Sean grew up in Canton, Ohio. Like many little kids, his first love was soccer. Then he became interested in dance thanks to his older sister who was taking ballet lessons. Sean studied ballet through high school and then earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Dance at The Ohio State University.
After graduating from OSU, Sean performed with the Chicago Ballet for five years. He “retired at 30” from ballet, but his early experience as a company dancer was formative. Sean says dance performance is the foundation of his belief in collaboration and his commitment to building trust with his board, sponsors, and volunteers.
Sean returned to Columbus in 2008 to begin a career in Arts Management as Director of Columbus Dance Theater. He managed the dance school and professional company, as well as grant writing, donor acquisition, personnel, production supervision and facility maintenance.
Sean joined the Greater Columbus Arts Council in 2014 and was promoted to Director of the Columbus Arts Festival in 2016. He oversees all aspects of programming and operations of the annual festival. Behind the scenes Sean manages the complex logistics of coordinating 100’s of exhibiting artists, performers and vendors. To support the festival, Sean has developed great relationships with many corporate sponsors and the City of Columbus.
Sean lives in Worthington with his fiancé, Emily Toney, and their blended family of four kids who range in age from 5-13.
Rachel moved to Columbus in the summer of 2021 with her husband and two daughters, after almost 20 years of calling Los Angeles home. In LA she worked for a noted botanical garden in Education and Public Programming as a coordinator and educator. Rachel and her family are enjoying discovering the city and all it has to share.
Rachel has been an admirer of the village since her parents put down roots here 20 years ago. "German Village has such a sense of place and an energy that is contagious." She is thrilled to begin her journey in the Columbus community as a part of the GVS team. Rachel is enjoying getting to know the GV residents and how her experiences can help enhance the organization.
Susan Carmichael joined the German Village Society team in the spring of 2023. Her experience in both business and her personal life bring a varied background to the Office Assistant position.
She moved back to German Village in 2022 after being away for two years, excited to reconnect with old friends and establishing new connections. Her daughter and family live in Coral Springs, Florida which has become the answer to, “where should I go on vacation”?
Her most interesting work assignments include civilian military operations at the Pentagon and in Hawaii, IT startups in Dallas, Texas, and travel organizations American Airlines and Travelocity. Her career focus was human resources, enjoying every aspect of employee relations and communications.
When spare time allows for it, she is an artist, published writer and looking forward to a little golf this summer.
Michael Cornelis is a former GVS board member and board member emeritus who is returning to the board after an 11-year pause. He is currently a member of the Parks and Public Spaces Committee (PPSC), chairperson of the GV FUN Committee, and player/manager of the German Village 9 vintage baseball club.
Michael and his wife, Susan Riley, served as Co-Chairs of the 2001 Haus und Garten tour, and have lived in German Village for 28 years.
Elizabeth (Liz) Newton joined the German Village Society Board in September 2022 and leads the Long-range Planning Committee. She has been a resident of German Village for more than 6 years, enjoying the Society’s and others’ events and services around the neighborhood and park and volunteering for the Haus und Garten Tour and the Civic Relations committee.
Bill Curlis has lived in German Village since 1990 and has been embedded in the neighborhood since. He has served the German Village Society in various capacities including Haus und Garten Tour and PreTour, Oktoberfest, Civic Relations, Historic Preservation Committee, Organizational Development Committee, Board of Trustees President and Secretary (where he is once again serving). Bill is also a regular weekend volunteer at the Meeting Haus Visitor’s Center.
Kathleen Kaufman has been participating in events with GVS (German Village Society) since 2018, she helped host Monster Bash 2018, and recently joined the GVS finance committee. She is passionate about German Village, and believes it is a special, unique community, and is looking forward to participating and contributing to furthering GVS’s mission. Kathleen has about 9 years of public accounting experience, all with Ernst & Young’s Columbus office, in the audit practice. In addition to Finance committee related contributions through my accounting background, she also enjoys being creative and executing events. At EY, Kathleen is the Professional Women’s Network Chair, which involves an element of event planning and creativity, as well as encouraging participation and involvement from our local office.
Tim Bibler has lived in German Village since 1998 and also has been active with the German Village Society. Tim has served as a Board member, Board Executive Committee member, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair, Parking Committee Chair, Streetscape Committee Chair, Preservation Committee member, and ODC Committee member. Additionally, He has been a Haus und Garten Tour volunteer for 20 years and has volunteered to work on other events over the years including co-hosting PreTour dinners.
