Ric Cavender is the Executive Director of Charleston Main Streets. A lifelong Charleston resident, Ric holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing and management from West Virginia State University. His background includes non-profit management at the YMCA of the Kanawha Valley and project management and marketing for WeSave, Inc. In May 2010, he was named one of West Virginia’Âs Generation Next Top 40 Under 40 award winners by the State Journal. Ric currently sits on the Board of Directors of the West Virginia State University Foundation, the Religious Coalition for Community Renewal (Current President), the YMCA of Kanawha Valley, and the East End Community Association. Ric also sits on the Charleston Wayfinding Commission, the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau Marketing Committee, the Imagine Charleston Advisory Committee and the Charleston Strong Neighborhoods Task Force.
Ric leads the newly formed Charleston Main Streets, a collaborative connection with two Nationally Certified Main Street districts on the West Side and East End of Charleston, focusing on economic development, community development, business district marketing, and public space improvements. Over the past seven years during Ric’s tenure as the Executive Director of Charleston East End Main Street, the East End business district has experienced private investments totaling over $20 million. East End Main Street, through their business recruitment, marketing, and facade grant programs, has spurred over $1 million of private investment and improvements to existing and historic commercial structures. Ric has developed and maintained successful relationships with every property and business owner in the East End business corridors and constantly work with them to create new and innovative ways to help further market their business to Charleston and beyond the valley.
Ric, the CMS Board, the East End and West Side Boards of Advisors, and volunteers are extremely proud of their work, teamed with the incredible investment and work of the business and property owners, that continues to reshape the future of the district. Ric has a passion to see Charleston continue to flourish into its full potential and works diligently in the pursuit of the East End being the place to be and a true destination for business owners, developers, families, and tourists.