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Addie Corder is the new executive director of DAI (Dountown Asheboro Inc.). (Photo: Ray Criscoe / Randolph Hub)

DAI’s new executive director returns home to her Randolph County roots

By Janet Imrick

ASHEBORO — Addie Corder is familiarizing herself with business owners, property owners and a list of projects to oversee as the new executive director of Downtown Asheboro Inc.

There’s the Acme-McCrary Hosiery Mill restoration project, the expanded Zoo City social district, and the second seasons for two concert series beginning in in a couple of months.

Corder fills the position previously held by Rebekah McGee, who became president and CEO of Forward High Point in 2022.

DAI focuses on four pillars within downtown Asheboro — design and preservation, promotions, economic vitality, and organization.

“I work with a lot of different people,” Corder said. “I have a board of directors who directly supervises me. I also work closely with the city. I work closely with property owners, merchants, business owners downtown, and just any general stakeholder downtown.”

Corder grew up in the Grays Chapel area and went to Providence Grove High School. She took guitar lessons in downtown Asheboro and had her hair styled for prom at Studio 120.

“I’m very, very happy to be home,” she said.

She graduated from Western Carolina University with a master of public affairs and became a land-use planner with Cumberland County’s Planning Department.

“I loved long-range planning because I loved working with the community and doing more of the visionary stuff,” she said. “Long-range planning is where you get to think outside the box and come up with what you want your community to look like in 20 years. What resources do we need? What’s going well? What’s not going so well?

“We have more businesses downtown from ever before. And we have a great diversity of different businesses, restaurants, things for people to do.”

Corder said she’ll take a “boots-on-the-ground” approach to getting to know the people of downtown, getting her meals from restaurants and buying locally, striking up conversations when she can.

Her routine tasks include business recruitment and helping property owners with historic revitalization. The restoration of the old Acme Mill on the corner of Salisbury and North Streets is one of the biggest projects on DAI’s radar.

“What we’re doing with the mill is very true to not only Asheboro, but our Randolph County history,” she said. “Textiles are just a huge part of our history in this county. The part of the county that I live in, to get anywhere, I pass three or four mills.”

DAI also announced the lineup of performers for Rock’n the Park on Friday nights and the Summer Concerts on Sundays.

Tribute bands for the Beatles, the Eagles, Stevie Wonder, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will mainline the four Friday night events spread throughout the summer. She’s still finalizing opening acts for each.

“Last year, they had an average of 3,000 people per concert,” Corder said. “And not all of those people were from Asheboro. So, we’re bringing in a lot of people and seeing that direct effect on sales.”

She encourages anyone who wants to meet to discuss downtown matters to call or email and set up an appointment. DAI’s offices are in the Chamber of Commerce at 137 South Fayetteville Street.

Friday Rock’n The Park Series

6-10 p.m., including an opening act before each tribute band

May 26 — 1964: Beatles Tribute Band
July 14 — The Breakers: Tom Petty Tribute Band
August 11 — On the Border: Eagles Tribute Band
September 29  — Natural Wonder — Stevie Wonder Tribute Band

Sunday Concerts in the Park series

7-8:30 p.m. except for the Labor Day concert which runs 6-8:30 p.m,

May 21 — The Castaways
June 4 — The Sand Band
June 18 — Holiday Band
July 9 — Blackwater Band
July 23 — Mason Lovette Band
August 6 — ACE Party Band
August 20 — Too Much Sylvia
September 4 (Labor Day Monday) — North Tower