Ashland Main Street Association
P.O. Box 33
Ashland VA 23005
Mission Statement
To preserve, enhance and promote downtown Ashland.

We want a Downtown that is vibrant and active with people of all ages and walks of life living, dining, shopping, visiting art galleries & museums, attending live performances and events, and socializing with their friends and families. We want our streets to be alive with outdoor spaces filled with multiple generations and a culturally-diverse population connecting with one another. 

We are working towards engaging the Town, its residents, businesses, civic groups, and the college in a positive spirit of continuous improvement of the Downtown District. We envision a pedestrian-friendly community that has become a destination because it has protected the historic character of both the commercial and residential areas, retained the same scale of buildings as now, with appropriate infill that has good food, good music, good art and good shops. 

CEO/Executive Director Mr. Tom Wulf
Board Chair Mr. Bill Gatewood
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Contact Information
Address P.O. Box 33
Ashland, VA 23005
Telephone 804 301-6913
Fax 804 798-4584
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2009
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $69,800.00
Projected Expenses $69,800.00
Additional Documents
Giving Levels2013View
To preserve, enhance and promote downtown Ashland.

We want a Downtown that is vibrant and active with people of all ages and walks of life living, dining, shopping, visiting art galleries & museums, attending live performances and events, and socializing with their friends and families. We want our streets to be alive with outdoor spaces filled with multiple generations and a culturally-diverse population connecting with one another. 

We are working towards engaging the Town, its residents, businesses, civic groups, and the college in a positive spirit of continuous improvement of the Downtown District. We envision a pedestrian-friendly community that has become a destination because it has protected the historic character of both the commercial and residential areas, retained the same scale of buildings as now, with appropriate infill that has good food, good music, good art and good shops. 


Accomplishments 2014-2015:

  • Led the efforts to reopen the long-dormant Ashland Theater as a performing arts venue. Guided the implementation of a Financial Feasibility Study of the theater to determine the scope of a full rehabilitation.
  • Continued to publish our monthly online newsletter, Get Centered, to communicate with our stakeholders about important news and events in the downtown district. Currently have nearly 2000 subscribers.
  • Organized and coordinated the 6th annual Ashland Chalk Walk, celebrating artists of all ages, and the 12th annual Ashland Train Day, celebrating the town’s railroad heritage.
  • Created and installed multiple “Bike Gardens” in the downtown, welcoming cyclists and spectators involved in the 2015 UCI World Championships held in September.
  • Partnered with the Virginia Tourism Corporation on its “Drive Tourism” initiative, creating a five-year strategy for economic development in Ashland.
  • Contributed $3000 toward the Ashland Visitor’s Center beautification project, which included both hardscaping and landscaping improvements.
  • Continued to conduct and improve upon our established downtown enhancement programs, “Adopt-a-Spot” and “You’ve Been Noticed.”


Goals for 2015-2016:
  • Continue to offer community-based programming for the Ashland Theatre while it is under renovation.
  • Work with Randolph-Macon faculty and staff to bring more students into the downtown district through events, promotions, internships, and volunteer opportunities.
  • Finalize a policy and process for installing Public Art in the downtown district.
  • Continue to work with the Town and Economic Development Authority on marketing/branding for Ashland.
  • Promote Small Business Saturday in Ashland, and initiate a “Light Up the Tracks” celebration for the holiday season.
  • Work with the Ashland Museum on its “Ashland Museum Inside/Out” initiative. The project will bring some of the museum exhibits outdoors so they can be enjoyed by visitors 24/7, encouraging heritage tourism in the downtown.
$10,000 to support the annual Ashland Train Day
$5,000 to support marketing and fundraising costs
$6,000 to pay for office rent and purchase computer, furnishings, phones, & internet access
$2,000 for an updated Cultural Arts District Plan and Public Art Project
$1,500 to support the annual Chalk Walk
We are a nonprofit, 501c3 organization comprised of community volunteers representing businesses, civic organizations, Randolph-Macon College, and residents of Ashland — affectionately named the “Center of the Universe” by former mayor, the late Richard S. Gillis, for whom our public library is named.

We partner with local businesses, arts & civic groups, the College and town residents to preserve, enhance and promote downtown Ashland, making it a welcome destination while preserving and maintaining its unique charm and appeal.

We are striving to help Ashland achieve an official “Virginia Main Street” designation, which is an initiative of National Trust for Historic Preservation.  There are significant economic and cultural benefits to achieving the designation. 

AMSA works directly with the Town and community organizations on events that promote Ashland, draw customers to our businesses, and enrich our community.  We also encourage downtown businesses to preserve their historic structures for the enjoyment of future generations.
CEO Statement
The Ashland Main Street Association is thrilled that Ashland received its official Virginia Main Street Designation in June 2013. We plan to capitalize on that accomplishment by developing marketing tools that will attract visitors into our downtown Arts & Culture District, which has the same boundaries as our Main Street District. We believe Ashland can become a “destination location,” and a regional tourism draw for visitors traveling the I‐95 corridor. The first products of this effort include a re‐design of the Ashland‐Hanover Visitor’s Guide and an enhanced web site with up‐to‐date information about our downtown. 

