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Malcolm Johnstone Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Pennsylvania Downtown Center

September 14, 2021


Pictured: Julie Fitzpatrick and Malcolm Johnstone


The Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) awarded Malcolm Johnstone with the Teri Foster Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual Townies Award Reception and Gala. The award was presented at the PDC's annual Revitalization Conference, held this year in downtown Reading, PA.


"Every so often, an individual comes along who views downtown revitalization efforts not merely as a job, but as a labor of love," said Julie Fitzpatrick, PDC Executive Director, who presented the award. "These rare individuals make a dramatic impact not only on an individual community, but on the entire field of downtown revitalization."


"Malcolm Johnstone now receives this award in recognition of his commitment to the Main Street philosophy and a deep understanding and appreciation of downtowns as the soul of community."


Since 1985, Malcolm has been involved with downtown and community revitalization on the local, regional, and national level. He received his certification in Main Street Management (CMSM) in 1990 from the Main Street Certification Institute, National Main Street Center, and National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington DC. He also completed Community Initiated Development Training at the National Main Street Center in 1993. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 1975.


Malcolm has been a frequent presenter and trainer for state and national institutions including the National Main Street Center and Pennsylvania Downtown Center. He is considered an authority on Destination Marketing, Heritage Tourism, Historic Preservation, and Main Street Organization.


Malcolm, along with many of the organizations he has worked for, has received a number of awards including Great American Main Street Award (for West Chester, PA) by the National Main Street Center in 2017 and the award winner in Partners for Preservation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation 2019 to help fund a capital improvement project with the Chester County History Center.


Malcolm is the author of the book 'For the Union: How Quaker abolition, a hanging, a slave riot, and a small newspaper in West Chester helped launch Abraham Lincoln’s quest for the presidency' – Chester County Community Foundation, 2020. He regularly writes articles for periodicals including County Lines Magazine, Main Line Today, WC Press, Fig Magazine, National Main Street Center, and Brandywine Traveler.


Malcolm is currently the Community Engagement Officer for Arts, Culture, and Historic Preservation at the Cultural Alliance of Chester County, an initiative of the Chester County Community Foundation. The Cultural Alliance and Community Foundation are located at The Lincoln Building, 28 West Market Street, West Chester PA 19382. CultureChesco.org


"This esteemed award honors one of the Commonwealth’s most ardent supporters of local communities – Teri Foster," said Julie.


"To be honored in this way is both exhilarating and humbling," said Malcolm as he accepted the award. "It's exhilarating because it comes from the peers of Main Street. But it's also humbling to know that it's in the name of a truly great early champion of Pennsylvania Main Street."


Pictured: Ray Ott, Tom Comitta, Malcolm Johnstone, Susan Johnstone, Paula Ott, Fred Gusz


Teri Foster was at the PA Department of Community Affairs for over 18 years where she advocated for community development and especially downtown revitalization through local government action. Her job was to educate local officials and community leaders through hands-on workshops and training sessions. Unfortunately, declining health took its toll and she died in 1996 at the age of 43.


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About the Pennsylvania Downtown Center

The Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) is the only statewide nonprofit dedicated solely to the revitalization of the commonwealth’s core communities. Its mission is to build and support the capacity of local non-profit organizations, municipalities and individuals to enhance the overall well-being and sustainability of Pennsylvania’s “core”

communities. PDC accomplishes this mission by engaging local community leaders and volunteers, and educating them, to advance the sense of place, quality of life and economic vitality of the Commonwealth’s downtowns, traditional neighborhood business districts and nearby residential areas.

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