CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The newly elected president of East End Main Street credited his predecessor with much good work and said he plans to pick up where she left off.
The organization's new officers were sworn in during a meeting on Wednesday. Andy Milovich will take the helm from Mary Anne Crickard, who has headed the board for about eight years.
Milovich is executive vice president of West Virginia Baseball, which is headquartered in the East End's Appalachian Power Park.
"My goal is to continue to advance what we've already started in the East End," Milovich said. "Mary Anne (Crickard) and Ric (Cavender) have done some great things in the last five years."
Cavender is the executive director of East End Main Street.
Milovich said he had no specific goals but plans to continue to pursue new businesses for the community. He also will continue to work with businesses already located in the East End to keep them viable.
Crickard has seen many changes over the past eight years. During that time, East End Main Street moved out from under the umbrella of the Charleston Area Alliance and became a freestanding group.
The East End itself has changed. It's gone from being an area known for crime and blighted properties to an eclectic neighborhood with a growing list of shops and restaurants.
"We've really worked hard to improve the appearance of the East End," Crickard said.
One of the main purposes of East End Main Street was to attract businesses. That can be difficult when business owners don't feel safe in the neighborhood, she said.
Through partnerships with the city and the cooperation of the Charleston Police Department, the East End has seen improvements.
One example of a success story was the construction of Appalachian Power Park in the East End's Warehouse District. The park has helped turn the neighborhood around, Crickard said.
Although Crickard will no longer serve as president, she will remain an active member of the organization in her new role as promotion committee chairwoman.