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Summer Fun Family Business Inniswood Volunteers


How Gary Gardiner became the city’s de facto documentarian

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Spring 2016

8 Silent Storyteller Gary Gardiner has made it his mission to chronicle local history—one photo at a time.

ON THE COVER Photo by Joshua A. Bickel

12 Summer Fun From festivals to concerts to farmers markets, Westerville has a robust slate of events scheduled for the upcoming season.

22 Helping Hands  An army of volunteers has kept Inniswood Metro Gardens looking good since it opened more than 30 years ago.

26 Athletics to Academics Former Buckeye Scott Reeves traded a coaching career for a job as an administrator. But his work still affects students—both on the court and off.

Westerville365 | Spring 2016




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3 From the Editor 4 Events Calendar 30 Library Notes Author events connect writers and readers at the Westerville Public Library.

32 Healthy Living Jeff Sydes of Nationwide Children’s Hospital discusses youth strength training.

33 Outtakes 



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18 Family Business These entrepreneurs work with spouses, children and siblings to carve out a legacy for future generations.

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From the Editor

Gardiner Views City Through Unique Lens 7801 N. Central Drive Lewis Center, OH 43035 740-888-6000 • Fax: 740-888-6001 Volume 2 • Number 2 PUBLISHER Roy Biondi EDITORIAL Editor: Julanne Hohbach Contributors: Kathy Lynn Gray, Steph Greegor, Andrew King, Lisa Proctor and Jarrod Ulrey PHOTOGRAPHY Chief Photographer: Joshua A. Bickel Contributors: Lorrie Cecil and Paul Vernon DESIGN/PRODUCTION Production Manager: Rebecca Zimmer Design: Annie Steel Web Producer: Scott Hummel ADVERTISING Director: Doug Dixon Retail Manager: Heather Kritter Classified Manager: Terri Tribbie Account Executive: Gail Fullerton Marketing & Promotions: Annie Steel CIRCULATION Home Delivery & Business Distribution Customer Service: 888-837-4342 Retail advertising: 614-583-5793 Classified advertising: 614-785-1200 Editorial: 740-888-6000 Westerville365 is published quarterly by ThisWeek Community News with Sunday distribution by Consumer News Services Inc., a subsidiary of GateHouse Media Inc. Consumer News Services Inc. reserves the right to reject, cancel or edit any advertisement at any time. If we make a substantiative error in news coverage, we want to correct it. If you believe an error has been made, call 740-888-6000. CNS is not responsible for unsolicited photographs, manuscripts, press releases, etc. © Copyright 2016, GateHouse Media Inc.

By Julanne Hohbach


etirement means different things to different people. Some dream of trading their longtime careers for days of leisure, perhaps spending time with family and traveling. Others, for whom the idea of not working is unthinkable, opt for part-time employment. For retired Associated Press photographer Gary Gardiner, giving up a full-time job hasn’t meant giving up photojournalism altogether. Since handing in his press credentials in 2004, Gardiner has stayed busy as Westerville’s unofficial documentarian of sorts. Each day, he attends and photographs a local event or finds a feature photograph. All of these daily images are posted online as part of his My Final Photo project. ThisWeek Community News reporter Andrew King caught up with Gardiner recently to talk about his career, retirement and what inspires him to photograph so meticulously the city he calls home. “Silent Storyteller” starts on page 8. Gardiner was kind enough to let us reproduce some of his wonderful photographs with the story. You’ll find a few more on the Outtakes page, at the back of this issue. If you’ve ever visited Inniswood Metro Gardens and wondered who maintains all those plants, wonder no more. Freelance writer Kathy Lynn Gray learned it takes more than 270 volunteers to keep the 123-acre park looking good. From weed pullers, waterers and greenhouse workers to designers and Garden Ambassadors, there’s much to do at this South Hempstead Road park, which opened in 1984 on the 37-acre estate of Grace and Mary Innis. The sisters, who loved gardening and wildlife, donated the property to Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks so the public could enjoy it, too. Learn more about the people who help keep Inniswood in tip-top shape in “Helping Hands,” starting on page 22. Inniswood is a perfect place to take a stroll on a summer day, but there are lots of other ways to stay busy in Westerville when the weather turns warm. For more local activities and events, don’t miss our “Summer Fun” story on page 12. From the arts scene to theater to WesterFlora and everything in between, local organizations have a variety of things scheduled—both longtime favorites and newer offerings. Our events calendar on page 4 lists even more ideas. Thanks for reading.




