Butch Named Heritage Ohio Volunteer of the Year

What makes a town like Kent, Ohio special? The people, right? What about the special events?  

Throughout the year, the City of Kent and Kent State University play host to a wide variety of amazing events. It takes dedicated volunteers to organize and put in the hard work to pull off these events. Often these efforts unfortunately get overlooked or go unnoticed. But, in this case, congratulations are definitely in order for one of our own College of Arts and Sciences staff members, Ed Butch, director of strategic initiatives and communications!

Edward Butch
Earlier this month, Butch was named the Heritage Ohio Volunteer of the Year at the 2022 Heritage Ohio Annual Conference for his volunteer work with Main Street Kent. The awards honor Ohio’s best projects places, and people who create lasting impacts through historic preservation and community revitalization. 

Main Street Kent
Main Street Kent is a nonprofit organization based in downtown Kent that focuses on promoting small businesses and hosting events that attract engagement for all members of the Kent community. 

Heather Malarcik and Leslie Sickle, both employees at Main Street Kent, nominated Butch for the award because of his continuous efforts on different projects within the organization.  

“Main Street Kent's mission is to make downtown Kent a fun, vibrant and thriving place” Malarcik, executive director at Main Street Kent, said. “We accomplish this through marketing, events, downtown beautification, public art and collaborative work with many partners.” 

Butch first volunteered with Main Street Kent five years ago when he led a team of volunteers during the Wizardly World of Kent event. He then volunteered for numerous other events including becoming the race director for the Main Street Kent 5K and the event chair for the Wizardly Weekend. He has also been a member of Main Street Kent’s Business Enhancement Committee for the past two years and started serving on the Board of Directors earlier this year. 

“I'm very much a person that does stuff in the background,” Butch said. “I'm not always the person up front, so I don't always love getting called up on stage or anything like that. But, to just have that little bit of recognition for the entire state was really nice.” 

Malarcik feels it is vital that students and faculty at the university are just as involved in the engagement of downtown Kent as other Kent residents.  

“It's super important that we work with our city and university partners because we all have a lot of talent and resources to share with each other,” Malarcik said. “All the work we do for our downtown makes Kent State a more attractive place for people seeking higher education, as well as our community and visitors to the area.” 

“There's always something to do here, and lots of interesting things to see, people to interact with and community to be a part of,” Malarcik said. “There are lots of options for outdoor recreation, shopping, studying, dining, relaxing and just being a part of this community. We're happy to help make Kent such a wonderful place!” 

Upcoming Main Street Kent events include Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 26, and a new event called “The Cookie Walk” which will take place on Sunday, December 4.  

To learn more about Main Street Kent, visit https://www.mainstreetkent.org/ 

About Ed Butch 
Working for the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State since 2011, Butch has worked in academic advising, recruitment and retention positions before recently taking on the role of Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communications. His primary responsibilities include overseeing the marketing and communications team, project management, and strategic planning for the college.  

He completed his undergraduate degree at Walsh University and received his master’s degree from Oklahoma State University. He then began his professional career in residence life at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio before coming to Kent State. He is also currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Interprofessional Leadership from Kent State University and plans to graduate in May 2023. 

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POSTED: Thursday, October 27, 2022 12:36 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 07:04 PM
Kylie Piazza