Please join us at the History Center on Saturday, January 20th from 2-4pm. RSVP to Maggie at [email protected] or 440-247-4695. We will be collecting funds for a gift for John. If you would like to contribute please indicate in the check memo line that is it for John’s gift. Checks can be made payable to Chagrin History Center, PO Box 515, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022. Or click the donate button below.

A letter from John

This year will end 14 years of my leadership of the Chagrin Falls Historical Society. In anticipation of the change, the Trustees participated in strategic planning during the summer of 2022. One of the topics for discussion was how the role of Board members is changing. When I first came on Board in 2010, the Board and the volunteer staff were pretty much one and the same. As we moved into our new space here at 87 E. Washington, the Board began the process of maturing as an organization. We still have Board members who are actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the History Center, but we also have many who focus on the organization through Board Committees such as Finance, Development and Governance.

The changes in the organization are reflected in the work being done by our Governance and Finance Committees. Governance has made significant changes to our constitution to allow it to reflect how we should be operating. Finance and Development are looking at our need to raise the funds necessary to pay for two full-time employees and the possible addition of a third part-time person. So much has happened in the last 14 years! It is almost hard to fathom how far we have come. So many people have contributed in so many ways to the success of our organization. As Pat Zalba said back in 2014, “Our dreams are big and our plans are ambitious, but in reality we are standing on the shoulders of those who came before us.” During my tenure as Board President, there are so many who helped to get us to where we are today. I am going to name a few, but there are many, many more. I am thankful for Marnie Albers, Anne Burr, Bill and Gretchen Hamann, Ken Kvacek, Michelle McQuade, Paul Neidhardt, Carolyn Sihler, Pat Zalba, Jane Babinsky, Zo Sykora and Laura Gorretta, all of whom have contributed to the health and well-being of the organization.

As the History Center moves into the future, I hope to continue to play a role through research and writing. When people have asked me what I intend to do, I have told them, “I want to be like Don Barriball.” When he was asked to join the organization many years ago, he did so under the condition that he would be able to research and write, but not be asked to make any decisions. That’s my plan.