In addition to an educational background that includes an MBA, Tim's work experience for over 25 years involved working with organizations that consisted of all-volunteer membership. Tim hopes to use both my work experience and my GVS experience, to continue advancing the organization’s efforts in preserving the historic character of German Village.
Beth Burson has been a volunteer and advocate of the German Village Society for many years. Returning to Columbus in 2012 after living down south for several years, she was eager to dive back into her involvement in German Village. Beth organizes and runs a neighborhood group called Prost, which meets once a month somewhere local to encourage neighbors to get to know one another and share opportunities for involvement in our community. Ms. Burson was on the New Membership Committee under Susan Sutherland, helping to welcome new members to the village as they arrive with a gift basket of goodies from local businesses. She has been a longtime volunteer with the German Village Haus Und Garten Tour, serving as House Captain for the past 5 years. Beth has also served on the planning committee for the Art Crawl, Monster Bash, and Village Lights. Most recently, she helped to organize a Village Moms Group, so that new moms can connect and find ways to introduce their little ones as well as get to know one another. Beth is a longtime volunteer in Frank Fetch Park, serving on the watering team to keep the park always looking its best. She is an active German Village Garten Club member. Advocating for the German Village community has been a long-time passion of Hers, and she looks forward to finding new ways to promote growth and opportunity.
Outside of German Village activities, Beth has actively served on the board for AAF Columbus, to cultivate professional growth and networking amongst other agency and marketing professionals in Columbus. She works downtown for a local advertising agency as a Media Buyer and Planner and loves her job along with the creative avenues it has provided. She also participates in a local book club with a few village ladies, Beth says, "Although in all honestly, we mostly just enjoy a good bottle of wine and each other’s company."
Beth is honored to be a part of the German Village Society and to see what exciting new opportunities are to come!
"I love German Village and a huge part of that is the community," Andrea Ford
Andrea believes that the German Village Society is integral to that. She is looking forward to being involved more regularly.
Ms. Ford chaired the 2019 Monster Bash and co-chaired the 2021 & 2022 Monster Bash with Natalie Brehm. She had the honor of being a stop in the 2017 Haus and Garten Tour. Andrea's past experiences include serving in AmeriCorps as a Community Outreach coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Lee County Florida. Andrea is hopeful her skills and experience will help bring GVS involvement to newer German Village residents. She would love to see 100% involvement from our neighbors in the future.
Nelson Genshaft joined the Board in October 2018, after serving as Chair of the Civic Relations Committee since 2011. Civic Relations is responsible for dealing with government agencies, and Nelson and staff worked on the plan for extensive capital improvements to S. Third St, running from Livingston to Reinhard. Civic Relations also planned the use of over $1 million in funds allocated by the City from its Urban Infrastructure Renewal Fund, which were used to fix brick streets. While the Third St. project did not get funded by the City of Columbus, Nelson hopes it will come back to life someday and he can use his planning experience to move it forward.
Nelson is a lawyer and practices at the Strip Hoppers firm, located across the street from the Meeting Haus. He has lived in the Village since 2007, after raising 3 kids in Bexley. He and his wife Carole, a Curator at the Columbus Museum of Art, and a large red Goldendoodle named Oliver live near Schiller Park and enjoy walks there and in all the Metro Parks. Nelson tries to play golf, although badly and the family enjoys skiing in Colorado, where their children and grandchildren live. Carole serves on the Arts Committee of the German Village Society, and their home on E Whittier has been on the tour two times.
Nelson will try to bring his problem-solving skills and experience from other volunteer boards (Columbus Bar Association, where he was President in 2007-08, and the Jewish Community Center where he chairs the Aquatics Committee) to look at local issues.
Jessica Kapusta is from Cleveland, lived in Cincinnati, and landed in German Village 3 years ago. She has a strong record of volunteer activities and, just like everywhere she’s been, jumped into giving back as soon as she arrived in Columbus. She immediately recognized German Village was a special place and started by supporting events such as Monster Bash, The Haus & Garten Tour, and even creating her fundraiser. Personally, Jessica is a small business owner and consultant. She has been creating content for natural food brands’ websites, social media, and print for 5 years. In that time she has managed to master online communication and built solid technological skills. This is her first time serving on the board of a non-profit and she is excited to lend her skills to this vibrant community.
Jessica currently serves as the chair of the German Village Business Community.
Anne McGee has lived in German Village since August 2017. Having spent most of her life in Huntington, WV. Anne and her husband, Bill, moved to Columbus for his job at Encova Insurance. They have three sons who are partially launched and living in Chicago, Washington DC, and Huntington, WV.