Westerville365 | Spring 2016




To submit an item for the calendar, go to All events will run online and select listings also will appear in the magazine. The deadline to submit listings for the next print publication is June 14.


May 8 Westerville Mother’s Day 5K and 10K Chip-timed walk/run and kids fun run (8:15 a.m.) benefitting Fairy Goodmothers. 8:30 a.m. Alum Creek Park South, 290 W. Main St. $33.99 and up, depending on registration date. May 10 Quarterly Membership Luncheon The Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Membership Luncheon will feature a panel discussion on Polaris Parkway development with the city, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Ohio Department of Transportation and more. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Little Turtle Golf Club, 5400 Little Turtle Way. $25 for chamber members, $35 for nonmembers. May 14 NPC Mike Francois Classic This event features bodybuilding, figure, bikini, physique and classic

physique championships. 10 a.m. Westerville Central High School, 7118 Mount Royal Ave. $15-$25. May 16 Cancer Support Community 2016 Charity Golf Classic The Charity Golf Classic is one of Cancer Support Community Central Ohio’s signature fundraising events. 9:30 a.m. The Medallion Club, 5000 Club Drive. $250 for individuals, $1,000 for a foursome. May 21 Charity Polo Match Play Polo Club will host a polo match to benefit Word Made Flesh Moldova, which aims to build a community center in Moldova and provides an after-school program, meals, medical care, life skills and other lessons and moral-spiritual education. 3 p.m. Play Polo Club, 6351 Harlem Road. $15-$20. poloformoldova

May 21 17th Annual Wetlands Workshop This family-oriented event from the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department and MAD Scientist & Associates will offer wetland ecology and wildlife lessons from professional wetland scientist Mark Dilley. Nets will be available to allow participants to discover what kinds of insects, turtles and amphibians call Highlands home. All ages. 10 a.m. to noon. Highlands Wetlands, 245 S. Spring Road. Free.

JUNE June 2 Arnie the Doughnut Visits the Library Join the Westerville Public Library for this family-friendly event celebrating National Doughnut Day on June 3. Come for doughnut fun and stick around for a visit from Arnie. All ages. 2-3 p.m. Meeting rooms at the Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St. June 3 Uptown Shuffle! Coordinated by the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network, the Uptown Shuffle is an Amazing Race-style 4

Spring 2016 | Westerville365

scavenger hunt for ages 21 and older. The event also includes a raffle. 5:30-8 p.m. Pre-party at Old Bag of Nails Pub, 24 N. State St. $25. June 4 I Draw Cartoons and So Can You Cartoonist Paul Merklein will show children ages 6-10 that drawing cartoons is a fast, fun and easy way to express ideas. Come prepared to laugh! Audience participation is encouraged. 3-3:45 p.m. Meeting rooms at the Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St.

June 11 Tour de Cure and Step Out: Walk For the first time, the Central Ohio Tour de Cure and Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes will be combined in one event dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes. Tour de Cure offers a day of cycling and fun through the winding, rural roads of central Ohio. Routes are available for novice riders and expert cyclists. Step Out: Walk participants can choose from 1- or 3-mile routes. Finish line activities include music, lunch, a kids’ zone and more. Proceeds fund ADA research, community programs and advocacy efforts that support those living with diabetes.

6 a.m. Westerville Central High School, 7118 Mount Royal Ave. $25 registration fee. Fundraising minimums $50-$200. June 25-26 Relay for Life of Westerville Join the American Cancer Society for Relay for Life 2016. Come together with the community to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost and help raise funds to find a cure. 3 p.m. June 25 to 9 a.m. June 26. Westerville North High School, 950 County Line Road. westerville

JULY July 16 Library Fly Day: Model Airplane Demonstration See a variety of radio-controlled racing, sport and model planes at this event, hosted by the Westerville Model Aeronautics Association. An hour of flight instruction begins at 9 a.m., after which trainers will assist children in trial flights. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Alum Creek State Park flying field, 5770 Africa Road (east of the dam). Free hot dogs and soft drinks. or July 20 Women in Business Luncheon This Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce event will feature Mark McNaughton, Cardinal Health senior vice president and chief information officer and TEDxColumbus “Women in Tech” speaker. 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. The Medallion Club, 5000 Club Drive. $25 for chamber members, $35 for nonmembers. July 21 Ice Cream Social, Music & Stories The 23rd annual ice cream social— sponsored by the Friends of the Westerville Public Library—includes live music and ice cream with toppings, as well as face painting by the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department. 7-8:30 p.m., with stories for kids at 7 and 7:30 p.m. Westerville Public Library front lawn and meeting rooms, 126 S. State St. Suggested donation is $1 per sundae. July 30 Women’s Premier Soccer League National Championship Women’s Premier Soccer League is


