Old Town Cape, Inc. currently has a 15-member Board of Directors, and we believe it’s time you meet them! Get to know Dr. Steve Hoffman below.
Tell us a bit about yourself (job, family, hobbies, etc.)
I am Coordinator of the Historic Preservation program at Southeast Missouri State University, and a Professor of History in the Department of History and Anthropology. This is my twenty-fifth year teaching at the university, and for the most part, I really love my job. I enjoy working with students and helping prepare them for success in their future careers. I am married to Margaret Waterman, and we have one son, Russell, who lives in Chicago. My hobbies include reading Science Fiction and international travel. Although I’ve been to five of seven continents, there are still a lot of wonderful places I haven’t visited yet.
What is your current role on the OTC Board and how long you have served?
Currently I am an OTC board member and serve as Advisor to the Executive Committee. I’ve served on the board in one role or another since the beginning of the organization, and am the university’s official liaison with the organization.
Why did you choose to join the OTC Board?
I was part of the initial exploratory team evaluating whether to start a Main Street program in Cape Girardeau, and given my connection to historic preservation and the university, joining the initial board was a “no-brainer.” Why have I stayed engaged for twenty-plus years? I think we’ve seen many positive changes in the downtown over the years as a result of the organization’s efforts, and historic preservation has been an important part of the kind of place-based revitalization we’ve witnessed here in Cape Girardeau. Being a part of that is incredibly rewarding.
What special perspective/qualities do you believe you bring to the Board?
I think that my background has helped the organization stay focused on having historic preservation at the center of our revitalization efforts. Teaching historic preservation courses including courses that focus on downtown revitalization and place-making, allows me to keep up with the latest research and developments in both preservation and downtown revitalization. In addition, as a certified Main Street America Revitalization Professional active in the movement nationally, and as President of the Board of Directors of Missouri Main Street, I have a lot of specialized knowledge I can bring to the board.
What do you love most about Downtown Cape?
I love the unique blend of past, present, and future that I see when I’m downtown. The historic buildings we’ve retained from the past provide the setting for meeting our present needs. This puts people in a truly distinctive place while accessing the variety of goods, services, and experiences that are available in downtown today. And so many of our outstanding businesses have truly embraced the future, engaging customers online while at the same time providing high quality in-person experiential retail. In addition, I love the diversity of experiences I can have in a compact area, from watching the Mississippi River, to enjoying an ice cream or a craft beer, to fine dining, and everything in between… Cape has it all.
Where is your favorite place to go when you’re downtown?
The downtown as a whole is my favorite place, and the mix of options is so rich and varied I couldn’t pick just one. But if I had to pick just one… I’d say visiting the Cape Riverfront Market on a Saturday morning, listening to some music, drinking coffee from a local business, purchasing a variety of locally-sourced goods, and seeing the full range of the diversity that is our community. The market is a microcosm of the downtown at its best, and I just love to soak it in.
What’s your favorite Old Town Cape event?
I love all the OTC events, especially the auction and the Cape Riverfront Market, but the one that most restores my soul is Tunes at Twilight. Something about gathering with my neighbors and friends and enjoying some excellent music in an outstanding location downtown is both soothing and invigorating. It’s one of the events that helps make Downtown Cape be the great place it is to live, work, and play.