May 25, 2018
Kevin Johnson Is ED at Jamaica Plain Centre/South Main Streets

December 22, 2016 — Jamaica Plain Centre/South Main Streets, a volunteer-driven nonprofit that seeks to guide the growth of the Centre and South Streets business district in the Jamaica Plan neighborhood of Boston, has named Kevin Johnson as its new executive director.

Johnson succeeds Andrew Zarro, who stepped down from the job at Jamaica Plain Centre/South Main Streets (CSMS) two years ago, according to a report in the Jamaica Plain Gazette.

Most recently, Johnson served as program manager for Teach Plus, a nonprofit that seeks to empower teachers on policy issues affecting urban students’ success. He also worked for The Community Builders Inc.’s place-based resident and community success program in Chicago and Cincinnati.

Johnson also served as director of community action for Madison Park Development Corporation in Boston.

Johnson earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Springfield College of Human Services and holds certificates in nonprofit management and leadership, community engagement, and trauma response and psychological first aid.

He was the recipient of the NeighborWorks America 2013 National Award for Excellence in Community Building and Organizing and the Massachusetts Association for Community Development Corporation's 2010 Rising Star Award, according to the Gazette.

Incorporated in 2002, CSMS has been working along the Centre and South Street corridors to promote and assist local businesses and enliven the streetscape for residents. In partnership with Boston Main Streets, a community-based, public-private partnership, it provides a conduit to city government and provides technical assistance to new businesses.

Created in 1995, Boston Main Streets is devoted to the continued revitalization of Boston's neighborhood commercial districts through design, technical, and financial support. Today, the nationally recognized program has 20 districts in Boston. The program is largely funded through federal Community Development Block Grant funds.

CSMS focuses its activities on promotion and events, design, economic restructure, and organizational development.

"We envision the Centre/South Business District to be a vibrant and funky, easily accessible, pedestrian friendly commercial district with a clean and attractive streetscape comprised of engaging public spaces and interesting storefronts filled with successful, mostly independent businesses," notes CSMS.

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