The state of the German Village Society is strong with an ambitious agenda for this community in 2018.
President Donald Trump held his State of the Union address Jan. 30.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther is conducting State of the City conversations all month.
I wanted a to give you a peek at the plans we have for this neighborhood.
We had nearly 30 of our organization's leaders -- what a dynamic group of dedicated servants -- in the room last week to exchange ideas, ask for help and set our course.
There are now 20 committees serving the German Village Society, each with a chairman and dedicated volunteers.
Each of our 13 board members serves as either a committee chairman or serves a set of like-minded committees as a "pillar liaison."
The society's pillars were laid out in the 2015 strategic plan. They're governance, preservation, development, advocacy and quality of life.
For an example of how this works, we group committees including safety, Friends of Schiller, parking and civic relations into the advocacy pillar because they all overlap City of Columbus relationships.
Each of these passionate leaders shared a triumph from 2017 and previewed their work for 2018.
We packed a LOT of fantastic ideas and information-sharing into a little less than two hours.
Now, we get to work.
* Meeting Haus investment -- The highest-use areas of our Meeting Haus have not been updated since we moved in back in 1991. We owe it to every person who uses our building -- for meetings, for yoga, for singing, for tourism -- to use this critical asset to better engage our stakeholders and tell our amazing story.
* Implement Columbia Gas agreement -- After fighting for a compromise with Columbia Gas through PUCO in 2017, we now need to help neighbors implement the agreement. That means gas meters located at the rear of structures whenever possible and it means inviting the German Village Society to be a part of your conversation with Columbia Gas.
* Complete and adopt vision plan -- Seven German Villagers who have a professional background in strategic thinking are gathering for the next six months to think about what German Village will need 30 years from now. We know one million people are expected to move into Central Ohio in that time. It is time to begin to prepare and dream about what that means for our neighborhood.
* Complete first two Interpretive Trail paths -- Join us on May 9 as we unveil the first two dozen stories told in the public right-of-way. We are grouping stories into: German immigration, preservation and renewal; and community engagement.
* Complete National Register of Historic Places amendment -- The outcome of updating our registry details will make our period of significance clear, and, if we can qualify for landmark status, will add protections to the way our land and structures are treated.
* Set five new event records -- This neighborhood's brand is squarely aligned with our major events; and our ability to celebrate and raise money for all of our projects and programs rely on them.
* Grow financial support overall -- As our development committee kicks into gear on its second year of cultivation and stewardship of individual givers, we are sharing our success stories with neighbors and asking you to support us. Whether you increase your membership, make an additional gift, buy patron event tickets, or join our Slate Roof club in a multi-year pledge of support, we need you to continue our ambitious program plans.
* Create and adopt a preservation plan -- Historic Preservation Advocate Nancy Kotting is putting together a 10-point values statement that will guide our preservation journey in our fully mature historic district. There will be opportunities to learn more, and sound off, as the year progresses.
You are right -- that is a lot. But I can tell you from the energy and dedication in the room last week when our leaders met, you can count on us to deliver.
Want to learn more, or learn how to help? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-221-8888
German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column.