Every few years, as is mandated by the German Village Society's constitution, the society's board of trustees holds elections for those interested in serving the neighborhood in a way many may think is somewhat dull.

Every few years, as is mandated by the German Village Society's constitution, the society's board of trustees holds elections for those interested in serving the neighborhood in a way many may think is somewhat dull.

We all serve the neighborhood in different ways, and, with many of those ways, one can easily see the "fun" angle - volunteering at the Haus und Garten Tour, working several hours a week in the Visitor Center with a buddy or leading tours throughout the neighborhood for children and adults.

But those who volunteer their time as members of our board of trustees don't always get a polite "thank you" at the end of their shift or applause for a lively tour. Rather, they are faced with tough budget decisions, long Monday night meetings and more work than there are hours in the day.

They are part of a team dedicated to maintaining, planning, envisioning and flat out dreaming big for German Village - and making it happen. They give their time, their dollars and their energy in a spirit of pure volunteerism, and our neighborhood is better for it.

This year, we saw record-setting interest, as a field of eight candidates sought to fill just three seats. The eight individuals who were interested were prepared to give their all, and, some may say with a chuckle, were gluttons for punishment.

The three individuals voted to fill the seats are Beth Ervin, Brian Santin and Mike Yarbrough, all members in good standing, all village residents and all determined to bring their strengths to an already impressive group.

Ervin, in her history with Experience Columbus, has driven tourism into German Village for years, almost as long as she has lived in her City Park Avenue home. Santin is a familiar name for his tireless efforts with the society's website and the "Go Green, Go Grun" committee. Yarbrough helped craft recent changes to the society's constitution, which no doubt gave him a crash course in all things German Village Society - much of which he likely already knew.

The talents these three will bring to our board meetings, planning sessions and events are inevitable. Sure hopes are high, but each has a proven track record of positive support and change when necessary. Each has a can-do attitude and will-do spirit. Each loves their neighborhood and the lives they have created here.

The society's board of trustees includes individuals with diverse professional and educational backgrounds, individuals who have lived in the village for decades or just a few years, individuals who make their business in our village and individuals who willingly give their time to work to better German Village. The three newest trustees will fit in that mix well.

Our ever-evolving roster of board members has contributed so much over the years. Many have had expertise in real estate, independent businesses, finances and marketing. And then there is Frank Fetch, who basically saw to it that our historic district was established and the society founded. I'd say his contributions were mighty.

The society has had only one official board member emeritus, and the current board meets monthly in a room named for him: Bill Scheurer. We have had long-serving presidents and one-term presidents, both of which can be seen as positives.

Board meetings are held the first Monday of each month and are always open to the public. I encourage society members to attend a board meeting just to get a sense of what our board of trustees faces, struggles with and plans with enthusiasm. Learn firsthand what the big issues are, what goes into a Haus und Garten Tour that has been around for 51 years and the players who are determining what happens with your membership dollars. Those who are not already members should also feel welcome to attend meetings - you might just find your niche in the society.

The German Village Society is better for its elected board of trustees, and our neighborhood is better for involvement at every level. Get involved, learn how the board works and, even if you disagree with their decisions, give them credit for volunteering their time each month in an administrative capacity because it's not always fun.

Welcome our three newest society representatives. Beth, Brian and Mike have a lot to contribute and will no doubt do it using their individual strengths. Many, many thanks for serving!

Jody Graichen is director of Historic Preservation Programs for the German Village Society.