MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE 6/17/19
A familiar face is back in charge of Marietta Main Street.
Cristie Thomas officially returned to the role of executive director Friday and will remain interim director for at least a year.
She is the longest running director in the nonprofit's history.
She says her main goals are to bring on two people to succeed her after her time is up and to help implement the Enrich Marietta initiative with the city.
"A little bit like coming home," Thomas said. "It's interesting having taken a step away, you gain a new appreciation for the work and definitely a lot of perspective on what it takes to do the job and how much energy it takes to have a successful program."
"So I'm super grateful the board invited me back and that there's folks downtown and across the community that are at the ready to volunteer and keep the momentum going."
Thomas was voted to by the group's board to take over after Sam Tuten resigned in late May after eight months in the position.
ORIGINAL STORY 5/28/19
Marietta Main Street announced executive director Sam Tuten has resigned from the organization, effective June 14. But the board of directors announced they have already found an interim replacement to take over for 12 months.
That replacement is a familiar face in former and longest running executive director in the group's history, Cristie Thomas.
Tuten took on the role last September and added the decision to leave was tough.
"For me it was a personal decision I had to make," he said, "and one I that I thought needed to happen sooner than later for me personally and for the organization."
Tuten said he’s thankful for a lot of the relationships he’s made both personally and for the organization moving forward into the future.
"The Enrich Marietta plan that we have in terms of the time I was able to dedicate to that," he said, "and the kind of long-term effects it’s going to have for Marietta in general is something I’m definitely proud of."
The board of directors thanked Tuten for his time leading the organization and announced Thomas' return to the position she held for almost three years.
"I was very happy with the board for making that decision," Tuten said. "I think in terms of right now in terms of me leaving and her stepping in, there’s going to be no loss step, especially in the critical time of summer."
Tuten added he’s proud to have been a part of the work main street organizations nationwide do for their towns and cities.
"People kind of being mindful of that, that they’re everywhere," Tuten said. "They’re in every state all with the same mission to revitalize their small towns and their downtown district."
Tuten added he considers Thomas a good friend, who was very helpful when he started the job and the organization will not miss a beat when she takes over June 14.