This month’s installment of Meet the LMS Board features our treasurer, Michael Cerra. Michael moved to Lawrenceville nearly 20 years ago, first to an apartment on the southern end of town before moving to the Village in 2006.
Michael remembers hearing stories about vacant buildings along Main Street and knows it is thanks to the hard work of a few people who envisioned the potential of Main Street that made it what it is today. “I didn’t live here at the time, but Main Street turned all that around. We need to be forward looking - (thinking about) why businesses want to stay and new ones want to come into the community in the next five to ten years.”
Michael joined the board with a strong professional background in Main Streets as the Deputy Director of the State League of Municipalities. A friend and board member felt he would be a natural asset to the LMS board. “I work in a professional capacity with other Main Streets in the state. I saw the great potential in our downtown and thought I could bring some ideas from throughout the state,” explains Michael. In his professional role, he works on government relations, legal regulations, economic development, community development, and environmental decisions - many of the same issues we face in our town.
Michael loves Lawrenceville primarily because of the community. “People are neighborly. We have life-long residents coupled with people from around the world who moved here because of work - pharmaceuticals, university, The Lawrenceville School, for example. It is a fascinating community to be a part of.”
He also loves the walkability of our Main Street with restaurants, shops, and a barber shop. For him and his family, including his 6¾ year old daughter, this extends to the recreation areas within walking distance of Main Street, such as the playgrounds, Village Park, and trails.
As a board member, Michael strives to “provide the tools and vision to help existing businesses prosper and to encourage more diverse businesses come into the community. If we can lay down the groundwork and work with business partners and the community that is our core function to tie them all together.”
In addition to serving as the treasurer, Michael is a former vice president and member of the economic development committee. He is currently on the events committee and is busy getting ready for Scarecrow in the Village this Saturday.