After seeing her success in promoting her family’s business, Abbie Galie splintered her skills to help all businesses and events in Medford thrive, and it’s gotten her recognition along the way.
Galie, who works at Lower Forge Brewery and owns a graphic design company in town, was honored by the township at its council meeting on Sept. 3 with a proclamation for her endless efforts to promote Medford and to make it a place to be. In October, the organization Downtown New Jersey is awarding her the Downtown Excellence Award.
She created Destination Medford after seeing several places had their own social media accounts, but nothing that brought Medford together in one. She started sharing posts from other pages.
“I started using the hashtag ‘Destination Medford,’ and as I see it, I’ll schedule it to re-post,” Galie said. “I try to post once a day, but it’s a volunteer gig, so sometimes I’ll miss a day. I use my social media management tools to help out and it’s made a difference.”
A focus is put on the entire town as opposed to just downtown, she says, because businesses downtown “can’t be an island” in the area. Galie added her page differs from the Medford Business Association as she doesn’t seek sponsorships, events or organizes meetings.
“As long as it’s happening in Medford, or benefiting Medford, that’s the only hard line I’ll have,” Galie said. “I’ve had people from Tabernacle ask me to share something and I tell them ‘sorry.'”
Galie clarified she also includes Medford Lakes businesses and events on her page, as well as Shawnee High School.
In addition to teaching residents and visitors about Medford, Galie said she’s learned about the town itself and how it’s not an “old person’s town.”
“There’s a lot more millennials in this town, young people and people who have families that are looking for things to do,” she said. Her family, she explained, is growing with another child on the way and it provides her with relief that there are families present that look like hers.
With the work Galie does for Destination Medford, she said being honored by Downtown New Jersey is “crazy” to her because she mainly sticks to behind-the-scenes work for her various positions.
“My mother-in-law and Alex [Breaux of Wonder World Toys] nominated me for the award, and I’m touched that people recognize my efforts,” she said. “The people who’ve responded as we shared it on social media congratulated me and were kind. It’s nice to be recognized.”
As Galie is seen as the driving force behind Destination Medford, she said she will often share pictures submitted by people, of things in Medford, because she has “an eye for anything visually appealing.” In the past, she’s showcased dogs at Freedom Dog Park and people enjoying the Dickens Festival.
Her page also compiles a list of events in town so residents don’t have to click through multiple pages to learn about events on a particular day.
With the page growing each day, it’s currently at 3,000-plus likes on Facebook, Galie said she and her husband are working on revamping its website and creating an app that lists all businesses within town, broken down by their type.
“I’d love to find ways that I can put that app in people’s hands and have them opt-in to a notification so that when there’s something happening in Medford, a notification will come to their phone about it,” she added.
The app, however, is still in its development stages as the Galie family prepares for baby number four and is running the brewery.
“People always thought it’s a pretty place to live, Medford is decorative, not functional,” she said. “Maybe Destination Medford is showing people that Medford is functional and you can do a lot of things.”