December 18, 2017

ASHLAND, VA – The Ashland Main Street Association (AMSA) is pleased to announce it has selected a new executive director.   Margaret (Maggie) Longest was chosen from more than 80 candidates who applied for the position.  Longest is an Ashland resident with an M.S. in Economics who most recently worked in economic development with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  She is very familiar with the Virginia Main Street Program through her workshops with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.  She previously served as the legislative assistant to Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming.

“We are very excited that we found a new director that is local and knows our community,” said AMSA President Bill Gatewood.  “She has a great personality and is very outgoing.  I know everyone is excited to meet her and welcome her to the organization.”

“I am an Ashlander through-and-through,” said Longest.  “My family is invested in this community and depend upon its continued vibrancy for our future. We participate in town government, support local business, and utilize every possible benefit of the town and the college.  My life strategy is place-based personal development.  It is an honor to transition from neighbor to community organizer.”

Departing AMSA director Tom Wulf said he intends to help with the transition, and to continue to serve the organization in a different capacity.  “I am very proud of the accomplishments of our hard-working volunteer board over the nearly eight years I’ve been with AMSA,” Wulf said.  “We have worked closely with the town on projects ranging from streetscaping to initiating theater renovations.  Our partnership with the Ashland Museum and the Hanover Arts and Activities Center have yielded forums like Untold Stories and preservation initiatives like our historic marker program.  Events like Train Day and Light Up the Tracks have brought tourism and substantial economic benefit to the downtown.  I am excited about my successor and believe that Maggie will help AMSA accomplish even more for our downtown.”

AMSA earned its Virginia Main Street Designation in 2013, and has been accredited by the National Main Street Center every year since.  Its mission is to preserve, enhance, and promote downtown Ashland.

For more information about the Ashland Main Street Association, visit