German Village Gazette

Village Notebook

Years as Society president reaffirm pride in community

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It has been my privilege to serve as president of the German Village Society these past two years.

While my service in that role came to a close at October's board meeting, I look forward to supporting the Society's newly appointed officers and its dynamic Director Shiloh Todorov during the remaining two years of my term as a trustee.

Reflections have been many during these last couple of weeks.

One emotion rises to the top: gratitude.

I am grateful that we have so many members who volunteer their time and expertise to perform the enormous number of tasks that must be accomplished.

Whether it involves staffing the Visitors Center, refurbishing the office and Fest Hall, hosting a PreTour dinner, chairing or serving on a committee, or Board service, so many of you continually step up to the plate and get the job done.

I am grateful to all of you who have worked so diligently to achieve the Society's stated vision of German Village being "a celebrated, vibrant downtown neighborhood with historic integrity and a charming, pedestrian-friendly streetscape."

I am certainly grateful that my tenure began contemporaneously with that of Shiloh as our director.

What a great hire. Confidentially, she made my job pretty easy.

Not once has she done something that required intervention on my part.

Her strong leadership has assisted the board immeasurably in determining what needs to be done to accomplish our mission.

Shiloh, I will miss our Monday morning briefings.

I really caught a break in having savvy and dedicated officers: Vice President Darci Congrove, Treasurer Nick Cavalaris and Secretary Jeanne Likins helping me.

Their wise counsel helped me avoid a lot of missteps.

While on fleeting occasions I may have felt otherwise, I was also lucky that former board Presidents Brian Santin and Mike Yarbrough tapped me for service to the Society.

I count my lucky stars that my relationships with my fellow trustees were always cordial.

There were a few occasions where strong debate took place on issues, but the arguments were invariably done in good spirit.

Another reflection that has come to mind is the similarities and differences that a 501(c) 3 nonprofit charitable organization (such as the German Village Society) has compared with a profit-making company.

Both types of entities are required to be good stewards of their assets and the governing board members and officers have fiduciary responsibilities in both cases.

However unlike business enterprises, our mission is not to make money for shareholders but to do what we can to retain "the character of the past while creating a thriving and contemporary community in German Village."

It is the Society's never-ending task to demonstrate to our members and others that our mission is worth supporting, and that we are taking active and proper measures to its achievement.

When that happens, our members feel good about what we are doing and are happy to extend their time and treasure on our behalf.

To that end, your board is always thinking of how best to allocate our limited resources, and more perfectly fulfill the mission.

A good example is our ongoing effort to fund and re-establish the position of Historic Preservation Officer.

Many of you have identified this as a priority for the Society to address, and your board and staff hear you loud and clear.

But we will need your help in funding this position on a permanent basis.

Our Society faces many challenges, and I am sure others unknown at this time will arise.

But I know the Society will meet those challenges head-on as it always has.

It will continue to fulfill its mission and prosper.

And you -- our members and tireless volunteers -- will take pride in our joint efforts!

Former German Village Society president Bill Case submitted the Village Notebook column.

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