John and his wife Robin moved to German Village in 2001 from Northwest Columbus and have never looked back. They are active volunteers for the Haus und Garten Tour every year and have co-hosted PreTour dinners and love driving the golf carts on Tour day. Other volunteer activities include the Art Crawl, Village Lights and Monster Bash.
John is a CPA and has over 35 years of experience in both public accounting as well as private industry and is currently a principal at Clark, Schaefer, Hackett, a large regional public accounting firm. John’s professional experience brings added financial expertise to the Board. He is proud to call German Village home and being a part of helping to keep the Society vibrant, which will benefit the community, it’s residents and members as well as to the many visitors.
Dennis has been a member of German Village Society since 1990 and served as development committee chair since 2012 — in addition to participating in the streetscape committee and as a Haus und Garten Tour volunteer.
As a trustee, he brings to the table a graduate degree from Ohio State University in city and regional planning, 30 years’ experience locally and globally in planning and designing communities, campuses and facilities, and frequent work with senior leadership and boards. Dennis was appointed and then elected as a member of the Clintonville Area Commission. He has an appreciation for the qualities that make for sustainable communities, both physically and socially. The above gives him insights and life experiences that he credits with making him patient, inclusive and diplomatic.
Kelly Clark’s background is in restaurant management and account management and is used to putting other people first and working through unique and, at times, difficult situations. He brings an extreme amount of love, adoration and admiration of German Village to the board.
In addition to serving on the German Village Society Board of Trustees, Kelly and his wife, Sarah Irvin Clark, chaired the 2008 German Village Haus und Garten Tour. Clark is also involved in Frank Fetch Park, Friends of Schiller Park, and the Haus und Garten tour every year. He also can be seen bowling every Sunday night.
Darci Congrove – Treasurer
The 2015 Frank Fetch Award winner returns to the board in the one-year, non-voting seat.
Darci served on the Society’s board for six years as a member of the finance and historic preservation committees, and volunteered for everything from welcoming guests at the Visitors Center to hosting member receptions, as well as 10 Haus und Garten pre-tour dinners.
In 2010, she became president of the German Village Society board. The following year, in order to pump up the Village treasury, Darci created Tea 43206, a garden party gala benefit held at the German Village Guesthouse, owned by Darci and her husband, John Pribble.
Darci is managing director of GBQ Partners.
Bill Curlis – Secretary
Since moving to the Village in 1990, Bill has served as a volunteer, committee member and trustee and has 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. His leadership roles have included president of the board and chairman of Oktoberfest and the civic relations committee, and he’s managed to avoid being a Huntington Garden Deadheader (and hopes to keep it that way). He believes the society is responsible for creating a community spirit, maintaining property values and lobbying for our fair share of city resources. German Village’s 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 Bill would like to continue to foster those relationships by serving on the board.
Heidi Drake – Vice President
Heidi Drake has lived in the Village more than 20 years, and volunteered for GVS as a Stewart School tutor, Visitors Center ambassador, Go Green, and Membership Committees as well as volunteering for Haus and Garten tours each year. She and her husband Larry had their garden on the 2006 Tour. She helps in the office at the Meeting Haus twice a week with anything that needs to be filed, mailed or organized.
Heidi is a member of the German Village Garten Club and volunteers regularly for Village Connections. She also volunteers outside the Village as a member of the Harmony Project and for her church.
Before retiring the first time, Heidi worked at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a vice president. She retired a second time after working as the Volunteer Director at the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio. Both jobs helped Heidi understand the challenges that nonprofit organizations face, and she looks forward to helping to implement the strategic plan.
Greg Gamier co-chaired the German Village Business Community for two years and continues to lead Art Crawl and Village Lights with his husband and business partner, Jeff Lowe. They own Village Pet Supply. In addition to GVBC, Greg has helped organize the Pet Parade for the past 12 years and volunteered for the Haus und Garten Tour for years. He has also been involved with the Village Singers for over 10 years either as a singer or working behind the scenes. Greg views his primary role on the Board to serve as facilitator between residents and business owners in the historic district, both of whom contribute so much to the fabric and desirability of the neighborhood.
