GENESEO – Graduating SUNY Geneseo senior Lauren Hollasch, of Buffalo, did more during her internship with the Livingston County Development Corporation than provide indispensable help to Main Street businesses and initiatives and the Geneseo Merchants Association (GMA), she took critical steps as an ambassador between the campus and the Village to bring the two closer together.
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As presented to the Village board last Monday, Apr. 20, Hollasch, 21, through her many projects as intern Geneseo Main Street Manager and an active member of Sigma Delta Tau has successfully brought students to Main Street and helped forge meaningful relationships between students and the people and businesses of the Village.
“I don’t know if you know this, but all my friends call me the Mayor,” said Hollasch to Mayor Hatheway. “I’ll be running around campus with flyers for the next GMA Main Street event, and a friend will ask what I’m doing so as I run past them I say ‘Mayor stuff!’ This whole internship has really been an ambassador position.”
Hollasch and her supervisor and mentor, Downtown Coordinator Louise Wadsworth, said that since she signed on as intern in August 2012 there has been a drastic improvement in student interactions with Main Street, as well as drastically increased public support and participation in GMA’s events.
“In the last three years of my working with this internship there has really been a shift,” said Hollasch. “GMA’s events have really caught on. At first, there were like three people at our meetings for events. At our last meeting just this week for Autumnfest, there were at least 20. And GMA now has an official constitution as an organization.”
Wadsworth seconded this, adding that Livingston County Development appreciates all the work that Hollasch has done and looks forward to working with students who are just as capable and devoted as she is.
“We’ve been really fortunate to have the same intern year after year,” said Wadsworth. “It is rare to find an intern that really cares enough and is capable enough to do what she has done with us and for us.”
As a paid intern, Hollasch has worked closely with GMA, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Village of Geneseo to optimize and promote a long list of events and programs, including Autumnfest, Adopt-A-Business, and social media optimization programs with local storeowners, where students coach Main Street business owners on how to take the fullest advantage of social media and the internet.
Hollasch says after graduation in May she will set her bearings for Chicago to work for Nestle. She is currently training two other interns who will have big shoes to fill starting in Summer and Fall 2015.
PHOTO CAPTION: Top – The pumpkin race on Bank Street during 2014’s Autumnfest, which thanks to Hollasch had an incredible turnout of student volunteers, especially from the brothers of Alpha Chi Rho. (Photo/Conrad Baker) Bottom – Lauren Hollasch. (Photo/Facebook)