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About Explore Sewickley

OUR STORY

In 2010, Village Green Partners was formed to focus on the revitalization of the business district in Sewickley.  In 2011 Village Green Partners obtained non-profit status and started to work in collaboration with Sewickley Borough Council. Village Green Partners, now called Explore Sewickley, focuses on filling vacant storefronts, promoting the commercial business district and creating community events. Explore Sewickley has evolved over the past six years and now includes a full-time paid employee, multiple committees and an active Board of Directors.  We continue to work in collaboration with the Borough of Sewickley and are gratetful for their continued support.

We are here to promote the amazing community that is Sewickley. We support Sewickley’s independent businesses and love to plan the many fun events you’ve come to love, too, like Light Up Night and the holiday season, the Soup Crawl, the Chocolate WalkSewickley Unleashed and more.

Explore Sewickley was awarded designation in April 2016 as a Main Street Organization by the Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development (DCED). The Main Street program utilizes the Four Point Approach, which you can learn more about by clicking here. Designation as a Main Street program will help us continue to address the issues of the community in a comprehensive manner and ensure sustainability of our organization.  We are now working toward accredidation by the National Main Street Organization - we think of it as a mark of distinction, recognizing that Sewickley is part of a national movement with a proven track record for celebrating community character, preserving local history and generating impressive economic returns.  

BOARD OF DIRECTORS & EMPLOYEES

Jennifer Markus is the co-founder of the company and President of the Explore Sewickley Board whose past work as a realtor at Howard Hanna in Sewickley helps the business development efforts of Explore Sewickley. Previously the Director of Operations of Kforce Professional Staffing, Jen honed her team building, communications and event planning skills.

Brendan Kenny is Vice President & Treasurer of the Explore Sewickley Board. Brendan is a Partner with Altair Management Partners, Inc. in Wexford, PA, which provides alternative investment based wealth management services.

Brent Gephart is Secretary of the Explore Sewickley Board. Brent is a full time real estate agent for Howard Hanna in Sewickley, a Managing Partner in Sunrise Rock Development Company, and President and Managing Partner at Tropical Breeze Resort and Spa.

Michael Kennedy is Director of the Explore Sewickley Board. Michael is a buyer for Dick’s Sporting Goods, merchandising Football, Basketball and Soccer. He is also Co-Founder and Director of Treasury for EnvisionEight, LLC, an investment group with a large focus on philanthropic efforts.

Jenn Fossee Richardson is a Director of the Explore Sewickley Board. Jenn is the newest member of the Board, joining the summer of 2014. She grew up in the area and brings 16 years of sales and marketing experience as well as her enthusiasm for making Sewickley a vibrant regional destination.

Alex Lancianese, Marketing Director, is the first and only paid employee of Explore Sewickley. Prior to her work at the nonprofit, Alex worked as marketing coordinator for a graphic design firm in Pittsburgh. In 2015, Alex was named one of WHIRL Magazine’s “13 Under 30 in Pittsburgh.”

MAIN STREET AMERICA™

Officially designated as a Main Street community in April of 2016, Explore Sewickley has a 5 Year Plan for the four committees that we will be following.  We will be adding to these objectives as needs arise. Please visit the Main Street website for more information on the Main Street Organization and the Four Point Approach to revitalization.

MAIN STREET COMMITTEE OBJECTIVES (5 YEAR PLAN - 2016)

DESIGN COMMITTEE

  1. Create additional seating and usable spaces in public places.
  2. Create plan for banners and signage.
  3. Implement a facade grant program.

ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING COMMITTEE 

  1. Create an ongoing education program for businesses in Sewickley.
  2. Implement a business development plan.
  3. Create a welcome packet to attract new businesses and residents to Sewickley.

ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE 

  1. Build a volunteer program.
  2. Establish more fundraising opportunities for Explore Sewickley. 
  3. Create a media outreach program.
  4. Make Explore Sewickley more accessible to the community.

PROMOTIONS COMMITTEE 

  1. Execute events that appeal to a broad base.
  2. Communicate vital community information to residents and stakeholders.
  3. Make Explore Sewickley a recognizable brand.
  4. Create a business recognition program.

Please call us at 412-741-7530, email at info@exploresewickley.com or visit us at 418 Beaver Street for more information.

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