Bowman breakfast highlights importance of collaboration

Drew Parker

KentWired Video

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The Kent Chamber of Commerce hosted the Fall 2011 Bowman Breakfast Thursday morning in the Student Center ballroom.

President Lester Lefton and City Manager Dave Ruller shared the podium at the event titled “Shared Vision for a New Kent.” During their speeches, Lefton and Ruller discussed changes to downtown Kent and the university.

During the speech, Ruller stressed the importance of city and university collaboration for success and said that “the best of the old and new” will be inspiration for all renovation projects.

“Everything we’re here to celebrate is that (Lefton) and I are standing here together,” Ruller said. “Kent State and the city of Kent have teamed up, and the results are going to be fantastic.”

Lefton said that the renovations will create at least 500 jobs throughout the city, and he added that Kent is becoming competitive with Akron and Cleveland for the first time.

“This will provide jobs for years to come,” Lefton said. “(The result) will be a $100 million downtown renaissance.”

Projects include the Kent State Hotel and Conference Center, which will be downtown and should be completed by 2013, and renovations to 30 buildings on campus, which is a proposal Lefton still needs to get funding approved for and has been working on since Fall 2010.

Contact Drew Parker at [email protected].