Meet Farmville Downtown Partnership: Ilsa Loeser

How did you find your way to Farmville?

I was born and raised in Farmville. Well, actually, I was born in Lynchburg and, technically, grew up in Rice. But, Farmville was always ‘town’. Every Saturday morning, my sister and I would scoot into the cab of my dad’s pickup and ride into town to run errands. The glass tiles and quarter candy machine at Newman Tire Company. Lollipops from the tellers at Central Fidelity. The bright red corn kernels I could run my hand through at the Farmer’s Cooperative. These all meant home and family and connection to me.

Sure, I took a few years to gain some life experience. I enjoyed my time in Washington DC and SoCal, but have found everything I need here. Finishing my degree at Longwood and choosing to stay in the community to be a reporter for The Herald is one of the best decisions I ever made.

Who asked you to become a part of Farmville Downtown Partnership? Why did you say “yes”?

Mary Jo Stockton asked me to join her on the communications team. I was thrilled. She wanted to help tell downtown’s story by featuring store owners and events. It was an honor to be asked then and it’s still an honor to be involved.

I believe the apple rots from the core. Our downtown is the heart and soul of our community. Its vitality, creativity and authenticity are what set Farmville apart from some of our neighboring communities. I am honored to be a part of a community that values both its past and its future.

If you could be any object located in the Main Street District, what would you be and why?

I would be the Appomattox River. It is always moving, yet dependable. It ebbs and flows and sometimes nearly dries up, but always comes back. It has carried a bateau loaded with tobacco and a kayak weighed down by fishing gear. It has flooded its banks. It’s been serenaded with the sounds of a band and the padding of dancing children’s feet on the dewy grass. It’s the reason our downtown is where it is and has the resources it has. It is also one feature I’d like to see us celebrate and enjoy more.

It’s 2038. What does Farmville Downtown have that blows everyone’s mind?

An internationally acclaimed non-traditional relay race.  A race down High Bridge Trail pushing Third Street Brewery kegs, followed by a weightlifting and agility contest involving Green Front Furniture sofas, closing up with an up-river paddle on Appomattox River Company canoes. It will draw tens of thousands and couples (participants) will train all year long to compete.

What is downtown’s best kept secret?

The views from upstairs. From my office above Davenport and Company, I can see across the street to the courthouse and town hall. (Yelling out to familiar faces from time to time.) I can see down toward the river and up toward Crute stage. It’s fantastic. You’re welcome to stop by and enjoy if you can catch me in.

If not, check out the view from the third floor of Green Front Building 10 (the old Terry Craddock Shoe Factory) or Building 9, right across the street. You can see straight down Main Street and up to Longwood’s Campus and French.

The view from The Weyanoke’s new rooftop bar (Catbird) is also absolutely fantastic. I can’t wait to be up there to watch a sunset, drink in hand, to toast our amazing community.

Meet Farmville Downtown Partnership: a team of citizens dedicated to the growth of our Main Street District. Each month get to  know one of the people “behind the scenes” in this Q&A series. You’ll find unfiltered answers from local folks who are working hard to help Farmville Downtown flourish.