Carris Rhodes stepped down as the Executive Director of Leucadia 101 Main Street in June after her four-year tenure. Rhodes brought over ten years of Main Street experience to the organization maintaining a consistent focus on the mission and vision to revitalize and preserve the community of Leucadia with her creative and dynamic leadership.
A native of Encinitas, she held a strong vision for the community that included environmental improvements, bolstering local agriculture and advocating for small business. Owner of Surfhouse Adventures, Nikki Harth commented, “Working with Carris has been and absolute pleasure. She was such a valuable resource for small local business and was always working with The City of Encinitas to help Leucadia businesses thrive. She saw success of our local economy as a community-wide effort.” Part of her talent was bringing people of all backgrounds and perspectives together. Rhodes reflects, “It was extremely rewarding to work for and with the community. One of the things that I will miss the most is working with all of the fantastic volunteers, businesses, and Board Members that make the Main Street program thrive!”
During her time with Leucadia 101, Rhodes raised visibility by building its volunteer base, increasing business membership and fostering important public and private partnerships across the county. Cardiff 101 Main Street Director and Former County Grant Administrator, Roberta Walker commented, “Carris Rhodes created rich and diverse programs and events that supported the creativity overflowing in Leucadia, she designed programs to stimulate the local economy highlighting the community’s unique identity. These accomplishments contributed to the County of San Diego’s confidence in supporting Leucadia 101 with grant funding that steadily increased year after year.” Each of Leucadia’s events now enjoy spectacular attendance and sponsor participation under Rhodes’ direction.
Her efforts were not limited to Leucadia as collaboration and information sharing between Encinitas sister Main Street organizations was always a top priority. Annika Walden, former Director of Cardiff 101 Main Street commented on the influence Rhodes had on the wider Highway 101 corridor, “Carris Rhodes was more then just a colleague of mine, she was a beacon of wisdom and inspiration during my term as Executive Director of Cardiff 101 Main Street. Carris was a dedicated public servant that always put community first. Her programming brought arts and culture to Leucadia’s downtown district, her work as a bike/walk advocate improved the safety of our roads and accessibility, and her commitment to the sustainability has encouraged the our whole community to become more aware and environmentally conscious.”
Rhodes hired Kellie Hinze as Assistant Director in 2013. Hinze was recently selected as the organization’s new Executive Director. Rhodes comments, “I am really excited to see Kellie take on the Executive Director position, we were a great team and I know she will do amazing things for the organization and the Highway 101 corridor.” Leucadia 101 Main Street is now accepting applications for a new Assistant Director.
Many will fondly remember seeing Rhodes about town on her bicycle carrying out all matters of business and hearing her passionately discuss the benefits of supporting friendlier walking and biking infrastructure in the City of Encinitas. Leucadia 101 Board Member and City of Encinitas Arts Commissioner Michael Schmitt said, “It’s been awesome watching Carris grow our organization. She has been a tenacious advocate for Leucadia’s Main Street corridor.” Rhodes has already returned to the organization as a volunteer for Summer Fun on the 101 and plans to stay active as a community advocate.
Rhodes’ contributions are significant and varied. “We will be thanking Carris for building the organization’s reputation and reach for a long time. She has an amazing vision for the greater good and rolled up her sleeves to work on carrying out that vision every day,” says Hinze. President of Leucadia 101 Main Street and owner of Coastal Animal Hospital, Brian Evans, echoes, “Carris was a force for our organization and the entire community of Leucadia. Her passion was palpable and will continue through on her next endeavors.” Rhodes will continue to reside in Leucadia and work in civic engagement.