These latest marketing projects are part of our continued effort to gain community consensus on a “shared vision” of a revitalized downtown Ashland.   Other Main Street engagement-building efforts include:
  • Organizing events like the “Ashland Chalk Walk” and “Ashland Train Day” that celebrate the rich talent and cultural diversity of Ashland and promote a positive identity for Main Street.
  • Celebrating milestones in the downtown community through events like the “100th Anniversary of Cross Bros. Grocery” and the recent “100th Anniversary of the D.B. Cox Department Store.”
  • Actively supporting other community organizations through sponsorships and advertising.
  • Creating and maintaining a presence on the web through and a Facebook page.
  • Providing downtown business with resources that engender goodwill and offer tangible business benefits. In June, 2011, Main Street unveiled an Ashland Downtown District Map that identifies all of the retailers, restaurants and services in the downtown district.

Providing public recognition through the “You’ve Been Noticed” program, which recognizes downtown businesses that renovate their buildings and/or significantly enhance their curb appeal.

  • Maintaining a cross‐functional Board with strong ties to downtown district stakeholders. Main Street’s board boasts some of the most active and visible members of the community, representing dozens of like‐minded civic groups, business networks, and the Town. These cross‐functional relationships add credibility to our efforts and provide additional leverage for influencing community support for our goals.

Through these efforts, Main Street has developed strong relationships with its stakeholders that will allow it to accomplish even more going forward.  In partnership with the Town and other private interests, we expect to play a role in the revitalization of the iconic Ashland Theater in the near future.

Board Chair Statement
Ashland is a place of considerable charm and character, with a vibrant arts community of fine artists, craft artisans, and performing artists.  Founded more than 150 years ago by the chairman of Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad, it celebrates its heritage of trains alongside its partnership with Randolph-Macon College, an institution of about the same age as the town. 
Recently, the town council approved an arts and cultural overlay district; Ashland Main Street Organization is working with arts organizations and businesses to help build this district to its full potential.
Areas of Service
Areas Served
The town of Ashland is located in zip code 23005, but our primary goal is to provide incentives for heritage and cultural tourists and visitors from the region to travel a short distance to Ashland for historical and cultural activities. Main Street is working with the Hanover Tourism group to market our town and county.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Bill Gatewood
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term July 2016 to June 2017
Board of Directors
Board Members
Ms. Kathy Abbott Town Council Liaison
Mr. Dan Bartges Community Volunteer
Mr. Bob Brown Retired Architect, Ashland Planning Commission
Mrs. Jen Chambers Community Volunteer
Mr. Paul Davies CFO, Randolph-Macon College
Ms. Lorie Foley Community Volunteer
Mr. Bill Gatewood Ashland Police, Retired
Ms. Sara Wright Holloway Community Volunteer
Mr. Austin Joy Community Volunteer
Rev. Darrell Leftwich Union Baptist Church, Ashland
Mr. Tim McDermott Community Volunteer
Mrs. Kelly Thomasson Mercer Public Relations, Senator Mark Warner
Ms. Jan Walker Community Volunteer
Ms. Suzanne Wolstenholme Downtown business owner
Mr. Jack Zemp Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 8
Board Meeting Attendance % 90
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 80
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Our committees are designed to align with the Virginia Main Street program - see below for explanation of standing committee descriptions listed above:
Communications/public relations (above) is the main priority of our Promotion Committee;
Strategic planning (above) is the main priority of our Organization Committee; Community outreach/relations is the main priority of our Economic Development committee; Operations (above) is the closest description of the main priority of our Design Committee as it relates to coordination of signage, lighting, and landscaping of the downtown area.
Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. Tom Wulf

Tom Wulf served as Ashland Main Street Association's board president for 17 months prior to being hired as its first executive director.  He has been a resident of Ashland for over 17 years, and served in executive-level positions with two Fortune 500 companies for 25 years prior to opening a video production company in Ashland.  He currently serves on the board of Market Ashland Partnership and as vice-chair of Pamunkey Regional Library Board of Trustees.  He has previously served on the Ashland Economic Development Authority and the Town's Parks and Recreation Committee. He has served as facilitator of Main Street's recent community roundtables, bringing various stakeholders of Ashland (businesses, residents, artists, and organizations) to discuss how to maximize Ashland's tourism and economic development appeal.   He and the Town's Economic Development Coordinator, Alexis Thompson, were the primary authors of the 2013 Virginia Main Street Designation Application. 

