[My name is]
[This is what I do]
I am the Executive Director of The Heritage Guild of Collin County. The Heritage Guild of Collin County is a 501c3 non-profit corporation. Our mission is to Celebrate Community, Preserve History and Inspire the Future. We achieve these goals through facilities, artifacts, grounds, programs and events that represent McKinney and Collin County’s heritage. My role is to oversee the maintenance and improvement of the 2.5 acres and 10 buildings that make up Chestnut Square Historic Village. I am also responsible for hiring and leading the staff in developing programming and events that deliver value to the community. I also oversee and lead the staff in delivering 80+ weddings annually and 50+ Farmers Markets at both Chestnut Square and Adriatica and a half-dozen annual events.
[Chestnut Square is]
a historic village just two blocks south of the historic downtown square. Over the past decade we have set goals for Chestnut Square to become a key venue in McKinney and to support the growth of downtown McKinney. In 2013 we were recognized by the McKinney Courier Gazette as the Best Community Supporting Business! In 2013 we were also recognized as the best Farmers Market in Texas in a contest sponsored by American Farmland Trust.
[You won’t believe it but]
before becoming the Executive Director at The Heritage Guild of Collin County I was Chief People Officer for Fujitsu Network Systems and before that Director of Worldwide Collaboration at Texas Instruments. Except for spending a lot less time on airplanes my job hasn’t changed that much….it’s all about getting people to work together (with a little technology thrown in!)
[I have been in McKinney for]
[I love Downtown McKinney because]
of the great sense of community it imparts to McKinney. I think McKinney’s Historic District and Historic Downtown Square make it unique and give people a reason to come together to celebrate. Plus the great food and great shopping don’t hurt….
[The Dulaney House is]
the lady of Chestnut Square.
The 1916 Prairie style home is a wonderful example of an upper middle class home in McKinney in the early 20th century.
The ladies of the Heritage Guild of Collin County put their hearts and souls into renovating that house and saving other historic properties to make Chestnut Square something that future generations could enjoy. I’ve attached a picture of the Dulaney House when the ladies acquired it (by two of them mortgaging their own properties to buy it) and a picture of it today. The Bed and Breakfast project is allowing us to do for the inside the same level of renovations that have been done on the outside.
When we open the bed and breakfast, people from all over will get to enjoy the beauty of the home.
[My favorite spot on the square is]
sitting outside at Rick’s or Landon’s (I know, that’s two spots…)
[My favorite memory of an event in Downtown McKinney is] …the first Legends of McKinney Ghost Walk. We held our first one in 2009 and we were blown away by the excitement from everyone. It was a cool, spooky October night and the storytellers were all dressed in great period costumes and there were crowds of people moving around the square hearing the stories about McKinney’s history. We hoped it would be a great event and it has turned into one. People love the spooky haunted spots and we love to share the history with them! We call it a “pub crawl with ghosts” because everyone takes their time, enjoys the storytelling and stops in at the favorite haunts (pun intended) to get some good food and drink with the off chance of seeing a spirit or two!
[I love to hang out on the square because] it’s a cool thing to do. I always see people I know but I also see lots of really neat people who are visiting and just loving the ambiance.
[I wish the square was]…bigger!!
[Come by Chestnut Square]
on a Saturday morning to shop the old-fashioned way at the Farmers Market! When we say “shop the old-fashioned way” we mean hang-out, share the news, enjoy a bottomless cup of coffee, eat some breakfast while you’re visiting with friends, enjoy the entertainment, get your face painted and ride a pony (the ponies have a weight limit, but everything else is for all ages!). Oh…and pick up some of the freshest local produce, meat, eggs, honey, olive oil, tamales, baked goods and more! Be sure to say hi to Collin and McKinney, our dwarf Nigerian goats and watch the blacksmith demonstrate his trade. And you can’t leave without visiting Dixie’s Store and saying hi to Chester the Cat.
If you can’t make it to Farmers Market be sure to come to the 19th Annual Killis Melton Ice Cream Crank-off on June 14. It’s a sticky, yummy, fun for all event! Heck, enter the cranking contest and share your favorite old-fashioned ice cream recipe!