Marietta Main Street Hires New Executive Director

After a nationwide search, Marietta Main Street is excited to announce Sam Tuten as its new Executive Director, with his official start date being Wednesday, September 26th.

Before joining Marietta Main Street, Sam worked as the City Planner for the City of Parkersburg, overseeing the Planning Division within the Development Department. A graduate of Marietta High School, Sam lived in Charleston, South Carolina before moving back to the Mid-Ohio Valley, where he completed his Masters in Public Administration after earning a B.A. from The Ohio State University in Regional Planning.

A Marietta native, Sam looks forward to bringing his experience in city planning and economic development back to his hometown. “Marietta is the first city that I fell in love with, and a main reason why I chose to go into the planning field,” said Sam. “As I grew up in Marietta, I would be traveling down a street, and in my mind I would always be envisioning what I call the "what could be" while taking in the true beauty of our city.”

Sam is eager to use his skills and knowledge as a City Planner to carry out the mission and vision of Marietta Main Street and continue the momentum the organization has generated within the community.

“Since I have been back in the area, I've been able to witness all the successes that Marietta Main Street has accomplished under the leadership of Cristie Thomas and the Board,” Sam said. “I'm excited to keep that momentum going and working alongside local businesses, volunteers, donors, and partners, as well as the City of Marietta, Washington County officials, and all community stakeholders.”

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After celebrating the success of its Christmas in July fundraising campaign to fund new holiday décor for downtown, Marietta Main Street is ready to head into a busy fourth quarter which includes a bigger-than-ever Hometown Holidays line-up. “We have a lot to celebrate this year between the return of the Great Marietta Marketplace, the expansion of our Rivers, Trails and Ales Festival, and our spring and summer fundraising campaigns,” said Sarah Arnold, Marietta Main Street Board President. “Our organization is looking forward to working under Sam’s leadership as we round out another terrific year and finalize plans for 2019. The skills Sam brings to the table are just what our organization needs right now.”

Skills aside, it is Sam’s passion for revitalizing the downtown community that made him a perfect fit for this position. “I think Sam has a true passion, not only for Marietta Main Street but for the city of Marietta as a whole,” said Tim Glover, Marietta Main Street Vice President. “I feel he will be a valuable addition to the Main Street family.”

“I hope to bring my passion for Marietta and city planning, and my experience in local government to the revitalization of downtown Marietta and the Harmar district,” said Sam. “I want to make sure we continue to collaborate with our local officials, and the recent announcement of a signed contract for a downtown economic development plan is an accomplished that all leaders involved should be proud about. We will continue to strengthen our mission of bringing people together to preserve, enhance and enjoy downtown.”

First Friday: Back to School Bash

Join us downtown for the First Friday Back to School Bash, sponsored by Washington State Community College! WSCC will have booths and activities on the Armory lawn, including face painting and giveaways for kids. The school mascot, Benji the Buck, will be on hand for photos. The college is also collecting donations for GoPacks 4 Kids, a program that provides nutritious food items for students during breaks and weekends. Businesses hosting donation sites for GoPacks include: American Flags and Poles, Baker & Baker Jewelers, Green Acres of Marietta, Jeremiah’s Coffee House, Riverside Artists Gallery, Sugar Maple Boutique, Teri Ann’s, Threadz, Twisted Sisters Boutique, A Unique Flower & Gift Shop, and Wit & Whimzy.

"We are very excited to partner with Washington State Community College for this event, and we're happy to collect donations for this very worthy cause,” said Laura Pytlik, Owner of Wit & Whimzy and member of the First Friday Committee. “Many students rely on schools to provide nutritious meals, and GoPacks help ensure that those students will have healthy options even during weekends and short breaks."  

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With local schools back in session for the new year, art classes are already in full swing. Student art from local schools will be on display in the following businesses: American Flags and Poles, Jeremiah’s Coffee House, Riverside Artists Gallery, Sugar Maple Boutique, Twisted Sisters Boutique, and Wit & Whimzy.

Friday also coincides with the annual Sternwheel Festival, so downtown Marietta will be host to large crowds enjoying the many free activities. Shops will be open until 9 PM and many are featuring back to school supplies, fashion and promotions.

"The Sternwheel Festival is always a great weekend for Marietta, with visitors and residents alike enjoying the free activities,” said Pytlik. “First Friday adds another level of excitement and opportunities for people to explore the shops and businesses downtown during extended hours."

Say Hello to New Decor this Holiday Season

Say Hello to New Decor this Holiday Season

Our Christmas in July fundraising campaign was a huge success thanks to our hardworking volunteers and our dedicated donors.

Main Street Seeks New Director

Marietta Main Street announced today that Executive Director Cristie Thomas has accepted a new position, with her final departure coming mid-September.

“I absolutely love Main Street and am proud of our Board, our committee volunteers, and our collaborative partners for the work we’ve accomplished together these past two and a half years. I have no doubt in my mind that Main Street will continue having a positive impact on our community and look forward to cheering on my successor,” said Thomas.

During Thomas’ tenure, Marietta Main Street built strong, positive relationships with local officials and community leaders, executed marketing strategies that resulted in a 33% increase in revenue, and secured $88,000 in grant income for the organization. Thomas’ accomplishments were recognized statewide when she was awarded Main Street Director of the Year by Heritage Ohio in 2017.

“Cristie has been a terrific force for good as the leader of Marietta Main Street and our organization will be forever grateful for the heart and soul she has poured into our community,” shared President of the Board, Sarah Arnold. “We wish her all the best in her new position with Buckeye Hills Regional Council.”

Thomas’ new position as Communications Director for Buckeye Hills Regional Council will allow her to support community health and development initiatives across eight counties in southeast Ohio.  Through relationship development and advocacy efforts, Thomas will lead the marketing arm of Buckeye Hills, celebrating the work of their nearly 70 staff and partnering with executive leadership to increase the profile of the agency.

“I’m excited to have Cristie joining our team! She’s been an outstanding leader at Marietta Main Street and her efforts to encourage partnerships and inclusion have resulted in a positive change in the community. I’m looking forward to her bringing the same drive and enthusiasm to the 8-county region we serve!” shared Misty Casto, Executive Director of Buckeye Hills Regional Council.

The Marietta Main Street hiring committee is currently accepting applications to fill the Executive Director position. For more information about this position and how to apply, find the Job Description linked below.