Brittany Gibson is a writer and German Village resident eager to help improve and advocate for the neighborhood. Before joining the board, Brittany co-chaired the 2012 and 2013 Monster Bash Halloween parties, a society fundraising event she continues to be involved with. She also volunteered for several years as a weekend greeter in the Visitor’s Center, welcoming travelers and neighbors alike and sharing her favorite places to visit (which include Pistachia Vera, Old Mohawk, Helen Winnemore Craft and Club 185, to name just a couple). When she’s not out and about with her husband, Joey, in the village, she’s often spotted walking the brick sidewalks with her bright-white lab mix, Nilla. Please stop and say hello!
Brittany works at Victoria’s Secret as a senior copywriter in the marketing department, writing everything from campaign messages, store signage and emails to product names. It’s a fast-moving world she loves being challenged by. Before that, Brittany’s first job after graduating from Ohio University was as a reporter at Columbus Alive (for which she still writes wine reviews). The brick buildings and streets of OU’s Athens campus was definitely part of German Village’s initial allure for Brittany, and she still supports the student newspaper there as past president and board member of The Post Alumni Society.
Joe Kurzer, a resident of German Village for the last 15 years, is passionate not only about the neighborhood but safeguarding the long-term viability of the village as a destination for all that live and visit Columbus.
Joe has served on volunteer committees for Haus und Garten Tour, Frank Fetch Park and poured beer for hundreds of thirsty Oktoberfest attendees over the years.
Having gone through a total house renovation on Sycamore Street when first moving to the village, Joe has worked closely with the Preservation Committee. Now, with his second home on Third Street, Joe look was on Tour for the 2014 Haus und Garten Tour.
Joe is a Dayton native and graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design/Architecture/Art & Planning. Prior to moving to Columbus, Joe lived in Los Angeles and 10 years in Hong Kong, where he was director of creative services for STAR TV, the Asia-based sister network to FOX.
Joe is employed by L Brands and leads the associate engagement and incentives team for Victoria’s Secret Stores. Prior to his role with VS, he was executive producer for Mills James and worked with numerous non-profit organizations on the staging of their annual fundraising events. Joe co-leads L Brands’ GLBT diversity outreach group, Evolve, coordinates VS field participants from across the U.S. for Pelotonia, is an annual Pelotonia rider who accomplished 180 miles last year, and serves on the Donor Council for the Wexner Center for the Arts.
Jeanne Likins – President
Jeanne 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.”
Based on Jeff’s experience volunteering for German Village for 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 10-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 for issues going forward, he sees the following challenges: strengthening the neighborhood’s 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”; developing alternative educational opportunities for young families; and fostering a good, collegial time by all as we celebrate the stewardship of our legacy. Jeff has the qualifications to move the village toward these goals in a well-coordinated, fiscally sound, transparent manner.
As an active Realtor on The “4ForU” Team with Street Sotheby’s International Realty, Susan meets and welcomes perspective German Village residents every day. Her focus has been to share the benefits of living in German Village and participating in the German Village Society. With extensive knowledge about German Village, neighboring communities and urban living in Columbus, Susan believes she has much to offer the German Village Society and its Board of Trustees.
She has lived in German Village since the late 1980s and has volunteered for events such as hosting a stop on the Haus und Garten Tour, in addition to numerous pre-tour dinners. Serving on the membership committee and as a neighborhood representative, Susan is actively engaged in reaching out to potential German Village Society members. She also enjoys being an alternate volunteer at the Visitor’s Center, welcoming visitors from around the world.
Susan’s depth of years of experience in retail buying for Federated Dept. Stores, Madison’s of Columbus, The Longaberger Company and Tween Brands as well as in sales & corporate marketing at Dominion Homes has provided essential business strategies. Her past retail and current real estate professions provide the skills needed to handle numerous tasks while succeeding in getting the job done. Susan is committed to fulfilling the responsibilities of a member of the German Village Board of Trustees.
She resides on Mohawk Street and share her home with an apricot Standard Poodle named Barton. With any given moment of free time, she enjoys gardening, cooking and entertaining.