups and inspiring community involvement.”
How do you think the Main Street program can continue to make Guthrie Center better?
“I think that as Main Street director, Main Street as a whole will be able to make Guthrie Center more of a destination. A place people are willing to drive more than an hour to come to and enjoy their day by showing them what we have available in our community. And how enjoyable an afternoon could be. We really want to be promoting Guthrie Center as a destination.”
Is this someplace you can see yourself calling home for awhile?
“It is, I really enjoy being part of a small community and being active in it. So this position is perfect for me, and was exactly what I was looking for.”