Heather M. Holmes


Heather Holmes headshot

Heather M. Holmes is a principal in The Raben Group’s Media and Communications practice area. For nearly twenty years, Heather has led experiential marketing and community engagement programs that promote brand integration and business development for organizations across the United States. 

Before joining Raben, Heather was the executive vice president of external affairs at the Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA). She led strategic marketing and public relations, public space programming and activation, and community engagement ensuring DCA effectively messaged itself and its programs convening partners and stakeholders across sectors. Due to Heather’s leadership, DCA’s website is an information hub for Cleveland residents, professionals, visitors, developers, and investors. Her vision led to impactful content marketing and brand campaigns where her Emmy and ADDY-award-winning videos, custom-crafted logos, collateral design, merchandise, and brand imagery take center stage. Heather is credited for being the creator, serving as co-chair and producer of the Cleveland Juneteenth Freedom Festival as well as the #VoicesofCLE Public Art Project, designed to engage artists and creators to inspire, spark conversation, action, and community. 

Before her role at DCA, Heather consulted the United States Black Chambers, Inc.; former Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones; former Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell; The Cleveland Museum of Art; the Women of Color Foundation; the Black YPO group; former Arizona State Representative Cloves Campbell, Jr.; Dr. Ellen Burts-Cooper; GAP Communications Group; C L Magazine, Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Ian Smith’s 50 Million Pound Challenge and Super Bowl XLII.  

Crain’s Cleveland Business recognized Heather as a “40 Under 40” honoree, and she is a member of the 2022 Class of Leadership Cleveland. Her civic engagements include being a member of the Open Doors Academy Board of Directors; a member of the Cleveland (OH) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated; and she is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Heather holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University in interpersonal communications. After eight years in Phoenix, Ariz., she moved back to the Cleveland area, where she and her husband, Goren Dillard, proudly raise their two children.