How We’re Built

We believe the greatness of a community stems from the compassion and actions of its members. The commitment countless individuals have made toward improving downtown Kalamazoo is what ultimately drives the work we do.

The Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization built by the people of Kalamazoo for the betterment of downtown Kalamazoo. We’re supported by three boards and four Citizen Coalitions.

Our role is to facilitate the ongoing collaboration between downtown’s development entities in order to drive the collective group’s mission forward. The Partnership and our Board are the coordinating body for downtown programs, services, and initiatives on behalf of DEGA, DDA, and DTI. The Citizen Coalitions include diverse representatives within our community that help us identify our priorities and how the Partnership carries out this work. To us, Partnership is more than a name – it’s how we work together to develop a beautiful, welcoming downtown community.

Our Work

At the Partnership, we take pride in helping downtown Kalamazoo become even more outstanding. This means more than initiating developments; it means deepening our relationships with the people and businesses within the city. It means basing every action on a foundation of honesty and transparency. And it means creating an inclusive, welcoming environment within our community. This process takes time and thoughtful strategy that looks decades into the future.

Our goal is to do good, impactful work – work that is informed by our community and supports what our community needs. Not just for the advancement of downtown, but for the benefit of everyone who visits, works, and lives here.

The Partnership Team

Andrew Haan headshot

Andrew Haan

President

Andrew is responsible for establishing the strategic vision and direction for the organization. He works with the Board of Directors, staff, local businesses, residents, government, and institutions to build partnerships necessary to sustain effective, well-coordinated downtown growth and organizational effectiveness. Andrew leads program, policy, brand and fund development, working to build a best-in-class place management organization. With time spent working in the retail and restaurant sectors, as a resident of Kalamazoo, and as advocate for downtown, Andrew loves working with stakeholders to make downtown a truly complete 24-hour neighborhood.

Jennifer Kitson Jelenek headshot

Jennifer Kitson Jelenek

Chief Operating Officer

Jennifer guides the organizational strategy and oversees organizational and program planning, impact measurement, budget development, and internal operations. In her role, Jennifer manages community engagement through the organization’s four Citizen Coalitions and leads the organization’s business development efforts. Jennifer is an urbanist at her core. She’s a former downtown resident who loves the walkability of downtown and continues to be a strong proponent of investing in urban centers.

Deb Houseman headshot

Deb Houseman

Finance Director

Deb manages all accounting for the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership and its affiliate organizations, including the Downtown Economic Growth Authority (DEGA), Downtown Development Authority (DDA), and Downtown Tomorrow Incorporated (DTI). What Deb enjoys the most about downtown is watching all the development and improvements taking place. Having lived in the Kalamazoo area all her life, Deb remembers many bus trips downtown in her youth spending her allowance on shopping, movies, and eating at the soda fountains.

Sue Huggett headshot

Sue Huggett

Events Director

Sue manages the organization’s annual calendar of events. She oversees the planning and execution of each event from start to finish, including coordinating volunteers. She’s always looking for opportunities to engage with community partners and downtown visitors. Sue loves the variety of downtown offerings, from restaurants and retailers to the broad spectrum of events and activities that downtown offers, all within a walkable distance.

Meghan Behymer headshot

Meghan Behymer

Communications and Marketing Manager

Meghan leads the development of innovative ideas to market and promote downtown, its businesses, and its attractions. Meghan manages the organization’s various social media platforms, marketing efforts, and external communications more broadly. What Meghan enjoys most about downtown is the community—businesses know their customers and work together to make downtown a great place to be any time of the year.

Allyson Dykstra headshot

Allyson Dykstra

Office Coordinator

Allyson provides support to the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership team as Office Coordinator. In this role, Allyson keeps the ship moving forward in office operations, serves as a point person for external inquiries, and assists the President. Allyson loves partaking in Kalamazoo’s robust coffee culture and admires downtown Kalamazoo’s unique communities and growth-centered attitude. She’s excited to be part of its growth.

Shar Stockwell headshot

Shar Stockwell

Accounting Assistant

Shar provides direct support to the Finance Director and the entire Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership team. She also manages the Downtown Dollars program and serves as the Partnership’s organizational historian. The history of Kalamazoo, and its evolution through the years, are of the greatest interest to her.

Career Opportunities

Interested in joining the KDP team and driving Downtown Kalamazoo forward? We’d love to have you! Check out our LinkedIn page where we post all open career opportunities.

It Takes A Community

Ready to step up and help keep your downtown beautiful? There’s countless ways you can volunteer—from cleaning up trash to helping staff official Partnership events.

Whether you’re volunteering for school credit or simply to have fun, come join us in making downtown Kalamazoo beautiful.

Get in Touch

Coalitions