John Michels, President, Finance Chair
Lifelong Ohio residents, my wife Kristin and I moved to the Village in 2009 and were immediately impressed with the welcoming sense of community. We were invited to join the Minerva Park Community Association's Green Team and were happy to provide financial support and start-up materials for the community garden. As a member of the MP Community Association, I’ve served as a garage sale volunteer, a street rep for Ponderosa Drive, and an applicant reviewer for the Nancy Fischer Scholarship.
I hold bachelors and masters degrees in business administration and public policy management from The Ohio State University and have 10 years’ experience with the Auditor of State of Ohio. I’ve conducted various audits of state, county, and local government agencies and was appointed to serve as Internal Auditor under former Auditor of State Mary Taylor, CPA, where I also worked as a Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Government Auditing Professional. I’m currently employed as Senior Third-Party Risk Analyst for Huntington National Bank, where I help to minimize risks associated with work performed by outside vendors.
I am a member of the Ohio Government Finance Officers Association and the National Rifle Association, and my family attends the Vineyard Church of Columbus. - Jan 2014 •
Michael Braun, Streets Chair
When my husband and I were looking for a new home, we immediately started looking in Minerva Park. While a student at Ohio State, I had a boss who lived in the Village. I would occasionally help with yard work and found the Village enchanting. The winding streets, unique houses on wooded lots, and a very friendly and peaceful setting were appealing. We found our new home on Alder Vista quickly and settled in to find wonderful neighbors and a genuine sense of community ready to greet us.
I grew up in northwestern Ohio, and my husband grew up in Nebraska, but we both moved to Central Ohio 20 years ago. We’ve lived in Dublin, Columbus, and Worthington, but our favorite is Minerva Park. We’ve enjoyed living here so much that recently we convinced my husband’s parents to move here from Omaha Nebraska, into a wonderful house on Minerva Lake Road.
Professionally, I’ve had fantastic experiences with local companies. I started with Big Bear when I was 18 and stayed there for 12 years. I then moved to Abercrombie & Fitch, followed by Victoria’s Secret, and now Micro Center as a store designer. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Interior Space Design, with a secondary focus on Architecture. I’ve managed teams, projects, and budgets - large and small. When I’m not working at work, I’m working at home. I enjoy all types of home repair and improvement projects, inside and out. To us, the investment of living here is more than just the initial purchase of our house.
I believe in a compassionate, considerate, cooperative approach to all aspects of life. If we work together, we will thrive, because at the core, our goals for the Village are all the same … safety, security, maintenance, peace, privacy, to name a few. We have some big projects ahead of us. This is a time of monumental change for the Village of Minerva Park, and I am honored and humbled to have been chosen to represent its citizens. - Dec 2015 •
Russell Dobbins, Community Chair
Coming (as of 12-18-15).
Pam Park-Curry, Safety Chair, Planning & Zoning Liaison
I have lived in Minerva Park for more than 30 years total. My family moved here when I was 8 years old, and I grew up building forts along the stream, sledding on the golf course, ice skating on the lake, and swimming at the new Minerva Park Swim Club! I received a great education in the Westerville Public School system, attending both old and new schools. Old schools included Minerva Park Elementary School at 5212 Cleveland Avenue, and new schools included Hawthorne Elementary School and Westerville High School (now South). Minerva Park was then and is now a wonderful place to be a kid.
Many years later after marriage, children, and multiple degrees from Ohio State, I found myself searching the pages of a real estate multiple listing guide for a house. My husband Timothy Curry (a sociology professor at Ohio State) and I knew we wanted to move to a house on a beautiful street, with a big kitchen, a screened-in porch, and room to entertain, so why not see what Minerva Park might offer. And there for sale was the home of my best girlfriend, Mary Ann D'Agostino! That was in 1983, and the house was 2559 Lakewood Drive.
There is not enough room here to convey the good fortune we have had in living next door to the Laudon/McArthur family and watching our daughter, Christine, grow up with their daughters ... or how grand it is to work in the yard that was made beautiful under the guidance of Mary Yost. My brother and sister both grew up in the Village and live in Columbus, but it is this house in Minerva Park that has become the preferred location for holidays and celebrations because it just feels right.
To paraphrase Woody Hayes, you can never “pay back” ... you can only “pay forward.” I doubt I will ever be able to totally repay my debt to Minerva Park, but I am trying. I served on the Pool Board for 3 years with 1 year as membership chair. I was active in the Community Association for many years before being appointed to council in 1991. I have served on all council committees and most recently have chaired the Legislative Committee where the main responsibility is writing and presenting ordinances and resolutions. I am currently president of council and would serve as Mayor if the Mayor is unable to complete her term. I have a Ph.D. in Sociology from Ohio State and am the Director of Undergraduate Career Services in the Fisher College of Business. Tim and I have three grown children and enjoy camping, gardening, and entertaining with good food, good wine, and good friends. - updated May 2008 •
Jennifer Pauken, Legislation Chair
When my wife and I were looking for a house, our realtor showed us a magazine article about various neighborhoods in and around Columbus. I, like many people, was not familiar with Minerva Park, even though I had lived in Columbus for a number of years. Intrigued by Minerva Park’s history, we asked to see some homes here and ended up moving to an older Cape Cod style home on Woodley Road in 2005. While I immediately loved the trees, the winding streets, and the variations in home styles, it was Minerva Park’s history that really attracted me to the neighborhood.
Although my family is originally from the Toledo area, I grew up in the southern part of the state, along the Ohio River. I graduated from Ohio University with a degree in education and planned to become an English teacher. After several years of substitute teaching, I ended up working for a credit card company and, later, as an editor for an educational publishing company. After a number of years in publishing, I began to think about what I wanted to do next. Taking a chance on a mid-life career change, I enrolled in nursing school. This proved to be a good move for me, and I am now working as a nurse at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
When I’m not working, I enjoy gardening, cooking, and entertaining. As a neighborhood, Minerva Park has provided so many opportunities to get involved, make friends, and work toward building the kind of community I want to live in. It is my hope that I can be a part of keeping the spirit of these traditions alive. - Oct 2013 •
email Having lived in many places – Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, California – I came to Ohio in 1999 to attend Case Western Reserve University and moved to Columbus in 2006. My wife and I first lived in a condo just across St.Rt. 161 and would come into the Village for the annual garage sale. We always liked the look, feel, and community we saw here. When we started our family, we knew we needed a better place to raise our kids and focused our house hunting in Minerva Park. We love our home, our neighbors, the playground, the pool, and - well - just about everything about Minerva Park. - Jan 2015 •