About Main
Street Kent

What We’re About
Learn more about who we are.

We’re a non-profit organization focused on the revitalization of downtown Kent, Ohio.

who we are

Main Street Kent is a non-profit organization that focuses on the promotion, beautification, and revitalization of downtown Kent. The City of Kent, Kent State University, local businesses, and community members support Main Street Kent.

Main Street Kent has 12 board members and many volunteers working to improve downtown Kent. Since Main Street Kent’s formation in 2006, dozens of new businesses have opened in downtown Kent, and a hundreds of new full-time and part-time jobs have been created. For every dollar Main Street Kent spends, $27 is returned in private investment.

We support local businesses’ marketing efforts, and create events throughout the year that encourage people to shop, eat, and enjoy downtown Kent—because these days, Kent has a lot to offer!


  • Adopt-A-Spot flowerbed and hanging flower basket program
    Business facade restoration
  • Graffiti removal & Clean Up Kent days
  • Events showcasing cultural diversity, arts, and fun for all ages
  • We’re affiliated with the National Main Street and Heritage Ohio Programs

Program Highlights


Main Street Kent is proud to help beautify our downtown through the Adopt-A-Spot program. Each flowerbed is sponsored by a company, organization, individual or family, and many great groups of Kent people volunteer their time to plant flowers in late May each year. We also hang gorgeous flower baskets around town, thanks to the generous support of Smithers-Oasis and The Davey Tree Expert Company.

Clean Up Kent Days

With the support of many community volunteers and Kent State University students, we dedicate a few Saturdays each year to cleaning up litter and graffiti around the downtown. It’s a great opportunity for all ages to contribute to our beautiful downtown; it garners a sense of community pride!

Public Art Projects

Main Street Kent has facilitated many public art projects, including the Joe Walsh mural at the Water Street Tavern, the Lakes Cities Trains mural on Burbick Way, and the Traveling Stanzas utility box art project in downtown Kent. We are committed to cultivating the arts in downtown Kent through partnerships with Kent State University, the arts community, and local business owners.

Women in Business

Celebrate Kent’s women in business. Read our interviews to learn more about their businesses.


Main Street Kent consists of four committees, each with a specific function, to best help downtown Kent.


Build partnerships and combine the talents and resources of diverse groups, such as merchants, educators, public officials and civic organizations, to grow and enhance downtown.


Shape and strengthen the community’s image so that downtown Kent is an inviting, exciting place for residents, KSU students & faculty, visitors and investors, which will also improves businesses’ sales.


Enrich the aesthetics of the community through the thoughtful design and regulation of building and storefronts, signs, landscaping, window displays, etc.

Economic Vitality

Strengthen the economic assets of the business district while diversifying its economic base through the recruitment of new businesses to provide a balanced retail mix; conversion of vacant buildings into housing, offices or entertainment or cultural facilities; sharpening of the competitive spirit of traditional merchants

Staff & Board


Heather Malarcik

Executive Director

Lesley Sickle

Marketing & Branding

Heather and Lesley are two Kent women championing all the small businesses throughout our community through promotion, event/festival planning, beautification, and expanding Main Street Kent into new territories.

Executive Board

Vice President
Sage Culley
Senior Project Manager, Meetings & Events, The Davey Tree Expert Company
Colin Boyle
Executive Vice President and CFO, Hometown Bank
Dominique Bollenbacher
Community Engagement Coordinator, City of Kent

Board Members

Board Member
Bridget Tipton
Co-Owner, Bell Tower Brewing and Principal Architect, Point B Studio
Board Member
Ed Butch
Assistant Director, Content & Education, CITI Programt
Board Member
Eric Helmstedter
Economic Development Director, City of Kent
Board Member
Jessica Ryan
Marketing Specialist, Smithers-Oasis
Board Member
Ron Petrosky
Retired IT
Board Member
Joy Pahls
Branch Manager, Hometown Bank
Board Member
Robin Spano
Social Media Freelancer
Board Member
Mike Beder
Owner/Partner, Venice Cafe, Water Street Tavern, Lake House Kitchen + Bar, Cleveland Bagel Cafe

Board of Governors

Board Member
Mike Finley
Owner, Hall-Green Agency
Board Member
Mike Lewis
President and CEO, Hometown Bank

Committee Chairs

Design Committee
Bridget Tipton
Marketing Committee
Heather Malarcik & Lesley Sickle
Operations Committee
Sage Culley
Economic Vitality Committee
Ed Butch