As Chair of the Streetscape Committee, it has been exciting to play a role in using the Third Street Corridor Study and developing it into a workable master plan for Third Street. The process included seeking out and coordinating input from public meetings, the German Village Commission and the Society’s Board of Trustees. I believe that community input is a vital component of any important decision impacting our neighborhood. This input and the resulting enthusiasm has helped create a strong Third Street Plan and laid the groundwork for the next critical step; secure city funding, grants and donations.
I have lived in German Village since 1998 and love being able to walk to so many places. In addition to my work with the Streetscape Committee, I am an active member of the Civic Relations Committee and I have been an enthusiastic Haus und Garten Tour volunteer for 13 years.
I have an MBA specializing in organizational effectiveness, leadership and management of resources and worked as a Labor Relations Consultant for over 23 years.
I am very excited to use my work experiences and leadership skill in working with the other Trustees to preserve and advance the historic character of German Village.
Board President – Bill Case
Bill is a retired attorney, having practiced law with the Thompson Hine law firm in Columbus for over 30 years. A native of Hudson, Ohio (also a historic community), he attended Ohio Wesleyan University and University of Akron, receiving his bachelor’s degree from the latter institution. After receiving his law degree from Ohio Northern University College of Law, he practiced in Akron before moving to Upper Arlington in 1977. During his career, Bill litigated employment discrimination suits and defended electric utilities on liability claims. Bill still keeps his hand in the law serving as a volunteer mediator with the United States District Court, as well as an arbitrator on fee disputes that come before the Columbus and Ohio State Bar Associations.
Bill moved to German Village in 1997 intending to merely ”camp out” for a year or two, but the pull of GV was too strong to resist! Prior to joining the Society’s Board, Bill and his wife Lisa (a German Village Commission member) have been active on the Historic Preservation Committee, House und Garten, Huntington Garden fundraising, GV farm and SPOT.
During his time in Columbus, Bill served terms as chairman of the Ohio State Bar Association litigation section, a trustee of OPERAColumbus, and a member of the vestry at Trinity Episcopal Church. He also headed up his law firm’s pro bono activities in Columbus for several years. Bill enjoys competitive golf, basketball, biking and traveling. He and Lisa try to take UK golf trips every summer. They also have fun watching their Corgi dog, Angus, frolic at the new dog park at Audubon. Bill has a daughter, Hadley, who is married and living in Miami Beach , employed as Miami editor for “944 Magazine.” Bill looks forward to working with all of the people and organizations that make German Village such a special place..
Board Treasurer – Nick Cavalaris
Nick was raised in Columbus and has been a resident of German Village for over ten years. A former city attorney and partner at Smith & Hale, Nick currently works as in house counsel and VP of Real Estate at Orange Barrel Media. He’s serving his second term as Treasurer of the Society, Chairman of the Finance Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. He is committed to devoting the time and energy needed to foster community spirit and draw on the generosity of our neighbors to help perpetuate the many benefits German Village provides to its residents and visitors. Nick resides on City Park Avenue with his wife, Meghan.
Board Member – Sarah Irvin Clark
Sarah Irvin Clark owns Irvin Public Relations — a PR agency that focuses on event publicity with a touch of corporate, arts and association clients in the mix. In her capacity as the media director for several beloved Central Ohio events, including Red, White & BOOM!, the Nationwide Better Health Columbus Marathon and Komen Columbus Race for the Cure, she has developed the media campaigns that have powered the success of each of these events. Additionally, Sarah is the publicist for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice for Feld Entertainment in five markets throughout Ohio.
In addition to serving on the German Village Society Board of Trustees, Sarah and her husband, Kelly Clark, chaired the 2008 German Village Haus Und Garten Tour. She also tutors at Stewart Avenue Elementary and is a founding board member of See Kids Dream, a service learning program that empowers elementary school children across Columbus to be empowered citizens; and a past board member of Dine Originals Columbus.
Michael Cornelis is Vice President of International Sales for American Pan. Mike has over 25 years in the baking pan and pan coating industry.
Mike and his wife Susan Riley are 18 year residents on Mohawk Street. Susan is a principal with CCI, Columbus Consultants International.
Over the past 18 years, Mike has been active on many GVS committees. On Oktoberfest, Mike served on Trash, Operations and Beer. Mike was Beer Chairman for over five years.
