OWA Update: Progress Report And Proposed OWA Board Changes

To:  Old Worthington Association (OWA) Members        August 14, 2015

From:  OWA Board

Re:  OWA Update:  Progress Report And Proposed OWA Board Changes

It’s been a busy year for the OWA.  With your help we are making positive and important differences.  Our progress report includes:

Showe Condominium Development.  OWA improved the proposed Showe Condominium development in the heart of the Worthington Historic District.

Pocket Park, Historic District and Community Development.  OWA Created and advanced the idea of a pocket park as part of the Showe development.  Though the city ultimately rejected the idea, OWA succeeded in gaining local support and sending strong signals to city officials that well-balanced development that includes ample green space matters greatly to area residents.  Interestingly, both the youngest and oldest member of city council voted for the pocket park.

United Methodist Children’s Home Development.  OWA has taken the community development philosophy that generated the pocket park idea and applied it to the proposed United Methodist Children Home (UMCH) property development.  Our work includes the re-issuance of a joint statement of UCMH development principles with WARD (Worthington Alliance for Responsible Development).  Though we have miles to go, the initial response suggests that the city is beginning to listen and to reach out in genuine ways for advice and perspective.  

OWA’s New Mission, Principles, Issues Statement.  The OWA board recently approved a new OWA mission, operating principles and 2015-2016 issues agenda.  This document, which is available on the OWA website (oldworthington.org/about), sharpens our focus and brings more clarity to our principles and our mission.  It also underscores the need to be both reactive and proactive with regard to local public policy related issues that impact Old Worthington and the Worthington Historic District.  Importantly, it does this while maintaining fidelity to our nearly 40-year-old organizational mission.

The Old Worthington Association has also seen changes within its Board of Trustees.
OWA President, Mikel Coulter, stepped down this spring, as did Board Secretary Jo Rodgers.  We thank Jo and Mikel for their board service.  Given the pace of activity, it was particularly important to fill Mikel’s vacancy quickly and Dr. Margaret Real, OWA’s long-time vice president, agreed to serve as interim president on a temporary basis.  With many thanks to Margaret, who has agreed to continue on the board but in a non-officer position, the OWA Board of Trustees is moving forward with the following recommendations to fill officer positions.  These board changes will be made official at a special board meeting scheduled for September 10, 2015.  The meeting, which will be relatively brief and be limited to filling board positions, will take place at 7:30 pm at La Chatelaine restaurant on High Street in Worthington.  All members are welcome to attend and vote on these recommendations or make recommendations of their own.

The Board unanimously recommends the following OWA members to fill officer positions through April 2016 when the positions will be filled through a member vote during the OWA’s annual meeting, which will take place on April 28, 2016.

President:  Greg Browning
Vice President:  Jim Ventresca

Secretary:  Susan Allen

Treasurer:  Ellen Scherer

Membership Chair:  Suzanne Seals

Finally, the OWA Board is pleased to announce that two board vacancies have recently been filled.  Please join us in welcoming long-time Old Worthington residents Ellen Scherer and Suzanne Seals to our board.  They have already participated in board discussions and they are making positive contributions just as we knew they would.

The OWA pledges to work hard to advance its mission and to do more to communicate with members in the days ahead.  Please contact us via our website (oldworthington.org) if you have any questions, comments or concerns.  We look forward to hearing from you all.