Anne, a graduate of Boston College and the University of Cincinnati College of Law, briefly practiced law in WV with a primary focus on commercial litigation. Over the years Anne has volunteered in many capacities and served on multiple community nonprofit boards. As a former director and founder of a community coalition, Anne has experience in communications, grant writing, organizing, facilitating community outreach, and strategic planning.
Since moving to Columbus, Anne has volunteered weekly in the visitor center and performs house history research for the GVS plaque project.
Anthony has been a proud renter, landlord, and owner in the village for over a decade. He seeks ways to foster friendship comradery and community with all neighbors. Mr. Meyer wants to champion the rich history of our architecture and the efforts of our preservationists.
He is currently a member of the Civic Relations Committee. Anthony participated on the team and led the '20 & '21 Holiday Lights Competition app. Anthony and his husband Tyler had their home at 626 S 5th on the Haus und Garten Tour in '19. Anthony served as a member of the '17 Monster Bash committee and the winning stop in '18.
As Director, Global Logistics Operations at Cardinal Health Anthony has honed leadership skills and program/project management tools and techniques necessary to execute on time and within budget. He completed 5 years as Chair of PROUD ERG where he developed teams and strategies.
Anthony most recently chaired the 61st Haus und Garten Tour!
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Tim moved with his family to German Village in 1978 and never left.
Tim received a degree in journalism and a Master's in Business Administration from The Ohio State University while working at his family's business. In the early 90s, he took over as president and worked there until 2017 when his family sold the company, and he took an unexpected early retirement. Tim is married to Giancarlo Miranda, and they have a dog, Bruno. Tim is also a docent at the Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art.
Because Tim has lived in the neighborhood for most of his life, his involvement with the German Village Society has ranged from a previous five-year stint on the Board of Trustees to involvement in many events and committees. Tim has chaired the Haus und Garten Tour, Pre-Tour, and Village Valuables and was previously on the Organizational Development Committee among others. You can find Tim Monday mornings volunteering in the Visitors' Center at the Meeting Haus.
In 1977 Jim purchased his home in German Village and has been active in the community since then. He quickly gained an appreciation for the GVS (German Village Society) mission, especially historic preservation, and the many community activities. Jim Nichols and Tammi Hall were the Presenting Sponsors for the 2021 German Village Garten Tour.
Jim has volunteered for over 30 years for the Haus und Garten Tour, mostly in tickets and cash management with several years in operations. Tammi and Jim’s home was on the 2016 H&G Tour, and they hosted H&G Pre-Tour dinners. He also volunteered for 20 years for Octoberfest, mostly as Chair of the Volunteer Check-In Committee (10 years) and Chair of the Tickets and Cash Management Committee (8 years). Jim is one of the founding Board members and sponsors of Village Connections. As well as supporter and sponsor for GV Garden Club, Tea 43206, Friends of Schiller, GVS H&G Tour and Village Connections. Art Crawl volunteer. Tammi and Jim have provided items for the GV organizations silent actions. He is a past and current GVS Board member, GVS Finance Committee (29 years), GVS Long Range Planning Committee (20 years), GVS Meeting Haus Maintenance Committee (1 year) and GVS H&G Planning Committee (1 year).
Long time Chair of the GVS Elections Committee. Graduate of The Ohio State University with a major in Finance from the College of Business. Jim retired from a long career in finance and management and currently does consulting for both for-profit and non-profit organizations.
Jim is currently and, in the past, has served on several Central Ohio non-profit Boards and for-profit corporate Boards. Through the years he has acquired an in-depth knowledge about the GVS and the GV community. Mr. Nichols states, “I strongly believe in maintaining/increasing property values, increasing community safety, improving our infrastructure and quality services for the GVS members in addition to continuing GVS fiscal integrity and transparency.” Jim hopes to continue to promote GVS members and community engagement while serving on the board.
Jim Penikas first came to Columbus as an OSU student in 2005 and has lived in German Village for more than 7 years. He began volunteering at the Haus und Garten tour, Meeting Haus Tailgate series events, and a Sidewalk Repair, Bricks 102 Workshop. This led to him joining the Long-Range Planning Committee and Monster Bash Planning Committee. Jim currently serves on the Organizational Development Committee, and the Vision Task Force and has co-chaired German Village’s annual Monster Bash along with his wife, Sarah.
Jim is a process engineer in the chemical industry where he works on continuous improvement efforts. He takes that same approach with his community involvement, always looking for ways to increase the charm of German Village to both residents and visitors for many years to come.
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