Bell resigns job as Salem Main Streets manager

After a busy 5½ years helping to revitalize Salem’s downtown, Jennifer Bell is preparing for another challenge. Bell resigned as Salem Main Streets  manager effective Dec. 15 to become downtown manager for Winchester, Va. Bell said the job change was motivated by her family’s desire to live closer to her and her husband’s extended family . “I’ll continue to do the work I love, which is downtown revitalization,” she said. “Winchester is a very similar town. They have a pedestrian mall, they want to start a farmers market and increase their tourist base,” said Bell, who through her job will head up Winchester’s Main Streets program. Main Streets organizations are nonprofits that have been established in communities across the country to help promote the vitality of their downtowns. When she was hired in July 2007, Salem Main Streets was largely dormant. “I feel like we’ve been able to accomplish a lot of things,” Bell said. “We started a lot of programs such as the Salem Farmers Market and the Salem Arts Festival. Main Streets works on numerous events year-round and has helped start other ones. . . . I’m going to miss all the wonderful people here but I’m really looking forward to living closer to my family and to the new challenges on my horizon.”