June 5-Aug. 14 Sounds of Summer Series This free concert series is held at 6:30 p.m. Sundays at the amphitheater at Alum Creek Park North, 221 W. Main St. For more information, go to

June 15-Aug. 3 Family Concert Series This free concert series is held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the amphitheater at Alum Creek Park North, 221 W. Main St. For more information, go to

This season’s lineup includes: June 5 – Brian Michael Smith (classic sounds) June 12 – Lords of Literature (classic rock and pop) June 19 – Conspiracy Band (dance) June 26 – Dwight Lenox (jazz) July 10 – The British Invasion (Beatles tribute band) July 17 – Swing’s the Thing (big band) July 24 – Westerville Concert Band July 31 – Soul Brothers with the Columbus Horns (Blues Brothers tribute band) Aug. 7 – Larry Loeffert Big Band with Doubletake Aug. 14 – Westerville Symphony

This season’s lineup includes: June 15 – Columbus Zoo June 22 – Westerville Concert Band June 29 – Family Zumba Fun July 6 – The Great Randini (magic) July 13 – Matt Jergens (juggler) July 20 – Endless Recess (children’s music) July 27 – No Strings Attached (puppets by Alcott Teachers) Aug. 3 – Storytelling with Candace

holding its national championship tournament at Otterbein University, hosted by the Columbus Eagles FC. Game one of the series starts at 2 p.m., with children’s activities prior to the kickoff. Otterbein University Memorial Stadium, 121 Center St. $10. or July 31 WPSL National Finals Watch the two best teams in the Women’s Premier Soccer League battle it out for the title of WPSL National Champion. Of more than 100 teams in

the league, the four best will be in the last tournament of the WPSL season. 2 p.m. Otterbein University Memorial Stadium, 121 Center St. $10. or

For more events, see the Summer Fun story on page 12. Westerville365 | Spring 2016


Around Town


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International Icon



PHOTOS BY Paul Vernon The Westerville Public Library recently welcomed NBA all-time leading scorer, New York Times bestselling author and U.S. cultural ambassador Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Abdul-Jabbar was in town March 3 to promote and sign his new mystery novel, Mycroft Holmes, based on Sherlock Holmes’ savvy older brother. Almost 90 people attended a reception at Brio Tuscan Grille that preceded a presentation at Westerville Central High School. 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar speaks during the reception. 2 Jen Ryan, Leslie Farnham and Kimberly Gerhart 3 Ron and Diane Saks 4 Morgan and Toshia Safford 5 John and Lane Pritchard 6 Cara and Brandon Schott 7 Karen and Randy Grise 8 Jim Brewer and Judy Spring 9 Danielle and Caleb Collins 10 Abdul-Jabbar greets Mathhar Shalash and Salley Ayad. 11 Thomas and Glenn Hickman 12 Kathy Wisner and Jerry Kloupher




Westerville365 | Spring 2016


Joshua A. Bickel


Gardiner poses for a portrait in Uptown Westerville.

Storyteller Gary Gardiner has made it his mission to chronicle local history— one photo at a time. By Andrew King

See more of Gary Gardiner’s photographs on page 33.


Spring 2016 | Westerville365


ust months after retiring in 2004, Gary Gardiner wasn’t sure where his life would take him. As he drove away from his annual doctor’s appointment, he wondered where he would find the satisfaction that nearly four decades in photojournalism had brought him. He was healthy, his doctor said, but he was no longer doing the work that made him feel “really lucky” for so many years. And then, as he approached a traffic light, a large dump truck blew through the intersection, testing Gardiner’s brakes and shocking an idea into his head. “I wonder what my last photograph would be?” he wondered to himself. “And then it hit me. I’ll do My Final Photo.”