Experience N/A
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 125
Contractors 0
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Main Street collaborates with Randolph-Macon College, Hanover Association of Businesses, Market Ashland Partnership, Ashland Museum, Hanover Arts & Activities Center, Friends of Ashland Library, Ashland Street Parties, and other local organizations.
External Assessments and Accreditations
National Main Street Center (National Trust for Historic Preservation) - Accreditation2015
Description Main Street also encourages downtown businesses to enhance their curb appeal by recognizing significant cosmetic improvements with the “You’ve Been Noticed!” campaign.
Population Served Families
Budget $500.00
Short Term Success The program selects a recipient quarterly; to date, we have found a new or established business every quarter that is deserving of recognition for improving its property.
Long Term Success Success is defined by the number of businesses in town that are inspired to improve their physical location by the associated publicity that the program brings. 
Description Main Street’s “Adopt-A-Spot” program allows civic groups and community organizations to sponsor beautification projects that also enhance the downtown business district.
Population Served Families
Budget $100.00
Short Term Success 60% of the available spots have been adopted by organizations or individuals.
Long Term Success Downtown Ashland will be a visually appealing center of commerce and social activity; the volunteer aspect of this beautification effort reduces the cost to the town itself as well as to business owners.
Description Ashland was founded in the 1840s as resort community by the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad.  Ashland Train Day celebrates our unique history as a Virginia railroad town.   Each year, the event brings 5,000+ visitors and train enthusiasts to our downtown district.  Held the first Saturday in November, the event features model railroads through the downtown, family activities, food, arts & crafts and special sales from local businesses.
Population Served Families
Budget $10,000.00
Short Term Success The event brings families and new visitors from all over the region to an event that doesn't happen anywhere else in our area.  Attendance has increased year over year since the first event.
Long Term Success Increase tourism traffic and visitor spending in Ashland, as well as enhanced public awareness of Ashland's unique characteristics.
Description The annual Chalk Walk event brings children and adults together to "paint the town" sidewalks with vibrant colors of chalk.  This sold out event showcases the artistic talent in our community.
Budget $5,000.00
Short Term Success Public relations opportunity for the town to promote its arts-friendly, family-friendly, cooperative community.
Long Term Success Strengthen and promote the arts & cultural overlay district of the town while providing an opportunity for child and adult artists to work together for a single purpose.
CEO/ED/Board Comments

 Challenge:  Fundraising/Revenue-generating plan for Ashland Train Day.  As the largest event hosted by Main Street, Train Day has enormous potential as a fundraising event.  As 2012's Train Day was our first year hosting the event, we were more concerned about safety and logistics than fundraising.  This year, in order to reach the next level of effectiveness, Main Street needs to generate significant revenue through the event. 

How it’s being addressed: The ad-hoc Train Day Committee, with participants from all standing committees, is in the process of developing a clear fundraising strategy and identifying its key revenue sources.  We expect to utilize business and individual sponsorships, vendor fees, merchandise sales, and possibly food/beverage sales to generate income for the organization.

Challenge: Marketing. Ashland hosts numerous attractions and events that are not well-promoted in the region or state.  We have extensive data from two separate graduate‐level studies by the VCU Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program, and another VCU BrandCenter study conducted on behalf of the Hanover Tourism Supporters. All three studies note that Ashland has much to offer visitors, but needs to improve its marketing materials to better promote its assets and small‐town charm. We have also been actively researching promotional materials at the state visitors centers and other VMS communities, and have found that Ashland’s current promotional tools can be greatly enhanced.

How it’s being addressed: As noted previously, we believe Ashland can become a “destination location,” and a regional tourism draw for visitors traveling the I‐95 corridor. We plan to re-design the Ashland-Hanover Visitor’s Guide and enhance our web site with up-to-date information about our downtown. We are working with the Town of Ashland, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Main Street Program, and Richmond Region Tourism on development and distribution logistics for the new marketing brochure. We hope to utilize current regional and state tourism web sites to provide links to the Main Street site, for which we plan to enable interactive maps that provide details about our Arts and Culture District.

Future marketing projects include improvements to our way-finding signage, and a broader advertising reach through a variety of media.


Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $69,800.00
Projected Expenses $69,800.00
Spending Policy N/A
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$23,585$23,000$22,750
Individual Contributions$6,150$2,250$3,350
Investment Income, Net of Losses------
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$23,055$17,421$9,492
Administration Expense$29,207$26,852$13,042
Fundraising Expense$10,145$1,801$1,592
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.180.991.71
Program Expense/Total Expenses37%38%39%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue17%4%4%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$48,487$37,303$37,849
Current Assets$48,487$37,303$37,849
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$0----
Total Net Assets$48,487$37,303$37,849
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 11/2016View
Organization Comments Main Street has not had an auditor look at its books.  Our financial information is held in the QuickBooks nonprofit version.  If our fundraising is successful, we will likely be required to complete a FED990 form for this fiscal year and we will obtain a financial review by a qualified accounting professional who can also assist us in the 990 filing.
Foundation Comments
  • Financial information provided from year-end reports prepared by the organization.
  • Organization does not conduct an audit at this time.
  • Revenue from "Individuals" includes support from membership dues, corporations and foundations.