Main Street Barberton Hires Melanie Black Amato as First Executive Director

Aug 2, 2023 | Uncategorized

Amato, a Barberton Native, Brings Two Decades of Nonprofit, Government, and Business Leadership Experience to Energized Barberton Nonprofit

(Barberton, OH – June 21, 2023) — Main Street Barberton, a new nonprofit organization in Barberton focusing on downtown revitalization, has named its first Executive Director, Barberton native Melanie Black Amato.

Amato is a graduate of Kent State University and brings two decades of experience in government, nonprofit leadership, and small business ownership. She has split her time between Barberton and Naples, Florida for the past six years, now returning to full time residency in Barberton as she begins her tenure at Main Street Barberton.

“Melanie has so much great experience leading a nonprofit and organizing community members around important topics and ideas, we’re excited for her to put her talents to work to help our downtown thrive,” said Denny Liddle, President of the Board for Main Street Barberton. “The entire Main Street Barberton board was thrilled with all of the incredible candidates who applied for this position, and Melanie’s passion for this community and this project stood out the most.”

“I love Barberton, my home town!” Amato said. “The downtown area of any community is critical for bringing people together, and I’m excited to be part of the team that will focus on bringing people to our amazing downtown in Barberton.”

Amato began her career in criminal justice, and later took on leadership roles in two nonprofits, serving as Executive Director for Drug Free Collier (Collier is the county Naples, Florida is in) and as Associate Executive Director for Healthy Start Coalition of Southwest Florida. Drug Free Collier focused on preventing drug use, and Healthy Start Coalition of Southwest Florida worked to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women, children, and families.

Amato built the organizations by bringing together community leaders to accomplish goals – a skill she intends to put to good use in her role as Main Street Barberton’s leader.

“I love getting to know people and helping them solve problems,” Amato said. “Everyone I talk to cares so much about Barberton. My role is to help bring people together to help downtown Barberton thrive, and I’m excited to do it!”

“Melanie is a dynamic person with many talents, including a high-energy, proactive approach to leadership,” Liddle said. “Throughout her career she has proven her ability to collaborate with others and help communities solve problems – we’re excited to have her downtown!”

Get Involved

If you are interested in learning more about Main Street Barberton, or wish to serve on a committee, please contact the organization at

About Main Street Barberton

Main Street Barberton is a nonprofit organization in the City of Barberton focused on rehabilitating and revitalizing the downtown area through economic development and growth activities. Established in 2022, the organization aims to provide the citizens of Barberton – and residents all over the state of Ohio – a unique and magical downtown experience.

Media Contact

Denny Liddle

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