Downtown Greensboro Inc. (DGI) honored six individuals for their efforts to revitalize the center city at its Annual State of Downtown on April 7, 2022.

Congresswoman Kathy Manning, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro’s Walker Sanders, and the Managing Director of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Matt Brown, were honored as the Jim Roach Downtown Persons of the Year for their collective efforts to build the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. The Jim Roach Award is given annually to a person the DGI board feels has made the most significant positive impact on downtown in the past year. The impact can be defined in several ways, including exposure, jobs, vitality, investment, or active participation in issues.

“A lot of the vibrancy, growth, and activity in downtown stems from the recent opening of the Tanger Performing Arts Center,” said Zack Matheny, President and CEO of DGI. “Since its opening, our restaurants are sold out and our retailers are experiencing record sales. The Tanger Center has exceeded all expectations and downtown is proud to say ‘thank you’ by awarding these individuals for their efforts as a collective group.  Without the efforts of Kathy, Walker, and Matt, I am not sure the Tanger Center would exist today.”

As fundraising chairperson, Rep. Manning led the effort to raise more than $44 million in private funds for the Tanger Center project. Additionally, Sanders led the community effort to rally support around the project, and Brown spearheaded the construction of the project and is managing hundreds of shows that drive visitors to downtown Greensboro

Mayor Nancy Vaughan, along with former Mayor Robbie Perkins, were both awarded the Ed Kitchen Leadership Award, given annually to a local individual who through his/her leadership, vision and dedication has been a champion for the revitalization of Downtown Greensboro or for the advancement of DGI.

“Robbie’s leadership as Mayor in bringing the vision of the Tanger Center to light, and Nancy’s leadership in working to complete the vision were tremendous feats and should be honored,” Matheny stated.

In a new award, Paul Talley and his Bourbon Bowl concept was named the Project of the Year. This new award will be given annually to individuals, businesses, and/or organizations who have completed exemplary revitalization work within the downtown Greensboro BID district.

“This project is a mix of preservation, culture, and activity. Prior to this project being started, we met with college students asking them what they would like to see in downtown Greensboro, and specifically, they told us a cool bowling alley. Paul brought that to fruition by taking a much-underutilized building and making it a tremendous asset for the community. Today, it’s an anchor in the revitalized southend district.”