Courtesy Gary Gardiner

‘Always a Story to Tell’ Since he was a 12-year-old growing up in Gainesville, Fla., Gardiner had wanted to be a photographer. “I wasn’t very good,” he says with a laugh. “But who is at 12?” He got his first taste of a photo shoot on a trip to Disneyland in California. He had a brand new Kodak camera and spent the day trying to get good pictures of Sleeping Beauty Castle. When he developed them, he realized he had taken a variety of scenic shots of the railing in front of the castle. He would get his redemption several years later at his first job with the news bureau of the University of Florida. His first assignment sent him to Walt Disney World. He left school in 1972 to work for the Orlando Sentinel. From there, Gardiner’s career took him to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, The Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi, the Associated Press in Atlanta and finally to Columbus as a photo editor for the AP in 1982. He recalled his mother asking, “What went wrong?” when he told her he was leaving for Columbus. “Being a good, southern woman, she thought Atlanta was like New York City. Why would you want to leave?” He and his wife, Sherry, made central Ohio their home and settled in Westerville. They have three children, Angie, Amy and Daniel, and eight grandchildren. From The Columbus Dispatch building in

Courtesy Gary Gardiner

downtown Columbus where the AP staff was based, Gardiner says he spent the most rewarding years of his career helping to cover the region. “There was always a story to tell,” he says. “We never wanted for anything.” Along the way, he covered AIDS victims before some news organizations dared and helped install the first digital photo system at papers across the country. But eventually he began clashing with higher-ups about what stories should take priority. His desire to focus on more features and in-depth coverage wasn’t shared by managers. “We just weren’t covering the stories I thought were important,” he says.

TOP: Anglers fish as the sun rises over Hoover Reservoir on July 5, 2014. BOTTOM: Gary Puckett performs Oct. 4, 2015, during the Ned Mosher Apple Butter Festival at McVay Elementary School, as a girl watches from the log cabin.

Westerville365 | Spring 2016


“He captures what Westerville is all about, what people are all about. He’s an artist.” Ralph Denick Java Central owner

Courtesy Gary Gardiner

So Gardiner retired at age 60, still as enthusiastic about photography as he was 40 years before, wondering how he would spend his time. Documenting History Since that moment at the intersection more than 11 years ago, the 71-year-old Gardiner has become one of Westerville’s most visible faces. He’s been doing his “final photo” every day since, racking up a huge archive of work on his website, Each day, he posts a picture. He tries to tell the stories of people in town or chronicle events and local happenings— and he does it with the eye of a photojournalist. “I’m continuing to shoot every day as if I was a newspaper photo staffer,” he says. “If there’s an event, I cover the event. … If not, I look for a feature.” Westerville’s community affairs administrator Christa Dickey says she wishes “the city had the staff capabilities to walk around and kind of be a community photographer.” For her, Gardiner is doing the job the city can’t. “He’s everywhere; he’s capturing everything,” she says. “I think that is so true to the character of Westerville, that he, in a way, really brings Westerville to life. It’s not just buildings or streetscapes or vehicles. He always gets the person and the moment and the time right.” The historians of the city also have taken notice. Beth Weinhardt, local history coordinator for the Westerville Public Library, recalls seeing Gardiner at a pancake breakfast one morning. She then walked to her office, opened the blinds and saw him taking photos of a building construction 10

Spring 2016 | Westerville365

Courtesy Gary Gardiner

project across the street. “It was 9:30 a.m. and I had already seen him in two places in the community,” she says with a laugh. It was Weinhardt who convinced Gardiner to give his archives to the library. When his My Final Photo series is complete, years of photos will become the library’s to use as staff members see fit. Gardiner has been fastidious with both details and metadata, so historians will be able to put it all into context. “His photographs can be a backdrop for showing artifacts from the community from this era,” Weinhardt says. “There are endless things that can be done with the focus. We have

TOP: Fall leaves cover the ground Oct. 18, 2014, at Olde Methodist Cemetery, adjacent to Otterbein University. BOTTOM: A boy snowboards down the hill behind the Yarnell farm on Africa Road on Dec. 12, 2013.

A scene from opening day at Highlands Park Aquatic Center on May 25, 2013.

