Don’t worry about Mary Hultman becoming a diva after winning the Gem Award. The tireless promoter of downtown Baraboo considers herself a worker bee, not a queen.
“It takes many people to make downtown Baraboo successful,” she said.
On Tuesday, Mayor Mike Palm handed her a Gem Award, given to citizens who make Baraboo a more prosperous place to live. “Mary always has time to help residents and visitors alike to ensure they have a positive experience in our downtown,” Palm said in reading a proclamation honoring Hultman.
In addition to her duties as marketing manager for the Al. Ringling Theatre, Hultman serves as events coordinator for Downtown Baraboo Inc. She got involved in promoting the historic business district around the courthouse square after opening an antique store, Raven House, in 2001. Hultman was recognized Tuesday for creating successful events such as the Downtown Sunday Market in 2011.
Hultman credited the DBI board for taking a chance on her. “They backed me when it was a fresh, new idea,” she said.
After getting involved with DBI she soon became board member, and in 2015 was named the business group’s event coordinator. She and daughter Olivia have become visible ambassadors, appearing at events ranging from Concerts on the Square to craft fairs to the Big Top Parade.
It’s all part of a love affair with Baraboo that Hultman couldn’t have envisioned upon moving to town in 1996 on the advice of a friend. Friends gave her a tiara Tuesday after the award ceremony, but she still doesn’t fashion herself a queen bee. “I feel very humbled and grateful for this recognition from the city,” she said.