Seven candidates for the German Village Society board of trustees attended a meet-and-greet event last week at the Meeting Haus.

Seven candidates for the German Village Society board of trustees attended a meet-and-greet event last week at the Meeting Haus.

An eighth, Michael Yarbrough, was not in attendance at the April 22 event. ThisWeek was unable to contact him before press time April 27.

The eight candidates are seeking three seats on the board. None of the five incumbents Jerry Glick, Carolyn McCall, Sarah Kellenberger-Harpham, Mary Cusick and Sara McNealey is seeking re-election.

Ballots were mailed out to GVS members April 12 and are due by May 13. New trustees will take their seats at the board meeting on June 7.

ThisWeek interviewed each of the candidates at the event.

A relative newcomer to the neighborhood, Pam Bergeron said her background in sales and marketing would benefit the board. She said she would like to ratchet up volunteer efforts.

Bergeron, 62, is retired from CBS. She said she immediately got involved in community programs, such as the food pantry at the Livingston United Methodist Church, since moving to the village 18 months ago. She serves on the society's membership committee.

Heidi Drake, a retired nurse administrator from Nationwide Children's Hospital, is an active volunteer in the community and serves on the society's membership committee. Drake, 56, said she wants to promote more volunteerism and seek new energy and ideas for the village. A 20-year resident of German Village, she said she wants to connect everybody.

"I feel people need to be heard, need a voice," she said.

Beth Ervin said her public relations experience would be an asset to the board. The communications director for Experience Columbus said she wants to reach out to talented people in the community to help with society events and objectives. She said she helped bring the annual Oktoberfest celebration back to the village in 1987, only to see it move to another site in recent years.

Ervin, 57, has lived in German Village since 1987. She said she has been a strong advocate for tourism to help local businesses.

Juanita Faruta said she would bring a business perspective to the board. A resident since 1965, she is the owner of 48 residential units in the neighborhood. She said she understands zoning and code issues, as well as the everyday concerns of permanent residents and renters, ranging from parking to property crimes.

"I've seen a lot of change," said Faruta, 67. "I don't want to see us lose the character of our community."

Patrick King, a resident of the village for five years, looks at serving on the board as a civic opportunity.

"I also think it will be a lot of fun," said King, who works for Stifel Nicolaus, a public-finance investment firm.

While he doesn't have any particular issues he wants to see brought to the table, the 33-year-old said he can bring younger perspective to the board. King had recently sought appointment to the German Village Commission but was not selected.

Jeff McNealey, an attorney with Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, had previously served on the board for about 20 years. His wife, Sara, is one of the incumbents not seeking re-election. McNealey said he has been involved in village activities since the early 1970s and helped establish the German Village Fund, which was later folded into the German Village Society.

McNealey, 66, and his wife have lived in the village since 1987.

"Based on the things that have happened in the last few years, I thought my experience could be helpful," he said.

Brian Santin, a resident surgeon at Mount Carmel Health Systems, has been involved in neighborhood activities since moving to the village about four years ago. He chairs the society's streetscape committee and is a member of its long-range planning committee.

Santin, 30, said he wants to explore fundraising opportunities that are not "weather dependent." He also wants to engage all people in society activities.

gseman@thisweeknews.com