Jared Hitchens

Marketing Director

Meet Jared Hitchens, a Topeka native who takes great pride in his hometown. Jared has been in the marketing industry for over a decade, working in a variety of roles that have helped him develop a wide range of skills. He began his career in the printing industry, where he honed his customer relations, graphic design, production, and project management abilities. Jared then went on to work as a marketing director for Parrish Hotels, overseeing the marketing efforts for six hotels and the company itself. He also worked as the marketing director and volunteer administrator at the Topeka Zoo, where he managed events and resource development.

Jared’s passion for marketing and communications led him to his current position as the Marketing Director for the Topeka Partnership, which includes GO Topeka, Visit Topeka, and Downtown Topeka Inc. As a one-man marketing team, Jared is a branding guru who is skilled in graphic design, photography, video production, website management, project management, media relations, user experience, audio/visual tech, and marketing planning. Jared is thrilled to be part of a passionate team that helps him continue to grow his knowledge and expertise.

When Jared is not leading the team in the office, he enjoys spending time with his family – his wife, Sarah, and their three children, Cayleigh, Parker, and Gideon. He also volunteers at his church, Grace Community, where he serves as the chair and heads up their audio and video team. If you’re looking for a marketing pro who knows Topeka inside and out, look no further than Jared Hitchens.

If you could magically improve one aspect of the local economy overnight, what would it be and why?
I have seen many of my more talented musician friends leave the Topeka area for larger, more supportive markets. I love what Topeka has developed into where it supports the visual arts with NOTO and Downtown businesses supporting the First Friday art walks. I would love to see Topeka become a hub of musicians where more venues are in place and can sustain them. This would mean that we incubate our musicians like small business owners and provide them all the same opportunities.
Can you share a funny or heartwarming story from your work in community economic development?
One of my favorite projects that comes up is to interview and talk to Small Business owners who have gone participated in the incentives programs that GO Topeka and JEDO provide. They are always great personal stories of how the business was able to grow faster and become better because of it. For instance, a close friend of mine owns Harrison Family Motors, and as he was getting his business up and going noticed quickly that he could become much more efficient and increase sales if he had an in-house mechanic that would allow him to be sure that the cars he sells are ones he could be proud of. The incentives helped him put a car lift in place that made the work easier and faster for the mechanic that he hired. Now he has three lifts in his shop and employs his son as a mechanic as well as the man he first hired. He was very grateful to have that opportunity and still sees it as a big shot in the arm to his business.
What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced while working to improve the local economy, and how have you overcome them?
There’s just so much work to do that can help our community! Our organization can be overseeing up to 100 different projects at any given time. All of these are important and have the potential to greatly improve our economy and the well-being of Topeka and Shawnee County residents. Trying to balance that workload between 40+ employees can be a huge hurdle to constantly overcome. It requires the right kind of person to see the value that the community is getting from these things we work on in order to not experience burnout over time.

Jared has never actually attended a true, full-fledged concert. He doesn't count the smaller venues like Uncle Bo's, Boobie Trap, or Evergy Plaza that put on great shows but he's never been to a large venue to see a true concert despite his appreciation for music.

Quinton Heights Hill

Welcome to the neighborhood at the top of Quinton Heights Hill, where Jared Hitchens and his family call home! The view from their home is one of the most stunning in the city, boasting a picturesque panorama of the Topeka skyline, including the towering Evergy and Capitol Federal buildings, as well as the charming rooftops of small businesses. Jared’s decision to move to this neighborhood was driven by his desire to keep his kids in the prestigious 501 school district while staying close to downtown. The 501 administration building sits atop the hill as well, making it an ideal location. And when the snow starts to fall, this neighborhood turns into a winter wonderland, perfect for sledding adventures with the family. Whether it’s admiring the stunning views or enjoying some snowy fun, Jared and his family are proud to call the neighborhood at the top of Quinton Heights Hill their home.