Ellen Russell retired as the Director of the Chamber of Commerce/Main Street Association at the end of December.

Beth Waldo has taken on the responsibility of the Chamber/Main Street and although I know the Chamber/Main Street will be in excellent hands, I am going to miss Ellen terribly.

I was fortunate enough to be the President of the Main Street Association when it was formed and Ellen was the first and only director the Main Street Association has had.

In those beginning days Ellen was charged with the task of learning what Main Street was about and how our community could benefit from the organization. She didn’t have a model to follow in Pontotoc, she created the model.

Ellen brought things like, Movie in the Park, the Scare Crow displays downtown, the Rebel Bulldog Challenge, the County Wide Pep Rally and many other events.

Ellen has made contact across the state and has used ideas from other areas and tweak them to fit our community.

After only a couple of years as the Main Street Director, she had the Chamber Director’s role added to her.

Every event in Pontotoc, Ellen has been a part of.

Every business in Pontotoc has prospered by the efforts of Ellen bringing people into town.

Ellen promotes every business throughout the City of Pontotoc and all of Pontotoc County whether they are a member of the Chamber/Main Street or not.

Of course, she wants every business to be a member, but that does not stop her from trying to help them grow and prosper and including them in every event and every promotion.

I have had the privilege of working with Ellen over these years and have been happy to serve on the board and as president of the board.

I see the work that she does and marvel at her determination to make Pontotoc a better place to live, work and raise our families.

Over these years of working with Ellen in her role as Director of the Chamber/Main Street I have come to respect her work ethic and her dedication to our community, but most of all I am most grateful for her friendship.

I wish her the best in the next chapter and will treasure the time we got to work together and will continue to treasure our friendship.

In this pandemic year we are not able to give Ellen a proper reception but if you would like to congratulate her and let her know how much you appreciate the work she has done there will be a drive-thru retirement reception on Tuesday, January 26 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm at the First Choice Bank Gateway.

Thank you, Ellen, for your service to our community.

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