Staff

Photograph of Downtown Akron Partnership President and CEO, Suzie Graham. Photo: Denzel D. Washington

Suzie Graham, president & CEO

sgraham@downtownakron.com

Suzie developed a passion for community building through her experience across many disciplines. Her love of civic service was embedded during her 18 years of work with the city of Akron. Over time, she has blended the collaborative principles and practices of theatre learned at Kent State University into her approach to community development.

Suzie serves as President and CEO of Downtown Akron Partnership. She mobilizes positive partnerships and oversees the planning and implementation of programs and services to anticipate and address the needs of the neighborhood. Her work centers on the necessity of a thriving urban core and the importance of downtown as a key indicator of the health and success of the city and region. She works closely with government, corporate, education, non-profit, human services, and small business stakeholders to assist their efforts and benefit the holistic downtown experience. Suzie facilitates efforts to enhance and promote downtown as an economic driver, hub for arts and culture, partner in driving equity, champion of the city's identity, and place for all people.

Born and raised in Akron, Suzie is a graduate of Leadership Akron Class 29, a 2015 Presidio Institute Cross Sector Leadership Fellow, and has participated in the national Reimagining the Civic Commons cohort as an Akron core team member since 2016. She is a recipient of the 2012 GAR Glass Half Full Award and the 2017 Margaret Clark Morgan Impact Award for Community Leadership.

Photograph of Downtown Akron Partnership Director of Business Relations and Development, Kimberly Beckett. Photo: Denzel D. Washington

Kimberly Beckett, director of business relations and development

kbeckett@downtownakron.com

Kimberly oversees business relations and development work for Downtown Akron Partnership. She works closely with downtown stakeholders through retention visits with commercial and retail businesses and communications with businesses, property owners, residents and other stakeholders. Additionally, she leads business development activities, by connecting businesses to resources and available real estate in downtown. She also contributes to downtown planning initiatives, public space planning and activation. Kimberly received her bachelor's degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and masters in public administration at the University of Akron. She is a Torchbearers Alum and currently Vice President of the Friends of Metro Parks board of directors.

Photograph of Downtown Akron Partnership Communications Director, Dominic Caruso. Photo: Denzel D. Washington

Dominic Caruso, communications director

dcaruso@downtownakron.com

Dominic joined Downtown Akron Partnership in January 2020. He oversees DAP's internal and external communications, including marketing, advertising, design, and public relations. He works closely with DAP colleagues to promote DAP resources, initiatives, programs and events, while also promoting the initiatives of downtown partners and stakeholders, and making the case for downtown as a valuable, welcoming, vibrant neighborhood and regional asset for all people. Dominic received a bachelor's degree in English from Youngstown State University and a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design from the University of Akron Myers School of Art.

Photograph of Downtown Akron Partnership Communications Specialist, Sonia Potter.

Sonia Potter, communications specialist

s.potter@downtownakron.com

Sonia joined Downtown Akron Partnership’s staff in February 2022 and works closely with the communications director—not only to promote DAP initiatives and lend an editor’s eye to pre-published materials, but to help tell the stories of the vibrant people, programs, and spaces that make up downtown’s unique ecosystem. She’s driven and inspired by the warmth of her community and is dedicated to working toward making it a welcoming, connective, loving place for all people. Sonia received her bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from The University of Akron in 2019.

Photograph of Downtown Akron Partnership Director of Engagement and Events, Elizabeth Flanagan. Photo: Denzel D. Washington

Elizabeth Flanagan, director of engagement & events

eflanagan@downtownakron.com

Elizabeth oversees the planning and ideation of all DAP programming. She works closely with the director of communications to execute planning, promotions and logistics of downtown events and engagement. She oversees programming and events that are designed to foster growth and community engagement. Her passion for contribution, connection, community and creativity serves the programming initiatives in a positive way toward building a vibrant and valuable downtown for all people. Elizabeth received her bachelor’s degree from Kent State University in Communication and Information Studies.

Photograph of Downtown Akron Partnership programming specialist, Lauren Lienhart.

Lauren Lienhart, programming and engagement specialist

llienhart@downtownakron.com

Lauren helps develop and plan Downtown Akron Partnership programming alongside the director of engagement and events. She believes fostering relationships with local businesses, artists, and other talented individuals is the key to creating unique and collaborative events that community members value and enjoy. Prior to joining DAP, Lauren lived and worked in Cincinnati, managing events in civic spaces for the downtown and Over-the-Rhine communities. She is excited by the vibrancy of downtown Akron and hopes to continue growing events for all Akronites to enjoy. Lauren received her bachelor’s degrees from Miami University in Psychology and Theatre.

Photograph of Jane Douglas, retail consultant for Downtown Akron Partnership

Jane Douglas, retail consultant

janedouglas.oh@gmail.com 

Jane is serving in the role of retail consultant for Downtown Akron merchants and the community of the Northside Marketplace. She brings more than 15 years of retail management experience, sales and operations, merchandise strategy and selection, team recruitment, customer service, training development and implementation to the micro and small business owners she supports. Her goal is to meet merchants where they are and support their journey to achieve their vision. Jane has a degree in Organizational Communication with a capstone in Human Resources from The Ohio State University.

Photograph of Downtown Akron Partnership Ambassadors Operations Manager, LaTonda Mobley

LaTonda Mobley, operations manager, DAP ambassadors

lmobley@blockbyblock.com

LaTonda Mobley, known as Tonda by most, comes to Akron by way of Columbus Ohio where she worked at Cardinal Health for 11 years. She built upon her strong administrative background to become a successful account manager. After serving as the Operations Assistant for DAP for 3 years, she was promoted to Operations Manager for the DAP Ambassador team.

Clean & Safe Ambassador program

Clean Team

Val Kramer

Darrell Stamps

Greg Smith

William Foster

Safety Team

Special Projects

Mike Smith