Cartee leaving by year's end; Ashmont Main Streets civic in search for new director

Jenn Cartee. Photo © Mike Ritter / Ritterbin Photography/ ritterbin.com

After more than five years as the leader of Greater Ashmont Main Streets, Jenn Cartee will leave her role as executive director before the end of the year. In an announcement last week, she said the organization is seeking applicants for the position. 

Greater Ashmont Main Streets, part of the city’s Boston Main Streets program, connects local businesses, organizations, and residents; supports the community in advocating for resources; and hosts local events.

Cartee started with the Ashmont area organization in July 2015 with plans to stay for five years. But, she noted last week to the Reporter, she had said she would stay until 2021 since a national Main Streets Center conference was set to take place in Boston next April and “we were up for a Great American Main Street Award.” That event has now been postponed until 2023.  “Everything has shifted under us,” she said.

Cartee informed the board that she is willing to stay in the position until mid-December as needed until her successor is in place.

She has worked with the group’s board and executive committee to craft the job description. The team, she said, wants to “emphasize that there is such a wide variety of backgrounds that could prepare one really effectively to excel in this role.” 

The coronavirus emergency has impacted a significant amount of the organization’s fall and winter programming, Cartee said. “The reality is that a lot of our fall programming, once the farmers market ends on Oct. 30,  will not be occurring,” she said.  “We are doing twice as much or more of the business support work that we historically do but we didn’t have the Bike & Brew festival, we’re not doing the monthly jazz series, the trolley tour tree lighting – if it happens – won’t happen with a holiday pop up market from us. 

“So, it’s a relatively quiet time of the year, and it seemed like it would be a lost opportunity not to get the next person in during this window so that they would have time to get their legs under them and relay the main streets model before leaping into the post-pandemic recovery, which we hope will be the spring’s work.” 

Since the pandemic hit Cartee said that the organization has been “very committed to the food access that the farmer’s market provides, but as that comes to a close, it’s the right moment for this transition for both the organization and myself,” she said. 

“I’m excited that it seems to be arranged in such a way that we’ll have a robust overlap period,” she added. “We’re hoping that if the timeline works out, we’ll have four to six weeks of me on part time while the new person is learning the ropes.”

To read more about the organization or apply for the executive director position visit, greaterashmont.org/jobopening/.