Courtesy Gary Gardiner

“He, in a way, really brings Westerville to life. It’s not just buildings or streetscapes or vehicles. He always gets the person and the moment and the time right.” Christa Dickey Westerville community affairs administrator

reporters who call and say, ‘Do you have a picture of such and such block 25 years ago?’ We have people who contact us wanting to know what their home looked like 40 years ago. “We don’t always have that information. Here, we have someone who’s always going out and recording these things in the community. It’s not only useful from an exhibit standpoint, but for people who are doing research.” Ralph Denick, who owns Java Central in Uptown Westerville, has been known to put Gardiner’s photos on his business’ walls. Those walls are usually reserved for artists with exhibitions or local artwork for sale, and Denick says Gardiner’s work is no less impressive. “He captures what Westerville is all about, what people are all about,” Denick says. “He’s an artist. I’ve had some of my painters who own galleries and are masters in their own right marvel about his abilities. They say he’s got the talent to be in a national gallery.” Final Photos Gardiner, an active woodworker until recently, has resisted taking any paid photography jobs in retirement. “I’m still pretty much hands-off. I’ve been asked to join things, but I always say no. It’s not like I’m going to be reporting, but if something happens, I don’t want to be attached to them,” he says. The quality of his work and his near

omnipresence have made Gardiner a bit of a celebrity around Westerville. He says he’s often approached by people who either recognize his face from an event or know of his work. “It drives my wife nuts,” he says with a laugh. “People will say, ‘Hi Gary,’ … or they’ll say, ‘Hey, you’re that guy.’ ” Some have even called him Mr. Westerville. He’s not sure how he feels about that moniker, but he’s purchased just in case. Gardiner is still thinking ahead. His last trick involves a motion sensor at his funeral. His plan is to have an open casket and a camera in his arms. As people lean over, the camera will snap a photo. He smiles with delight at the idea of turning the tables on people one last time—and perhaps scaring them a little along the way, too. He wants to have his camera connected to the funeral home’s Wi-Fi, so it can post a photo to his website of the funeral director closing his coffin. It will truly be his last photo. But in the meantime, he’ll keep taking photographs around town, recording Westerville history. “I love what I’m doing,” Gardiner says of his post-retirement life. “I’ll do it until I die or until I can’t move.” Andrew King is a reporter for ThisWeek Community News. Westerville365 | Spring 2016


Summer From festivals to concerts to farmers markets, Westerville has a robust slate of events scheduled for the upcoming season. By Kathy Lynn Gray

Mia Flores gets a better view of the 2015 Fourth of July Parade on the shoulders of her father, Michael.


Spring 2016 | Westerville365

Fun A

n extravaganza of summer fun is about to begin in Westerville. Local organizations, recreation leaders and area merchants are adding the finishing touches to events new and old that they hope will entertain residents as never before. “This is a community that likes to celebrate together,” says Mike Phillips, superintendent of the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department. “Hopefully we have something for everyone out there.” Here’s a sampling of some of the summer goings-on that had been announced as of early April. Festival Fun That’s the goal Malcolm Kates is aiming for by adding food trucks as a major component of this year’s Westerville Music & Arts Festival, organized by the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce. Kates, the festival’s organizer, has invited 10 of the area’s trendiest trucks to the show, including Aloha Streatery, Aromaku, Cupzilla Korean BBQ, Ninja bowl, Por’Ketta, Schmidt’s Sausage Truck and Tortilla Street Food. Traditionally the festival has had a few stands selling fair food such as cotton candy, fried cheese on a stick and lemonade shake-ups. This year, Kates wants food to be less an afterthought and more a reason to attend the city’s largest outdoor event July 9-10. For their $1 admission, the estimated 15,000 people who attend the 43rd annual festival at Heritage Park, 60 N. Cleveland Ave., can buy the work of more than 150 artists and craftspeople and listen to more than 20 musical acts. Also new to the festival this year is the Uptown Musical Showcase, planned for July 8. Several acts will perform at bars and restaurants in Uptown, and a $25-a-head VIP reception will be held at the Old Bag of Nails, Kates says. “The festival is going to grow over the next few years, but we’re doing it


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Patty Grierson of Clintonville competes in a football accuracy toss at the Ohio Senior Olympics State Games held in June 2015 at the Westerville Community Center.


at a pace where we can continue the tradition and nostalgia associated with it,” he says. “Everyone pulls together to make it possible, and it’s a beautiful thing.” A newer entry onto the scene is the second Community Concert Bands and Arts Festival, scheduled from noon to 9 p.m. June 4 at Alum Creek Park, 221 W. Main St. John Cameron, president of the Arts Council of Westerville, which sponsors the event, says the idea is to highlight a wide range of both visual and musical art. Concert bands from all over central Ohio will perform throughout the day while visual artists display their work either at booths or on display panels. Cameron says admission is free and artists from outside Westerville are encouraged to participate. “We want to be inclusive rather than exclusive,” he says. “We’ll also have several food trucks, so it’s a nice combination of art, music and food.” More Music Debbie Bennati, treasurer of the Uptown Merchants Association, is planning to resurrect Rock the ’Ville, an annual musical event that was canceled last year for budgetary reasons. Bennati says this year’s version, from 3 to 9 p.m. Aug. 13, will 14

