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New director named for Main Street
MSMdirWEB
Katie Kemezis

Main Street McMinnville executive director Katie Kemezis is fresh on the scene, but not new to the area.
“I’m happy to be here,” said Kemezis. “This was an opportunity to take all the different facets of my education and experience and put it into one job. I look forward to working with volunteers to really contribute to the community and make something that McMinnvillians can be proud of. I also have a passion for historic preservation. Downtown McMinnville has some beautiful buildings. I’m going to enjoy learning the history behind each one.”
Kemezis has a master of science degree in architecture, history and theory from the University of Washington, a certificate of historic preservation, and was program manager at AIA Seattle, where she collaborated with architects on design issues and also organized events.
While not a McMinnville native, she does have a local connection as the granddaughter of Dr. Bethel Campbell “B.C.” Smoot.
“I have deep roots here,” said Kemezis. “We were living abroad when we moved to Tullahoma when I was about 4 years old. We moved there because my grandparents lived in McMinnville."
Continued Kemezis, "My grandfather was Dr. B.C. Smoot. We would visit here all the time. When I was in college, my mom and dad moved here into my grandparents’ house when they passed on. She lived here 10 to 12 years.”
After the passing of her mother in October 2016, the couple decided to relocate to McMinnville from Seattle and move into the family home.
“It didn’t feel right to me or my husband to come for a month, clean out the house and move on,” she said. “There are four generations of things that maybe aren’t meaningful to anyone else but they are meaningful to us. We made the decision to move down here and live in my grandparents’ house. I’ve spent a lot of time in McMinnvile and Warren County so I know a lot about the area, but I have so much more to learn. I think that’s one of the things my husband, Jeff, and I are excited about – getting to know McMinnville and make it our own.”
Main Street Live, the summer concert series held on Friday nights in June and July, is alive and well.
“We are finalizing the plans for this year’s Main Street Live,” said Kemezis. “Hopefully, we will have a lineup to announce very soon.”
For more information about Main Street McMinnville, called 506-5335 or visit www.mainstreetmcminnville.org.