Crystal Hicks -- a hospital unit coordinator, mother and frequent community volunteer -- recently was appointed to a vacant seat on Pickerington City Council.

Mayor Lee Gray on June 19 appointed Hicks, 37, to fulfill the unexpired term of Melissa Wilde, who was elected to the Violet Township board of trustees in November 2017 and resigned from her council seat in December.

Hicks' term on City Council will expire Dec. 31, 2019.

"I am honored and humbled to be appointed to the seat on the Pickerington City Council," Hicks said. "I love Pickerington and the residents here.

"I am excited to dedicate my time serving the community."

Hicks is married, and she and her husband, Larry, have three sons: Caden, 15; Logan, 11; and Landon, 9.

She said she has lived in Pickerington for more than 14 years.

Hicks is a hospital-unit coordinator at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Her duties include organizing nursing assignments, consulting with families and serving as a communications liaison between physicians and nurses, as well as hospital officials and patients' families.

She also is on the steering committee of the Fox Glen Homeowners Association, where she helps facilitate communications between residents and the subdivision's homeowners' association board.

Hicks volunteers in concession stands and leads fundraising efforts for the Pickerington High School Central football program.

She said she has spent more than a decade doing a variety of parent-volunteer work for the Pickerington Youth Athletic Association's baseball and football programs.

Although Hicks lacks experience in public office and politics, Gray said she was his choice to fill the vacancy primarily because of her propensity to serve others professionally and in her community.

He said he also believes she'll be council's first member from the Fox Glen neighborhood, which he said would bring wider representation to the group.

"Ultimately, council positions and the mayor's position, they're service jobs," Gray said. "I run into Crystal Hicks and she's always serving.

"She's always giving her time and it's also been my experience that when she's involved in something, she makes it better. She's an organizer, and she's just always willing to help."

Hicks said she likes "to be involved in a lot of stuff."

She said the opportunity to serve on council will be a new experience, and she will enter wide-eyed and ready to learn.

Hicks said she expects to run for a full, four-year term when her appointed term expires because she thinks there will be more work to do.

"I like to serve people and I like to improve pretty much anything in front of me," Hicks said. "I like to work with and help anybody I can.

"I don't have a set agenda, but I am looking forward to working with Mayor Gray and having him mentor me, as well as the rest of the City Council members. I'm looking forward to learning everything I can about city government."

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