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Feeling welcome

Haun joins city, EDC staff to help businesses thrive

By Abigail Allen

Managing Editor

There’s a new face in City Hall, and she’s hoping to help the city grow.

Wendy Haun has taken on the role of Main Street director role and assistant to Pilot Point Economic Development Director Denise Morris.

“I really love being able to support local businesses, and that’s such a crucial part of Main Street, is being able to support the local businesses and to give them any sort of help that we can give them, but also being the person who’s going to be out there spreading the gospel of Pilot Point and trying to get new businesses to move in here and see, we’ve already got something going and they can come and be part of that,” Haun said.

She thinks the pairing “makes perfect sense,” she said, and she’s excited to be able to help people getting started here connect with other, existing Pilot Point businesses for services and items they need, such as signage.

“The whole starting a new business, moving to somewhere new, can be so terrifying,” Haun said. “We’re here in any way that we can to help your business become a success.”

Because of the structure of her position, half of Haun’s salary comes from the city as Main Street director and the other half is funded through the Pilot Point EDC.

Haun, who lives in Sanger, previously worked with Discover Denton, where she got to help promote that city and two of its big events, the Arts and Jazz Festival and the North Texas Fair and Rodeo.

While she was there, she said, they referred to the Denton square as “the living room of Denton.”

“I can definitely see the Pilot Point Square ending up like this, where it’s just a gathering place,” Haun said.

She’s also been working on putting down roots in the area and working here feels like she’s connecting to her original ones.

“I grew up in a rural community, and I just love being able to give back and do a little more,” she said. “And Pilot Point is just so intriguing right now with the direction that everything is going in.”

Of Acting City Secretary Lenette Cox, her predecessor on the Main Street side, Haun said she’s been “instrumental in helping [her] with Christmas on the Square and making sure that event is a rousing success this year.”

“We’re going to do whatever we can to make her a success for Pilot Point,” Cox said. “She is a great asset to the staff.”

Haun said Morris “is going to be instrumental as [Haun learns] everything there is to know about all of the great places to build here in Pilot Point.”

“It’s been great that Lenette and I had the opportunity to put our heads together and really figure out where the overlap was and a city manager who was supportive of figuring out that, and where we all have needs that were not being met and what we really needed in this person, and what a homerun to get her,” Morris said.

The city’s staff, business community and residents have been welcoming, she added.

“So far, the entirety of City Hall and all of the people that I’ve met here have been just so welcoming,” Haun said. “… It’s not going to be long before I’m going to feel completely at home here.”

She’s focused on building relationships and understanding the needs she can help meet, Haun said.

“What I’m really interested in doing is just going out and slowly kind of meeting people, going to little meetings with business owners and finding out what they’re doing and where struggles are and how I can continue to support them,” Haun said.

And she’s not just depending on the recommendations and direction of others as she gets to know the city.

“A big part of marketing any sort of destination or city is trying all of the food,” Haun said. “So, so far, I’ve hit almost every place that’s within walking distance of here just to give it a shot, and oh, my gosh, everything has been delicious so far. How can I market the burger at Powerhouse Burger if I have not eaten it?”

Haun wants people to feel comfortable contacting her if they need help.

“I encourage them, reach out to me if I haven’t reached out to you, because I’m here,” she said. “I used to be a journalist, so I am totally comfortable with walking up, starting a conversation and finding some common ground.”

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