On Haus Und Garten, Mike has served as chairperson for both Transportation and Operations on many tours. Susan and Mike were Co-Chairs of the 2001 tour.
Mike is on the Friends of Schiller committee, marketing committee, and served on the GVS mobile website committee.
Mike serves on the board of IBIE, the International Baking Industry Expo. He is the Vice Chairman of the IBIE board. Mike is a past Chairman of BEMA, the Baking Equipment Manufacturers Association.
Most villagers might not recognize him without his beer mug hat at Oktoberfest or driving around in a golf cart picking up trash on a tour day. So please don’t let the coat and tie photo fool you. He is still the same guy who likes to do whatever he can to help the German Village Society.
Board Member – Darci Congrove
Darci has lived in German Village since 1993, working her way up from renting half of a double with on-street parking to a small house with a parking space, and finally, a larger house with a garage. She and her husband, John Pribble, currently reside at 756 Jaeger Street with their dog, Cookie. Darci loves to garden, cook and entertain, and is known for making all of the food at her Haus und Garten Pre-Tour dinners.
Darci and John opened the German Village Guest House, an upscale bed and breakfast, in 2005. The Guest House operates in two properties: 748 Jaeger Street and 177 Whittier Street, and was awarded the Fred & Howard Ambassadorship Award by the German Village Society in 2008 in recognition of the positive national press that the business has garnered for the German Village historic district.
In 2010, Darci became the managing director of GBQ Partners, Columbus’ largest local public accounting firm of approximately 120 associates. She is a CPA and has worked as a tax professional for 17 years, advising middle-market businesses and their owners on tax and financial matters.
Darci sits on the Board of the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, and is a long-standing member of the Advisory Board of the Conway Center for Family Business, an educational organization. Darci is a charter member of the United Way of Central Ohio’s Women’s Leadership Council, and has been a United Way Young Leadership Group member for more than 10 years. She is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Columbus, was recognized on the Business First 40 Under 40 list in 2002, and was named as one of the twelve Women You Should Know in 2010 by WELD (Women for Economic Leadership & Development).
Board Member – Bill Curlis
Since moving to the Village in 1990, I have served as a volunteer, committee member, and trustee. I have enjoyed a tremendous sense of reward from selling Haus und Garten Tour tickets, recruiting volunteers, hosting pre-tour dinners, and mulching trees in Schiller Park. My leadership roles have included President of the Board, Chairman of the Oktoberfest and the Civic Relations Committee. I have managed to avoid being a Huntington Garden Deadheader (and hope to keep it that way). I believe the Society is responsible for creating a community spirit, maintaining property values, and lobbying for our fair share of City resources. Our partnership with the Columbus Police, the Recreation and Parks Department, the German Village business community, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital will shape the future of our neighborhood and I would like to continue to foster those relationships by serving on the Board.
Board Member – Beth Ervin
I have a vivid memory of the day I moved into German Village in 1978. After moving furniture and unpacking boxes, I celebrated with drinks and dinner at the Old Mohawk. I knew I had found my home. I worked with Aaron Leventhal (now my husband) to help bring the Oktoberfest back to German Village in 1986 and spent four years as the event’s coordinator. I have been a volunteer for the Haus und Garten Tour, Gallery Gala and several ad hoc committees. I have worked at Experience Columbus, the region’s convention and visitors bureau, for 17 years. As director of communications, I am responsible for public relations, community relations and publications that market Columbus to attract leisure tourists and conventions. I have a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University. Aaron and I live on City Park Avenue with our two cats Annie and Nelson.
Board Member – Chris Hune
I am the major accounts manager at Team Fishel, a national network installation and utility construction specialists. Team Fishel provides physical network connectivity for major corporations as well as small independent organizations. Team Fishel also provides long-haul connectivity for major telecommunication and utility carriers by installing literally millions of miles of fiber optics and copper to connect communities around the United States.
I’ve been a member of the German Village community since 1993 and active in a variety of committees, including Historic Preservation, Parks and Public Spaces, German Village Garten Club, German Village Cookbook “Share the Flavor” committee, and I most recently chaired the 2011 German Village Haus und Garten Tour. I also serve on the Women’s Board of the Franklin Park Conservatory and previously the Women’s Board of the Columbus Museum of Art and am past trustee of the Junior League of Columbus and Leaderspark.
