3 minute read

Meet Max

Hello friends! Thanks to the kind folks at Lorain Local Magazine, I was given the opportunity to introduce myself to everyone. My name is Max Schaefer, and I am the new (and first) executive director of Main Street Lorain. We are a non-profit organization focused on working with the community toward the revitalization of downtown Lorain.

Our mission? To promote collaboration and celebration as a means of making downtown Lorain vibrant and accessible to residents and visitors of all ages.

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of the position, I thought it might be beneficial for you all to get to know a little bit more about me:

I was born and raised in Central Lorain on West 29th Street and attended St. Mary Academy and Lorain Southview High School.

I graduated in 2012 from Baldwin-Wallace College, where I studied Political Science and History.

Before this position, I previously worked at Second Harvest Food Bank, the Lorain County Auditor's Office, and the Ohio Environmental Council.

I currently live by Central Park with my amazing wife, our three-legged hound dog, and our evil cat. We are expecting our first child this Christmas! Cheers to sleeping while we can.

I am a big fan of soccer, specifically Chelsea FC and the Columbus Crew. Additionally, I will go anywhere in the United States, within driving distance, to see our national men and women compete!

Two of my greatest accomplishments in life were meeting Toni Morrison and LeBron James (separately). 

Now that some of the basics are out of the way, let's dive a little deeper. I absolutely love my city. I love the diversity within Lorain, I love living on Lake Erie, I love our rich cultural history, and I love the determination of our citizens. So having the opportunity to serve my community in this role with Main Street Lorain is a dream come true.

Dine at Union Town Provisions at 422 Broadway.
photo courtesy of Main Street Lorain

There is a lot to be excited about in downtown Lorain. New restaurants and shops are popping up around our downtown and waterfront, and I hope that Main Street Lorain continues to play a significant role in our community's growth.

I hope that Main Street Lorain can collaborate with our entire community to see that growth as equitably and inclusively as possible. Lorain has always been a community of diversity—our vision for downtown is no different.

Shop at Erie Treasures at 761 Broadway.
photo courtesy of Main Street Lorain

In short: collaboration, collaboration, collaboration.

So, you see, I view my role as a convener—a community partner who is helping to lead revitalization efforts with numerous other community members, business owners, city officials, and dedicated volunteers.

Downtown Lorain has a deeply complicated history encompassed by triumph and tragedy. We are rebounding from the harsh economic reality that has faced numerous post-industrial cities just like ours. It will take time, but Broadway is well on its way to becoming the best version of itself. It will absolutely take time, but we are working with small businesses across our downtown to see a vibrant neighborhood teeming with new growth and opportunities.

Shop at Jevon Terance at 625 Broadway in Lorain.
photo courtesy of Main Street Lorain

I will continue with all my heart to see this vision become a reality. I hope that Main Street Lorain will continuously collaborate with other organizations, businesses, and leaders within the community to move our downtown toward vibrancy and prosperity. We can accomplish that, but only if we are all working in the same direction.

I'm extremely excited for the transformation and investment in our downtown neighborhood; the key to success is working together.