Marietta Main Street announced today that Executive Director Sam Tuten has resigned, with his final departure coming mid-June.

“Marietta Main Street has given me the power to grow as an individual,” said Tuten. “Because I was part of this amazing organization, I’m able to take that time, those experiences, and the relationships I’ve made with me as I pursue other career opportunities. I’m excited for myself and my family as we continue to put roots back into my home town.”

During Tuten’s tenure, Marietta Main Street built strong, positive relationships with the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, local officials and community leaders, and partnered with the City of Marietta to further comprehensive planning efforts through the Enrich Marietta Steering Committee.

“The group that has come together for the future of this beautiful downtown is full of individuals who are passionate for Marietta, for the economic growth of our community, and for good governance that will let our local economy prosper,” said Tuten, of the Enrich Marietta team. “This group of individuals is a solid collection of community stakeholders, which is one of the largest examples of a community coming together that I have ever experienced. Marietta should be and will be proud of the continued work that these individuals will put forth.”

Tuten’s passion for the community is clear and will be missed. “I am personally sad to see Sam leave us,” said Marietta Main Street Board President Tim Glover. “Sam came in to the job at our busiest time of year and was quick study that helped us keep moving forward as an organization. We wish him all the best, I am sure he will have great success on the path he chooses.”

Tuten is grateful for his time with Marietta Main Street. “I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way and I’ve personally enjoyed making those relationships with individuals who are so committed to building a better community,” he said.

As of June 10th, Marietta Main Street is excited to welcome back Cristie Thomas as Interim Executive Director. “Although I’m stepping aside to pursue a different path, I was proud to find out that the Board has decided to bring Cristie back as Interim Executive Director. She’ll work tirelessly to help guide the organization into even greater heights over the next 12 months, and I’m excited or her, her family, and the future of Marietta Main Street,” said Tuten.

During Thomas’ time as Executive Director from 2016 to 2018, Marietta Main Street launched new programs, executed marketing strategies that resulted in a 33% increase in revenue, and built strong community partnerships. Thomas’ accomplishments were recognized statewide when she was awarded Main Street Director of the Year by Heritage Ohio in 2017.

“My passion for Main Street and for this community is very much alive, and I’m excited to come back as Interim ED to support the continued, sustainable growth of the organization,” said Thomas. “We have a lot of irons in the fire, which is a reflection of the commitment local leaders have to collaboratively building a community where all can engage with and truly enjoy our town. The Main Street Board of Directors are capitalizing on the opportunity to make thoughtful, strategic decisions about the next steps for this organization, and I look forward to being as supportive as I can in the process over the next 12 months.”

The Marietta Main Street Board of Directors voted unanimously to bring Thomas back as Interim Executive Director for one year. “I am happy to have Cristie return as Interim Director,” said Glover. “She has never lost her spark and passion for both downtown Marietta and Marietta Main Street. As a nonprofit, when changes like this happens, it’s always like starting over from square one and there is a learning curve for a new director. With Cristie returning, we have someone who can jump in and keep our momentum going. As we enter high tourism season and prepare for our largest fundraiser of the year, Christmas in July, this is especially important.”

In addition to Marietta Main Street’s scheduled programming, Thomas will continue working in partnership with the City of Marietta and the Enrich Marietta team to begin implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Development Plan for Downtown Marietta.

“I consider Sam a friend and value tremendously the work he has accomplished during his time with Main Street. In particular, his work in partnership with Mayor Joe Matthews, City Development Director Andy Coleman, and City Councilman Geoff Schenkel, along with many others on the Enrich Marietta team, has led our community to a point of true investment regarding the future of our downtown,” said Thomas. “I look forward to continuing the successes of Sam and Enrich Marietta as we venture into the next stage of the process: implementation.”