ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Candi Noble-Greathouse, marketing director for the Ohio Valley Mall, loves her job and the work it enables her to do in the community.
Noble-Greathouse has worked in the mall’s marketing department for more than 20 years. Her career began just two days after graduating with a degree in public relations from Bethany College, when she secured the position of assistant marketing director in 1999. She took over the director’s position shortly after in 2001.
“I love to plan events and work with the community is my favorite part. I can work with all sorts of organizations at many times on events that will help promote our shopping center and our retailers,” she said.
Noble-Greathouse said they are planning an array of programs and promotions for the coming year, along with continuing annual events. She said something is offered every month and gifting promotions offered during every holiday.
She said they are currently working toward the arrival of the Easter bunny April 2. Also at that time, they will welcome the return of Mr. Science, a meteorologist who performs science shows for children and will do so at the mall.
“In addition to that, one of my favorite things we get to do is take Mr. Science to our local schools. This year we are going to Elm Grove Elementary School and St. Michael’s Parish School in Wheeling,” she said, adding that they have not been able to do this every year as it’s been difficult the last couple years amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He comes in and shows science with everyday objects,” she said. “He makes science lots of fun and the kids are just mesmerized. It’s not magic, it is science.”
In October, children’s performer Captain McFinn will visit during the mall’s anti-bullying program. He will accompany Noble-Greathouse to area schools to promote kindness.
“That’s another way I get to go out. We have visited all of Belmont County headstarts in the past and we share kindness kits. I really enjoy that,” she added.
Every week, Toddler Tuesday is held at 11 a.m., where children can participate in crafts, activities and story time with local organizations.
“Everyone that comes really enjoys it, so we work with community partners to do that as well. Belmont County Head Start works with us, Trinity Health Systems, JB Green Team, our stores, they all have helped in some way to promote free and fun activities for the kids,” she said, adding that they are looking to expand the program.
Another program offered is the mall’s “Play and Stay” promotion that allows people to play at Tilt Studios, go to AMC Theaters, dine at any of the mall’s restaurants and stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites or any other hotels.
“You don’t have to be far away to do that, you can just make it a weekend and have some fun,” she said.
Camp Marshmallow is set to return in the summer, but officials are also working on a new summer program for kids and their families to enjoy with a kick off in May. Noble-Greathouse was unable to say much about the impending program; however, she said more information will be released in the near future.
Noble-Greathouse said they love to assist the mall’s community partners including Trinity Health Systems who sponsors the Kid Zone, The United Way and Operation Toy Lift, Staying Clean Car Show, other nonprofits, churches and schools.
“We would like for our shoppers and community businesses to think of us first when they’re thinking of hosting an event or trying to put on a fundraiser,” she said. “We hope people think of us. We’re working with St. Baldricks (Foundation), we’ve worked with the schools, every month we’re working with a different organization.”
Over the past few years there have been many changes at the mall including the loss of some longtime retailers and the addition of many others including Dunham’s Sports, Five Below, the Dollar Tree, Hampton Inn & Suites, Ferguson’s House of Furniture and Connie’s Creative Collections.
The mall will “soon” welcome Coaches Burger Bar, which will replace the space left by Garfield’s, which closed in August. Noble-Greathouse said the project is still in the construction phase and has not yet announced an opening date.
“We’re really excited for the opening, we hear it’s really great — our shoppers and our stores are very, very excited,” she said.
Noble-Greathouse said the retail department is constantly working to find more retailers that are interested in expanding into the St. Clairsville market. Though limited information was provided, she did say they are working on negotiations at this time for future retailers to fill some of the vacancies.
“We’re constantly trying to find new tenants,” she added.