When you hit the Village Sunday to experience the magic of Village Lights, I want you to think about Jeff Lowe and Greg Gamier.
Greg and Jeff are just completing a two-year tour of duty as the co-chairmen for our German Village Business Community, a committee of the German Village Society.
They are the owners of Village Pet Supply and have been active as business owners and volunteers in our community for years.
Greg and Jeff came to the chairmanship just as I was starting with the Society.
We immediately clicked and soon figured out that we shared a common vision for the Village -- one where our businesses and residents value each other and work together to make German Village a premier destination for residents, entrepreneurs and visitors alike.
As I've worked to help concentrate on our mission of historic preservation and education, I've realized a piece of that puzzle is bringing in new ears to hear the story of our neighborhood and to spark an appreciation for preservation and its outcomes.
I know our businesses, too, promote German Village, and they are often the first point of contact for visitors. Making the relationship robust has benefits for everyone.
Greg and Jeff threw themselves headfirst into the volunteer role. (Frankly, they were ALREADY great volunteers, but this ratcheted up their commitment considerably.)
Soon they were planning networking cocktail parties for member businesses, coordinating speakers for the monthly business meeting, figuring out how to update our visitor map and planning two successful annual events.
From day to day, my messages to them might include: "Would you like to place an advertisement in the OSU football program?" to "Have you rounded up the Macon Alley signatures so we can get a permit from the city?"
They juggled a whole host of issues beautifully and do it with such amazing humor and camaraderie. I love working with them.
On top of the GVBC duties, Greg spent this past year also serving on the Society's Organizational Development Committee -- helping us to improve our leadership functions and keeping an eye out for good board candidates.
There's nothing -- not really one single thing -- that happens in this organization without the yeoman contribution of dedicated volunteers.
Greg and Jeff are another example of the community spirit and willingness to invest blood, sweat and tears that has a 53-year tradition in German Village.
Luckily for me, another amazing volunteer is stepping up to serve as chairman of the Business Community and keep our efforts moving forward.
That volunteer is Marie Trudeau of W.E. Davis insurance. And, because of the kind of people they are, Greg and Jeff have promised to support anything Marie needs as she makes the transition. In fact, they've already signed up to keep steering Art Crawl and Village Lights.
So as you wander the streets Sunday and visit Streizelmarkt, you can thank Greg and Jeff for dragging the tables and chairs out and making sure the decorations are hung.
As you admire the luminarias, you'll know they coordinated that effort, too. And if you're really paying attention, you can stop by their tent at the Meeting Haus that night and tell them you agree with me -- German Village is better because they're an active part.
Because I'll never singlehandedly be able to thank them enough.
German Village Society Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column.