Spring 2016 | Westerville365

be “the last hurrah” before school begins Aug. 17. She hopes to have high school and middle school bands perform, as well as some professional musicians and chalk artists, for a scaled-down version of past events. Also on the musical scene are the free Sounds of Summer Series and Family Concert Series. The former is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Sundays. The Family Concert Series is held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Both run June through August at the amphitheater at Alum Creek Park North, 221 W. Main St.

Need More Ideas? Check out online events calendars from organizations such as these for up-to-date information throughout the season: City of Westerville – Metro Parks – Otterbein University – Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce – Westerville Public Library – Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau –

WesterFlora The WesterFlora Garden Tour will celebrate its silver anniversary in 2016, with the theme “25th Celebration of Beauty.” “We try to get a cross-section of styles, such as one with a water feature, one with a smaller lot, others with bigger lots,” says chairwoman Karen Hovey. The free tour, from 1 to 7 p.m. July 17, is hosted by the Westerville Garden Club and typically attracts 500 to 800 visitors. “These are everyday people who have worked hard and spent many hours beautifying their home’s landscape,” Hovey says. “People come to learn and get ideas for their own gardens and to have a good time in the afternoon sunshine.” Musicians will perform in the gardens during the tour, and visual artists also will be working at most sites, she says. A list of the gardens will be released in early July in brochures available at the Westerville Community Center and the Westerville Public Library, as well as online at Stage & Screen Those who love the performing arts will find plenty of theater throughout the summer. New this year is a partnership between the city’s parks and recreation department and Curtain Players, the

Galena theater troupe. The organizations will present free outdoor productions of Robin Hood from June 16-18 and 23-25 at the amphitheater at Alum Creek Park North, 221 W. Main St. The Otterbein University Summer Theatre program will have a full slate of productions, starting with Neil Simon’s comedy Brighton Beach Memoirs, which runs June 2-5 and 9-11. That’s followed by the world premiere of Invention of Theatre, a comedy written by 2014 Otterbein graduate Sean Murphy, on June 16-19 and 23-15. The season closes with A Grand Night for Singing, a compilation of some of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s greatest musical numbers, running July 7-10, 14-16 and 21-23. All shows are at the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St. For more information, go to For the younger set, Westerville Parks and Recreation Civic Theatre will present The Little Mermaid the last weekend in July at Westerville Central High School, 7118 Mount Royal Ave. Open auditions for the show will be held May 7 at Otterbein. Movie buffs can plop down a blanket and enjoy the parks and recreation department’s Classic Movie Series under the stars at Everal Barn, 60 N. Cleveland Ave. This year’s free movies, shown at dusk on the side of the building with free popcorn thrown in, are Field of Dreams on June 17, Aladdin on July 15 and The Aristocats on Aug. 19. Also on tap May 5-6 is the Westerville Senior Center production of Everybody Loves Opal, about a middle-aged recluse who lives near a dump. Tickets for dinner and the show are $10. For more information, go to Active Pursuits Athletes—both the active and the armchair varieties—will find plenty of outdoor activities throughout the summer. The city’s Highlands Park Aquatics Center, 245 S. Spring Road, opens its season May 28. Besides the normal schedule of open swim times and lessons, the outdoor pool’s annual Summer Fest on July 16 will include relay races, water balloon events, face painting and an obstacle course for the cost of daily admission (free with a pool pass). The Ohio Senior Olympics State Games return June 10-26 to the Westerville Community Center and athletic fields, hosted by the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department. More than 1,000 athletes 50 years and

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Westerville365 | Spring 2016


