German Village Gazette

Village notebook

Villagers provide many things for which to be thankful

I can't help but join the drumbeat (OK, cliche) of thankfulness.

Facebook's 20 Days of Thanks promotion has had my news feed jammed with gratitude for nearly a month already, so it is time for me to join the bandwagon.

I am thankful for this job.

I didn't come looking for the job, but I'm pretty confident it found me for a reason.

The relationships, projects and partnerships I've been privileged to experience will surely number among the most gratifying of my life.

I am privileged to work with excellent staff.

Program and Operations Manager Russ Arledge has been a teacher, a learner, a contributor and much more.

He has only the best interests of the Village at heart and he works very hard to make a whole plethora of things seem seamless at the Meeting Haus.

Jody Graichen continues to be a gracious -- if far-flung -- employee who contributes knowledge of The Village and talent for writing about it that we would be hard-pressed to replace.

Bookkeeper Cheryl Mathews might be departing from our payroll, but she is a trusted professional and a dear friend of The Village.

I am thankful for my Board of Trustees, most especially my officers.

Treasurer Nick Cavalaris, Secretary Jeanne Likins, Vice President Darci Congrove and President Bill Case bring to the table an excellent mix of perspective, history, talent and genuine love for the community.

They make the time to make Village affairs happen.

Bill and I work most closely together, meeting at least weekly to review projects and strategy -- but more importantly to swap stories from life and lend each other support.

We've really nearly perfected the right mix of devil's advocacy with mutual respect and a shared vision for the Village.

I am thankful for all of the committee chairmen who really move the projects and programs of this neighborhood forward.

The Board and I can provide guidance and feedback, and sometimes we can lend some labor, but the true DOING gets done by the committees with the passion and leadership of their chairmen.

Of course, committee chairmen can only get as much done as their committee members and few nonprofit organizations can boast (and be thankful for) the dedicated troupe of regular volunteers the German Village Society can.

Some of you volunteer once year, some once a month, many MUCH more often.

Some of you -- for whom I am equally grateful -- choose to support us with your membership dollars and donations.

I have to single out German Village Business Community Chairmen Greg Gamier and Jeff Lowe, partly because by doing so I can mention how grateful I am for our amazing member businesses.

Greg and Jeff have marshaled the forces to completely overhaul the Village brochure and map and get it into wider distribution; pulled off (with amazing leadership from Betty Garrett) the largest attended and highest grossing Art Crawl in history; and are just a complete joy to collaborate with.

Their energy and creativity for projects that advance The Village as a whole are impressive.

And seriously, about our businesses, collectively, they are critical to German Village's desirability and reputation as a destination.

They bring us an endless stream of accolades and attention. Personally, they have beautified me, entertained me, aligned my spine, whipped me into better physical condition, fed me like royalty (which sends me back to the pros in butt-kicking) and treated me to shopping trips I can take literally nowhere else on the planet.

Professionally, they have supported the mission and vision of the German Village Society with their ideas, time, talent and treasure.

These are just some of my in-Village reasons to be grateful for each day.

I look forward to seeing what new reasons we have to give thanks in 2013.

German Village Society Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village notebook column to the ThisWeek German Village Gazette.

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