Investing in Our Own Backyard

If you know Sher Valenzuela, you know she likes to put her hands on a good thing and work to make it even better. This is evident in the halls of FSM and her own home town, Broadkill Beach, where she’s created free lending libraries, a community garden, and annual Christmas tree lightings.

That might also be why she was recruited to become a board member of Downtown Milford Incorporated (DMI) two years ago; a group that exists to bring life and vitality to the heart of its city. Here Sher participates in recruiting new businesses to fill existing space and developing the kinds of events that draw people from all ends of the state to Milford.

In 2017, DMI took on its largest project ever; the Vinyard Shipyard Project, which involves taking an historical asset and developing it into a 50 acre cultural, recreational, educational centerpiece that serves the City of Milford. As co-chair, the Project has her making presentations to the leaders of the City of Milford and Kent and Sussex County Councils to coordinate funding, and knitted her together with Milford’s key stakeholders.

“When we started the Project, we decided to create an ‘awareness program.’ I had no idea Milford was as rich as it was with the countless talented people that have now become connected to this exciting project,” Sher said. “Ironically, I was the one that become the most ‘aware’ through our Awareness effort!’” Dan Bond, Chair of DMI says, “Sher’s leadership for the Vinyard Shipyard project has been invaluable. Her stature in the Delaware business community, her wide network of contacts, her presentation skills and her dedication to the effort are making it possible for the project to move forward rapidly and successfully.”