CITIZEN OF THE MONTH – SELECTED BY MAYOR STEPHEN R. LITTLE: Mayor Little selected the Citizen of the Month for June.
Mayor Little advised that it was his honor to introduce the Citizen of the Month for June, Freddie Killough. Mayor Little reported that Mrs. Killough has served as the Executive Director of the Marion Business Association since 1990 and does so much for the entire community.
Mayor Little said that Mrs. Killough graduated from McDowell High School in 1976 and married Woody in 1977. Mr. and Mrs. Killough opened Killough’s Music and Pawn in 1988 and have operated this anchor business on Main Street ever since.
Mayor Little advised that Mrs. Killough is a major reason that Marion was selected as 2018 North Carolina Small Town of the Year by the North Carolina Rural Center. He reported that Mrs. Killough has also been instrumental in creating the great collaboration in Marion and McDowell County among the City, County, Marion Business Association, McDowell Chamber of Commerce, McDowell Economic Development Association and other agencies that has led to economic growth and success in Marion.
Mayor Little stated that Mrs. Killough developed and coordinates the Growing Entrepreneurs Marion (GEM) Small Business Training and Grant Program, which has graduated 82 people representing 55 businesses over the past three years and leveraged $2.8 million in private investment, over $2 million of which is in Downtown Marion, from a local investment of $45,000. Mayor Little said that the GEM Program has created seven downtown businesses so far, with additional businesses scheduled to open later this year, and 45 jobs to date. Mayor Little advised that the GEM Program was recently named as the best incentive Economic Development Incentive in North Carolina by the North Carolina Main Street Program.
Mrs. Killough also serves as the City’s economic development point of contact and coordinates numerous events for the City, along with providing technical assistance and guidance to the many privately run events that take place in the Downtown area each year.
Mayor Little reported that Mrs. Killough is an active member of the Mt. Hebron Wesleyan Church, where she teaches and serves in various leadership capacities. Mrs. Killough is also Co-Chairperson of the WNC Rail Committee, an organization working hard to bring passenger rail service back to Western North Carolina.
Mayor Little, Council Members, City Manager Bob Boyette, City staff, Marion Business Association Board Members and friends all shared kind words about Mrs. Freddie Killough and congratulated her on being selected as Citizen of the Month.