Auburn Main Street Logo

About Auburn Main Street

Auburn Main Street is a group of local people with a common interest in stemming the decline of downtown Auburn and ensuring that the City that we all love and depend on for our livelihood, recreation, and community spirit develops into a sustainable and thriving place to live, work and grow. Auburn Main Street is comprised of people like you-business and property owners, residents, civic minded individuals, and downtown users.

“I would like to thank Auburn Main Street for the grant that helped us paint our building.  With their matching funds we were able to paint the entire outside of the building as well as all of the small detail pieces.  I truly appreciate their devotion to revitalizing Downtown Auburn and helping the small business’ that operate here.” - Scott Pettis, Big Red Sports

In late 2009, a group of concerned citizens met with City of Auburn officials to discuss the need for a coordinated approach to reverse the physical decline of the downtown business district which was threatened by the excessive and increasing number of vacant storefronts as business moved out of the downtown. The historic character of the area was being eroded as more buildings fell into disrepair. It was felt that, in particular, there was a need for a single body to take responsibility for downtown initiatives and “Main Street” type programs.

Thus, the Auburn Development Advisory Committee was formed to begin the work of reversing the decline by undertaking activities that are focused on preserving Auburn as a healthy and economically vital center of commerce and social activity by promoting the preservation, rehabilitation and reuse of commercial, civic, residential and other buildings in the City.

This committee of volunteers grew into the core of what would ultimately be incorporated, in 2011, as Auburn Main Street, Inc. 

In 2013, the IRS determined that Auburn Main Street INC is a public charity, exempt from income tax under section 501 (c)(3) of the tax code.

MSALOGO 21 AFFILIATEAs a Main Street America Affiliate™, Auburn Main Street is part of a national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities who share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.

  

Auburn Community Exchange

Our Mission Statement

Auburn Main Street's mission is to collaborate with our community to promote, advance, and preserve a vibrant historic downtown- rich in Art and Culture and inviting for all.

Our Vision

To build a vibrant community through Connections.

ADAC Board Members

Ann Finchum - Executive Director

Ann Finchum - Executive Director

Ann is a native of Auburn. She graduated from Ball State University majoring in both Finance and Insurance. She has worked in the financial industry for over 29 years. She has always found a way to give back to Auburn with her passion for volunteerism. Ann has been a Auburn Classic Noon Lions Club member for 20 years. She has served on numerous boards throughout DeKalb County: Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival, Kiwanis, DeKalb County Purdue Extension Office, Purdue Council for Agricultural Research/Extension/Teaching (PCARET), Serenity House, and several others. She has been an officer on all of the boards she has served on.

During her time in AMS she assisted in AMS becoming a designated Indiana Main Street, updating the Downtown Revitalization Plan, Main Street Revitalization Grant (Sixth/Main project), and was recognized in 2015 as Indiana Main Street Volunteer of the Year. After her board term and presidency of AMS Ann has continued to serve AMS as chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.
Zach Lightner - President

Zach Lightner - President

Zach is a Fort Wayne native who resides in Auburn with his wife Kristin, their three children, and golden retriever George. Zach graduated from Purdue University with a Business Management Degree and earned his law degree from the IU McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. Zach is an attorney at Lightner Law Firm in downtown Auburn. Zach is also a member of the Lions Club, YMCA of DeKalb County, United Way of DeKalb County, DeKalb Republican Central Committee, Indiana State Bar Board of Governors, and Indiana State Bar House of Delegates. Zach is passionate about giving back to his community and spending time with his family.
Amy Schweitzer- Secretary

Amy Schweitzer- Secretary

Amy is presently the Planning Director for the City of Auburn. She has degrees from Ball State University in Urban Planning and Development and Economics and is recognized as a certified planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Amy has lived her entire adult life in the City of Auburn and is passionate about many aspects of the community, including the health of downtown. She and her husband Chris have two children, Isaac and Annie, along with a very active labradoodle.
Eldon Byler - Past President

Eldon Byler - Past President

Born and raised in DeKalb County, I have been a part of the local construction industry my entire life growing up pouring concrete for my father’s construction company. In 2009 I graduated from IPFW with a degree in Architectural Engineering. Since 2008 I have worked in the Commercial Construction industry as an Estimator, Sales, & Project Manager for projects all over the state of Indiana. I have designed, bid, and built projects ranging from $1,000.00 to $10,000,000.00 in size. I currently am the Chief Operations Officer for Three Rivers Barricade a division of Victory Trucking & Supply, Inc., and also am part owner of Auburn’s first winery, Byler Lane Winery. Being an Auburn resident and business owner, it’s very exciting to see the growth and change Auburn is making to keep our town one of the best in the state!
Nora Schwartz

Nora Schwartz

Nora Schwartz is the Area Development Manager for Junior Achievement covering Dekalb Central/ Eastern County, Garrett, LaGrange and Steuben Counties. She received a BS degree from Purdue University in Communications in 2005 and Masters in Education from Weber Stated University, Utah in 2012. Nora is also a veteran of the Air Force National Guard serving a six year term from 2000-2006 in the services unit. During this time she received accommodation medals and service awards for outstanding work in the field. She has spent her career in corporate promotions and training before becoming a teacher working in both Utah and Dekalb County.

