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ABOUT US

The Champaign Center Partnership is a membership-based business organization providing marketing and promotion opportunities for our members as well as opportunities for collaboration, education, and networking. We now offer a residential membership component, where residents can become members to receive priority access to events, exclusive deals from member businesses, and information about our districts. See our members here. Our organization includes the districts of Downtown, Campustown, and the central commercial area along University Avenue and First Street known as Midtown. These districts are collectively known as Champaign Center.


Click here to read our FY21-22 Annual Report

OUR MISSION

The mission of the Champaign Center Partnership is to foster a vibrant, inviting, and active core Downtown, Midtown, and Campustown by strengthening business and building community.

Our vision is to create healthy and vibrant micro-urban areas for our residents and visitors through marketing, advocacy, and special events.

We encourage and educate the public to shop locally throughout the year. When you spend $100 at a locally-owned business, $68 stays in your community.


CP Wine Walk


Night shot.

CULTIVATE CHAMPAIGN CENTER

Cultivate Champaign Center is a 3-year strategic visionary guide that will elevate the organization to meet the needs of a dynamic city center. The next three years represent a transitional period for a relatively young organization with a sights set on expanding special services while also maintain current operations. In so doing, the CCP will be positioned to create a better sense of place by utilizing public spaces, assisting with business retention and attraction, and helping to ensure economic and community vitality in Champaign’s city center. Cultivate Champaign Center was approved by the CCP board of directors in June 2022.


Click here to read Cultivate Champaign Center

Membership

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OUR HISTORY

We are a 501(c)6 organization founded in 2010 through a merger of the Champaign Downtown Association and the Campustown Business Group. The partnership between the two historic commercial centers of the community opened a new chapter in joint marketing and cooperation between the areas.

How to Join

Our Membership

To learn more about membership benefits and how to become a member, click here. To see what our members are saying about us, click here. Read the highlights report from our FY2022 Annual Meeting Celebration here.

MEET OUR STAFF

 JENNA MANOLAKES, Executive Director

director@champaigncenter.com

Jenna Manolakes joined the Champaign Center Partnership as the Marketing and Events Coordinator in September 2021 and was promoted to Executive Director in 2024. She is originally from Champaign but for college decided to give a different U of I a try and received her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from the University of Illinois in Chicago.

While in Chicago Jenna combined her love of theater and event planning and began marketing the shows she would perform in across the city. Soon she moved to Nashville, TN where she worked as a marketing and events coordinator as well as an artist representative in the thriving music industry. In Nashville, Jenna met and married her husband and eventually returned to Champaign.

Since coming back to Illinois, Jenna coordinated The Homer Soda Festival in 2017 before stepping in as the activities director at an assisted living facility. In that position, she worked heavily in both marketing and in-house event planning.  When the opportunity to join Champaign Center Partnership as the Marketing and Events Coordinator became available, Jenna jumped at the chance to highlight the vibrant community from which she hailed. Now stepping in as the Executive Director, Jenna is thrilled to expand upon the work of all of the leaders who came before her to ensure the success of local Champaign.

When Jenna is not working you can find her spending time with her husband and her daughter. Jenna can not wait to continue to help foster the growth and prosperity of Champaign Center Partnership, the local businesses and the Champaign community as a whole.

MEET OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

RACHEL VOSS – CHAIR

CHAMPAIGN PARK DISTRICT – APPOINTED

Rachel Voss is a nerd that loves C-U! Originally from Southern Illinois, Rachel moved here in 2009 to attend the University of Illinois as a Wheelchair Basketball athlete. After college, she couldn’t think of a better place to be than C-U! 12 years later, she is now focused on helping Champaign grow as the Marketing Coordinator for the Champaign Park District. If you can’t catch her in the parks, you will find her creating disability representation in TTRPGs like Dungeons & Dragons.
Rachel Voss Champaign Park District

LAUREN GRAMLY – VICE CHAIR

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY HABITAT FOR HUMANITY & RESTORE – AT-LARGE

LaurenGramly

MICHAEL PELUSO – SECRETARY

BUSEY BANK

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MARC ALEXANDER

UNIVERSITY YMCA – CAMPUSTOWN

Marc Alexander is the Director of Development & Membership at the University YMCA, having joined the organization in 2018 following his involvement as a volunteer. In his role he oversees all of the organization’s fundraising efforts, including donor and alumni engagement, annual giving, planned gifts, events and the Dump & Run community recycling program.

A native of Champaign, Marc attended University High School, where after 4 years on campus he opted to head elsewhere for college. He attended Vanderbilt University, graduating in 2004 with a BA in Political Science and Minor in History, and was active on the student newspaper, WRVU 91.1 FM, and the Vanderbilt Programming Board.  He currently serves on the Board of the Uni High Alumni Association as Treasurer, and volunteers at the Conservatory of Central Illinois.

In his free time he runs a monthly trivia at Bentley’s Pub in Downtown Champaign during the warm months, is an avid reader, enjoys movies and follows a cavalcade of sports, including Illinois Football, for which he is a long-time season ticket holder. Music is an important part of Marc’s life, which is not a surprise having been raised by musicians. He plays the piano on a regular basis, still picks up his trumpet once in a while and loves attending live shows in Champaign-Urbana and abroad whenever possible.

Marc Alexander Headshot

ADRIAN ASTORINA

LIVE ACTION GAMES – DOWNTOWN

Adrian Astorina is a guy who likes video games.  Although new to the board, most of his work background been spent in Champaign-Urbana small businesses, as an employee or manager.  In 2012, he founded Live Action Games, a retro and modern video game store.  Adrian is very much invested in the future of Champaign, and is an active mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters, in addition to living and working downtown.

Adrian Astorina

ERIC CAIN

FLATLAND TATTOO STUDIO – CAMPUSTOWN

EricCain

DAN CHURCH

THE VENUE CU – DOWNTOWN

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MICKIE PHETCHAREUNE

STICKY RICE –DOWNTOWN

Untitled design

JENNY SHIMA

THE LITERARY – DOWNTOWN

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ROBERT WHITE II

CHAMPAIGN PARKS DISTRICT

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DAVION WILLIAMS

CITY OF CHAMPAIGN, CITY COUNCIL – APPOINTED

Portrait of Davion Williams

Contact

Champaign Center Partnership
301 N. Neil St. Suite 400
Champaign, IL 61820
217-352-2400
info@champaigncenter.com

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