WHEELING – Following a lengthy search process over the past few months, the city of Wheeling has welcomed its new Center Market manager.
Ohio Valley native and Wheeling resident Brooke Stull started her first day in the new role on Wednesday. Stull assumes the position vacated after longtime Center Market Manager Kurt Zende stepped down for the position as the new president of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce at the beginning of December.
“I am really excited to be a part of the city of Wheeling and Center Market,” Stull said on Wednesday. “I’m looking forward to helping the market grow as a destination – not only for visitors, but our local residents as well. I’m anxious to begin discussing the Center Market business communities ‘and visitors’ ideas and vision for the market going forward. “
Before joining the Center Market team and the city of Wheeling, Stull served as the enrollment services advisor at Belmont College in St. Clairsville. There, she worked on recruitment plans to attract traditional and non-traditional students, coordinated enrollment events and represented the college within the community.
Prior to her service at Belmont College, she worked as the operations coordinator for the Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED), where she managed development projects in Ohio, Marshall and Wetzel counties. Stull also worked as the client services manager for the Wheeling Nailers, coordinating game day events and serving as marketing liaison for print, digital and web ad productions, as well as helping to redevelop the team’s internship program.
“Brooke’s education and professional experience is a great fit for this position,” said Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron, who noted that there were a number of applicants who expressed interest in the job. “I believe she will do an excellent job of managing and growing Center Market.”
The city had advertised for the position after the departure of Zende, who not only served as the market manager but also filled a wider-reaching role as the city’s Economic Development Specialist, taking on a number of responsibilities, including management of the former Ohio Valley Medical Center properties that were acquired by the city.
Stull will serve as the market manager in the city’s Economic and Community Development Department and will report to Community Development Director Nancy Prager.
“I was able to observe Brooke while she was working at RED,” Herron noted. “I think she’s going to bring a new perspective and vision to Center Market, and I’m excited to see her get to work there.”
Stull is a graduate of The Linsly School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in international business, marketing and economics from Marshall University, and she is pursuing a master’s degree in community research / leadership from West Liberty University, from where she anticipates graduating in May 2023.
The salary for the market manager’s position is $ 55,000 annually.
One of the largest and most popular small business hubs in the city, Center Market is viewed by many as a true gem of Wheeling. Last year, Councilwoman Rosemary Ketchum – who represents Ward 3 and the East Wheeling neighborhood in which Center Market anchors – championed an effort to bring back a rejuvenated Center Market Commission after years of inactivity.
The revamped Center Market Commission is now stocked with key people pushing to make small businesses a showcased centerpiece for commerce in Wheeling. Now that the position of Center Market manager has been filled, officials indicated this was the last piece of the puzzle needed to move forward with the next chapter of the market’s history.
A $ 150,000 federal spending earmark for improvements to the roofs at Center Market was approved by Congress last week, and city leaders have noted that Zende’s new position as Chamber president can only help benefit Center Market in light of his familiarity with the needs of the market and the local business owners there.
With the team now in place, city and community leaders are expected to continue working together on plans to revitalize Center Market and make it the best destination it can be, officials said.