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Spring 2016 | Westerville365


older from across the state will compete for the chance to move on to the 2017 National Senior Games in Birmingham, Ala. “Have you ever seen a 90-year-old run a 10K? It’s inspirational,” says Chris Shirring, older-adult services manager at the Westerville Senior Center. Seniors compete in running, jumping and throwing events as well as shuffleboard, archery, table tennis, cycling, horseshoes, pickle ball, disc golf, badminton, volleyball, basketball and softball. “You see guys five times older than you still competing and it’s really exciting,” Shirring says. “People can see that you don’t have to give up what you love to do when you age.” Signups run through May 27 at Schedules also will be posted there, Shirring says. One event that won’t return is the Westerville Bike Race, says organizer Jason Carpenter. The race was canceled last year because of a lack of funding. The Westerville Bicycle Club, however, will host its 35th annual Dry Run Bicycle Tour on Sept. 11, when riders can choose between routes of 34, 54, 70 or 100 miles. More information is available at

Fab Finds Spring and summer also herald the return of shopping events that have hibernated during the winter. Treasure hunters will find a bonanza at the Westerville Senior Association’s annual garage sale, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 2829 at the senior center bus garage, 310 W. Main St. “It’s unbelievable,” Shirring says. “Sometimes an entire household will come to us. The bus garage is overflowing.” A long line of shoppers always is on hand for the opening, he says, and goods will be $2 a bag in the final few hours of the sale. In May, two weekly farmers markets begin at North State and East Home streets. Farmers bring their in-season products to the Uptown Westerville Farmers’ Market from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through October. The Saturday Uptown Market, held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through August, also includes booths with arts and crafts. On the 4th Fridays of each month between April and September, Uptown merchants stay open until 8 or 9 p.m., and the Westerville Visitors & Convention

Bureau sponsors an evening of street vendors, food carts, live entertainment and activities for children from 6 to 9 p.m. This year’s themes include Back to Nature (May 27), Safety Fest (June 24) and World Bazaar (July 22). Stores also stay open late for Uptown Fridays, held May through September, with various themes each week to attract visitors, says Bennati of the Uptown Merchants Association. Patriotic Pride Summer holidays bring out big crowds. Kicking off the Memorial Day weekend is the eighth annual Field of Heroes, a display of 3,000 American flags on 8-foot posts across from the community center. Community members are invited to honor a personal hero—someone who has made an impact on their lives—by writing a dedication to be posted among the flags. The flags will remain at their posts from May 27-30, and visitors are invited to walk through the display. For more information about the display, sponsored by the Westerville Sunrise Rotary Club, go to Other events that weekend include the American Legion Post 171’s annual Memorial Day Parade. The solemn remembrance to honor fallen service members typically includes a wreathlaying at the Westerville Veterans Memorial and concludes at the Otterbein Cemetery. Later in the summer, the community will gather for the annual Fourth of July Parade, followed by fireworks at dusk, launched from Alum Creek Park South near Park Meadow and Schrock roads. The Independence Day celebration traditionally is organized by the Rotary Club of Westerville. Literary Happenings The Westerville Public Library kicks off its summer reading program just before the Memorial Day weekend. The annual program for babies through adults begins May 26 with a day of crafts and games from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m. Every child who completes a log with recommended activities, programs and reading goals will receive a book. The library also will present a talk by Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See, at 7:30 p.m. May 7 at Westerville Central High School, 7118 Mount Royal Ave. Tickets are $15, and are available at anthonydoerr. Information about other summer library events is available at Kathy Lynn Gray is a freelance writer.

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Building Business


The Roebuck family owns four locations of The UPS Store in central Ohio, including this one at 520 S. State St. Pictured (from left) are: Tiffany Roebuck Ricart, manager; Bill Roebuck, co-owner (front); Christopher Roebuck, area supervisor; and Nanette Roebuck, co-owner. Lorrie Cecil

Family Business These entrepreneurs work with spouses, children and siblings to carve out a legacy for future generations. By Steph Greegor 18

Spring 2016 | Westerville365

uite often, people make the mistake of assuming “family-owned” means “small mom and pop” when it comes to business. “It’s not. In the macro, about 65 percent of gross domestic product is contributed by family-controlled businesses,” says Jill Hofmans, managing director of the Conway Center for Family Business, a local nonprofit that provides educational resources and programs for family-owned companies. Hofmans says there are about 6,000 family enterprises in central Ohio. “Family-owned businesses are about 60 percent of the country’s total employment.” These companies, she says, span the gamut from large corporations such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc.—the largest family-owned business in the country that employs more than 1 million people in the U.S.—to well-known local operations such as White Castle System Inc. and Donatos Pizza. From that perspective, Hofmans says, it’s easy to see that family-owned businesses are huge economic drivers at the local, national and global levels. “We define family business as two or more family members working in the same business. You often think linear, but that’s really not the case. We have uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters, grandchildren, trying to figure out succession,” she says. Families who own a business have the advantage of controlling their own destiny. Hofmans cites gender equity as another advantage. “Sixty percent of all family-owned businesses have women in top management, key positions. You cannot say that about other businesses.” Another advantage is the money stays in the family, rather than going to shareholders. “It’s a nice way to create and keep wealth for families,” Hofmans says. “Plus, working with people you know and love, it adds a layer of trust and support for each other. You’re always going to have each other’s backs.” Hofmans says that closeness also can have unintended consequences. “You’re working with people you love, so they drive you crazy,” she says with a laugh. “What does Thanksgiving dinner look like if you fight at work? There’s no separation. So how do you manage that?” Here’s a look at how three local family businesses are balancing the perks and the pitfalls.