Nora has been working with non-profit organizations for many years and wrote her graduate thesis for The Children of Ethiopia Education Fund in Utah. She spent 2 weeks in Ethiopia observing the private school sector that work with the organization to help identify needs the non-profit could use to improve the education system in Ethiopia. She is currently the vice president for the Auburn chapter of Tri Kappa and volunteers for the PTO at JR Watson and a classroom volunteer at her children’s schools. Nora resides in Auburn with her husband Tim, daughter Avery, and son Elliot.

Nora believes that if everyone does a little, no one has to do a lot. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and singing thru life. You will often find her helping out neighbors in her community or running a 5k for charity.

Natalie DeWitt

Natalie DeWitt

Natalie DeWitt was born and raised in Auburn. She is Partner at Auburn Taylor Rental, serves as Councilwoman for District 1 in Auburn, and volunteers her time with many organizations across the county. Growing up, she helped her grandmother in a small children’s store on Main Street. Her grandmother’s passion and pride is a family trait she is blessed to have. She volunteers because she is proud of her community and wants to make it a better place for generations to come. People come and go, but a community is the heart and soul of who we truly are.
Mike Littlejohn

Mike Littlejohn - DABA Liaison

Mike Littlejohn has been in the jewelry business for 38 years and owns Carbaugh Jewelers in downtown Auburn. Mike is the President of the Downtown Auburn Business Association (DABA) and has served in that role for the past 17 years. Mike feels it is his duty to constantly strive to make this community the best it can be. His love of Downtown Auburn has always been his calling card first and foremost and anyone who knows him will tell you that. Having grown up just four blocks from Downtown Auburn has given him the prospective to have seen many changes over the years, but also see the current changes and excitement as the necessary path to travel toward the future. Mike is excited to be part of the current Main Street board, and hopes the community is enjoying the transformation that is making Auburn the best that it can be.

Amber Caccamo - DeKalb Visitors Bureau Liaison

Amber Caccamo - DeKalb Visitors Bureau Liaison

Amber Caccamo is newer to the Auburn community by way of past executive director of the ACD Festival from 2017-2019. She currently is director of the DeKalb County Visitors Bureau and oversees all tourism in the County. Along with serving on the Auburn Main Street Board, she also sits on the ACD Festival Board as well as the ACD Museum Board.
LaDonna Felke - Treasure

LaDonna Felke - Treasure

A life long DeKalb County resident, LaDonna Felke is currently the owner of LaBella Flora Children's Boutique. LaDonna and her husband Steve, also use their time renovating homes in Auburn area. She loves spending time with her three adult children and grandchildren. She enjoys all Auburn has to offer with a strong desire to make it a better place to live and work.
Lucas Straw

Lucas Straw

Lucas Straw works at Team Quality Services in Auburn, where he resides with his fiancé, Cameron and their cat, Maverick. Lucas graduated from Ball State University with a double major in Finance and Economics with a concentration in Financial Analysis. Lucas is on the boards for Junior Achievement of DeKalb County as well as Downtown Auburn Business Association (DABA). Living just two blocks away from downtown, Lucas is passionate about growing and providing a promising future for Auburn and the community.
Jama D.L. Smith

Jama D.L. Smith

Jama is the owner of Littlejohn Auctions, Inc. She was born and raised in Auburn, Indiana. She’s married to Thom Smith, a local attorney, and is the mother of three college students. Jama also serves as the Secretary for the Excelsior Arts Academy Board of Directors and is a Downtown Auburn Business Association Volunteer.
Tyler Wolfe

Tyler Wolfe

I have grown up in DeKalb County and seen many changes take place. Being in the commercial construction industry for over 15 years, it is exciting to see what’s in store for Auburn. After graduating from Manchester University, I came back to work in Auburn and have been involved in many projects in and around the community. I currently work at FCI Construction as an estimator and appreciate seeing the effort taking place to both preserve Auburn’s history and promote growth with new businesses and a fresh look downtown. Both of my parents taught in area school systems and I have a strong commitment to seeing our community grow and succeed. My wife Kileigh and I have (4) kids that are all enrolled in the Dekalb Central School System and we look forward to all the opportunities ahead as Auburn continues to grow.
Brandon Anderson

Brandon Anderson

Brandon is the Executive Director & CEO of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, coming to the museum and Auburn in 2018. He grew up in South Bend, Indiana and has made Auburn his adopted home and loves being a part of the community and its future.

Anderson received his B.F.A. in Historic Preservation & Architectural History from the Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia. He earned his Master’s Degree in Museum Studies from the University of Oklahoma. His professional resume includes working at The History Museum in South Bend, Indiana; Tryon Palace Historic Sites & Gardens in New Bern, North Carolina; The Thomas Edison & Henry Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida; and the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia.

Brandon is an avid museum and historic preservation supporter, serving as a peer reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), serving on the Board of the Historic Houses & Sites Network of AAM, peer reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute of Museum & Library Services. He also serves on the Board of the National Association of Automobile Museums and works with the community by being on the Boards of the DeKalb County Visitors Bureau and the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival, and now Auburn Main Street!

Jessica Griffith

Jessica Griffith

Jessica Griffith lives in Auburn and is part of the team at DeKalb Chamber Partnership. She is studying Organizational Leadership at Trine University, is a member of the PTO at McKenney Harrison Elementary, and is in the 2021 Cohort for LEADS DeKalb. Jessica has been married to her husband Adam for eight years and they have three children, Grayson, Jax, and Mollie, and one cat, Bianca. She has lived in Auburn for nearly three years and is dedicated to giving back to the community that has been so welcoming to her.