The mission of the Brand and Engagement Committee is to promote the image of downtown Kalamazoo through advertising, special events and education campaigns as a uniquely vibrant, dynamic, safe and inviting regional center that offers business, retail, entertainment, arts and cultural opportunities for all.
The Brand & Engagment membership is comprised of downtown stakeholders who professional endeavors are marketing related, and who, by design, represent the various sectors of the downtown business community. Currently, the committee is dedicated to managing and executing special events and promoting events, activities, and programs. While event focused, the premise of today’s marketing strategy is to expose the local community to the diversity of events, retail opportunities and the arts and culture scene.

Current Initiatives

We thank our local media outlets for their attentions to downtown news and events, as they continue to cover the positive growth and opportunities. Special thanks go to:
  • Lori More
  • WKZO AM 590 radio hosts
  • Midest Communication
  • Townsquare Media
  • Kalamazoo Gazette
  • Channel 3 WWMT
  • MiBiz
  • Business Weekly
  • Encore Magazine
  • Secondwave Media


Establishing downtown Kalamazoo as a retail destination is a primary goal. DKI's events  are designed to stimulate our local economy,specifically the businesses within the DDA, with  activities and programs that ultimately help to ring our retailer’s registers. Through an event consultant contract with the EVENT COMPANY, under the guidance and direction of the Event Marketing Sub-Committee, DKI develops, manages and executes the following events:

Summer Sidewalk Sales
Real sidewalks. Real Sales. That’s our motto. Deep discounts at this annual summer event have people looking forward to this sale all summer. With over 30 stores offering sales, many of them gather under tents on the Kalamazoo Mall. Live lunch-time entertainment each day. This three day event (beginning on Thursday) takes place in mid-July. 


Meg Gernaat, 269.344.0795


Chris Crowell
Gazelle Sports

Dean Hauck
Michigan News Agency

Carl Brown

Caroline Bartels
Greenleaf Hospitality 
Sean Fletcher, Chair
City of Kalamazoo, Parks and Recreation

Beth McCann, Vice Chair
Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo

Renee Newman
Discover Kalamazoo

Bob Lewis

Millenium Restaurant Group
Betty Peristeridis
Argos East/Theo & Stacy's
Al Shifflet
WMU Medical School