I have a BA from Otterbein College (now University) in Business and Organizational Communication.
Board Secretary – Jeanne Likins
Jeanne M. Likins was born in Atlanta, Georgia, raised in Massachusetts, attended high school in Nashville, and graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College cum laude. After this, she was a Rotary International Fellow, spending a year at the University of Western Australia and serving as an ambassador of good will to the Australian people.
When she returned to the States, she went to Washington, D.C., where she obtained her MA and PhD from The George Washington University and The American University respectfully. She has lived in German Village longer than anywhere else and truly considers this home.
She moved to Columbus in 1984. She was enthralled with German Village from her first look, and she decided that Columbus could be a fine place to live if German Village would be her address. She has been happy to live here ever since.
Jeanne’s first career was in higher education student affairs and she served her national professional organization, the American College Personnel Association, in numerous positions, including as its vice president. She has authored dozens of articles and a book in her original career.
She currently works in a variety of settings, including as a dispute resolution mediator and she operates a medical education and consulting company with her husband. She also manages financial affairs and human resources in their medical practice.
A life-long volunteer and community organizer, Jeanne serves in many roles. In German Village, she became involved as soon as she settled in. She served the German Village Foundation as a trustee and as its president; she was one of two organizers of First National Symposium of Historic Communities and has chaired numerous committees of the German Village Society, including Parks and Public Spaces, the Enhancement Committee, the New Business Model Task Force and currently the Membership Committee.
In 2004 she was honored to join the ranks of villagers who have been honored with the Frank Fetch Award for service to the GVS. In 2005, she was elected as a trustee of the German Village Society and in 2010 began service as its secretary. Jeanne is enriched by her friendships and collaborations in German Village. She believes deeply in the mission of the GVS, values her responsibility as a steward of its heritage, gladly gives her time For the Good of the Neighborhood and seeks to serve, with her fellow GVS members as a Caretaker of a Legacy.
Board Member - Jeff McNealey
Based on my experience volunteering for German Village of more than 30 years, the Board must include persons with a history and experience in German Village and greater Columbus matters. This is particularly true since the recent constitutional reduction of board members from 17 to 12 eliminating the appointed representatives of law, architecture, accounting and “greater than ten year” residencies. Narrowing the board to a smaller number puts more demands on individual board members to actively represent the Society in the greater community. Persons with experience and connections to accomplish results for German Village are needed for balance. As to issues going forward, I see the following challenges: strengthening our ties to the downtown community; building a stronger, community based volunteer network as was the case with Oktoberfest; assuring fiscal integrity and transparency; developing historic neighborhood collaborations on “aging in place” and alternative educational opportunities for young families; and fostering a good collegial time by all as we celebrate stewardship of our legacy. I have the qualifications to move the Village forward toward these goals in a well-coordinated, fiscally sound, transparent manner.
Board Member - Brian J. Santin
Brian J. Santin, MD is quite familiar with the Columbus landscape, having resided in the capital city for the past 12 years. Dr. Santin was raised in Cleveland before moving to Columbus to pursue a degree in Economics followed by medical school at The Ohio State University. During his undergraduate tenure, Brian was very involved in undergraduate student government, the intrafraternity council and was elected to OSU’s 2002 Homecoming Court. After receiving his doctor of medicine, Brian entered General Surgery residency at Mount Carmel. He has chosen to pursue a fellowship in vascular surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, which began in July 2011.
Dr. Santin is secretary for the American College of Surgeons, Resident and Associate Society and a Board member of the Columbus Medical Association. Brian is actively involved in the German Village Society as chair of the Streetscape Committee, Co-Chair of Go Green, Go Grun, and webmaster for www.germanvillage.com.
Board Member and Immediate Past President- Michael Yarborough
Michael K. Yarbrough is a member of Frost Brown Todd LLC and is the leader of the firm’s Product Liability Practice Group. He has extensive experience in the area of toxic tort litigation. He served as lead counsel in nationwide toxic tort litigation for a major lawn-care company, as well as representing defendants in other chemical exposure cases. He has tried numerous cases around the country on chemical exposure and product liability issues.Mr. Yarbrough has defended several class action suits involving claims for medical monitoring, personal injury and property damage. Mr. Yarbrough also has a broad background in products liability law and construction litigation.