My first 100 days in office have passed in a blink, and just like a president or governor would, it is a good time to take a first assessment of how I'm doing.

My first 100 days in office have passed in a blink, and just like a president or governor would, it is a good time to take a first assessment of how I'm doing.

But the people I really want to say great things about in this column are my team at the German Village Society. That includes full-time program and operations manager Russ Arledge, historic preservation consultant Jody Graichen, full-time membership volunteer Bob Jackson, the dozen regular visitors' center volunteers, our 13 board of trustees leaders and the hundreds of committee chairs and members who are the real laborers that make the organization tick.

At the 100-day point, I can say I've had a chance to meet and work closely with most of the regular faces, especially our regulars in the visitors' center: Ed Lefeld, Agnes Dorn Carpenter, Jerry Glick, Helen Lias, Karen Peters, Bonnie Drummond, Madeline Hicks, Dorothy Hughes, Norm Burns, Pat Gramelt, Caroline Rowntree, Bill Quillin, Hilary Talis, Frank Carrick, Bonnie Beth Mitchell and Pam Bergeron.

When I was hired, the board of trustees made a few things clear about our manpower. The volunteers are fiercely dedicated. But over the years, paid staff had been cut back several times to the point where, when I was hired, we had gone from a high of seven employees to 1.5. That left a lot of programs and projects on hold until a director came on board.

So, one of my first assignments was to assess needs, compare them against available man hours and set a course. It is with great relief that I often hear board members start sentences with: "Now that we're fully staffedÉ"

A few insights into how that shakes out day to day:

Me: As director of the German Village Society, I spend the bulk of my day listening and thinking and writing. My role is to connect the dots. I need to talk to committee chairs; sit in on meetings; engage members and residents; call up city officials; go to lunch with the directors of affinity groups; exchange email with our neighboring communities; and to reach out to new residents and people and leaders and groups with whom we've never had a connection before.

I take my orders from the board of trustees. Those orders are to advocate for and educate about historic preservation, and to help protect and enhance our quality of life in German Village. By spending my days listening and thinking, I can make sure all of our various friends are working together to help us meet those goals. The writing piece is my way of helping all of those constituencies and investors understand where we stand and where we're headed.

Russ Arledge: Russ' role as program and operations manager is multifaceted. He schedules the rooms at the Meeting Haus, prepares them for use and is critical to generating ideas to keep our community center bustling with a robust lineup of events that engage members and residents. He works with renters and vendors. He is the front line of our money management, working alongside our contracted CPA. He can troubleshoot all of our technology and make repairs, he's a standout volunteer in his own right and he has genuine credentials as a historian.

Jody Graichen: Jody was hired by the society in 2005 as historic preservation officer. She spent her days supporting the city's office of historic preservation and the German Village Commission by helping residents file their applications, greeting them at GVC meetings and accompanying GVC and city staff on site visits. She, too, filled a multitude of needs as staffing levels fell from writer to tour guide to grant requester.

Jody has lived in Athens, Ga., for the past two years and continued to play a central - if changing - role for the society. Going forward, she will be our historic preservation consultant and her duties will better fit where she lives. "Now that we're fully staffedÉ" - as the board might say - Russ and I are at the Meeting Haus to help when residents applying to the GVC need assistance. We are also grateful to report that the city has increased its staffing levels, and it now requires less from the society in terms of support. Jody's talents in writing about the village, identifying and winning grants and recognitions and supporting the research and communication needs of our various committees better fit her new address. She may be out of sight, but she is never out of mind for us as a critical player on our team.

Committees and volunteers: In January, I held what was perhaps my most satisfying meeting to date. I asked our committee chairmen to gather so we could set the tone for 2012. The tone they set is one of collaboration as we all serve the two mission-centric focal points that the board of trustees chose for the new year. The chairs bring so much energy and so many ideas to the table. One of the greatest ideas to come from that meeting, which you'll see in this space, is to highlight the work and mission of each committee. As you read those, I would love to have you consider whether that might be a fit for talents you could contribute to the society.

Board of trustees: The board has been - individually and as a group - my patient educator and font of knowledge and enthusiasm as I've started my term here. In addition, the trustees set forth their role as first my "boss" - setting priorities and expectations for my and my team's work - but secondarily as my staff, asking to be assigned duties big and small to help in the implementation of our day-to-day operations. That's a delicate balance, but an amazing resource for me as director. They bring a powerful network to the table in addition to their own energy and enthusiasm for this little ville we call home.

In the spirit of naming names as a token of thanks for their work, they are: president Bill Case, vice president Darci Congrove, secretary Jeanne Likins, treasurer Nick Cavalaris, emeritus member Bill Curlis, Chris Hune, Norman Hall, Sarah Irvin-Clark, Beth Ervin, Brian Santin, Mike Yarbrough, Jim Hopple and Roy Bieber.

Shiloh Todorov is director of the German Village Society.