Building Business

Bill and Shelley Morgan opened Morgan’s Treasure in 2006.

Morgan’s Treasure 31 N. State St., Westerville Morgan’s Treasure, a custom jewelry store, started like many other small businesses often do: in the basement of the owner’s home. “I started working with waxes and making jewelry from waxes,” says Bill Morgan, who’s been with his wife, Shelley, for 42 years. “I took classes (in 1989) at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center to learn how to cast and made a little shop in the basement (for 10 years).” Bill worked at a local jewelry store as a bench jeweler before completing classes at the Gemological Institute of America to become a Graduate Gemologist in 2005. The next year, he and Shelley opened Morgan’s Treasure in Uptown Westerville. Bill says making custom jewelry, and selling traditional wedding and engagement bands, is a dream come true. “Why jewelry, in particular, I don’t know. Something about the combination of gemstones and precious metals and beautiful things,” he says. “And when

I get a compliment, I’m like a little kid. When I get a pat on the back, I go back and do it again.” Shelley was working in the dental field when Bill started the business. “I would go to work and then stop by and help him after,” she says. “Then it got to the point where I was ready to come here full time, and I just got more interested in it. I pay the bills, help with sales, do the ordering—pretty much whatever needs to be done.” The Morgans—both Westerville High School graduates—say working together has more advantages than disadvantages. “It actually works out really well for us,” Shelley says. “We talk a lot. We have more in common than we used to. We both really like the jewelry business. It’s a lot of fun.” Bill agrees the family working environment—daughter Rosa Obannon helped in the beginning, but has since moved on—has been good. “We have problems like everyone else, but we get through them and we get along,” he says. “She manages the business and I make the jewelry. It’s not typical but it has really worked out nice.”

Lorrie Cecil (2)

Bill Morgan repairs a ring for a customer.

“Sixty percent of all family-owned businesses have women in top management, key positions. You cannot say that about other businesses.” Jill Hofmans Conway Center for Family Business managing director Westerville365 | Spring 2016


Building Business

Brad Hance runs Robin Enterprises Co. and works with his daughters, Lindsey Hance (left), and Alli Redinger.

Joshua A. Bickel (2)

A line of Heidelberg presses


Spring 2016 | Westerville365

Son Mason Morgan is not involved in the business; he owns the Westerville Bike Shop on West Main Street. But Bill expects a third generation of Morgans might one day run the store. “We also have three granddaughters and all three are kind of interested,” he says. “I’m sure all of them will be working here at some time or another.” Shelley anticipates business still will be going strong when they’re ready to start working. “We started in 2006, right before the economy died, so we were just getting started. We still had a lot of people bringing repairs but not big sales,” she says. Once people started to see the custom designs, business picked up and hasn’t stopped. “It’s just been word of mouth,” Shelley says. “We do custom jewelry. We remake things, remake wedding sets people have inherited. And we buy a lot of unique gemstones to make our jewelry with. We also have wedding and bridal. We go to a lot of jewelry shows, so we sell other jewelry.” “We work hard but we enjoy everything that we’re doing,” Bill says.

Robin Enterprises Co. 111 N. Otterbein Ave. Brad Hance loved working for his father, the late Robin Hance, at Robin Enterprises Co., a commercial printing business that does local and national work. “My father was somebody who was very easy to work for; the folks that work here, they would have walked over hot coals for him. I certainly would have, too,” says Hance, who started to take over the reins in the 1980s before his father turned the business over to him in the late 1990s. “I was fortunate to see my father every day of my life,” Hance says. “I now get to see my daughters pretty much every day.” Hance, who is president and CEO of the second-generation business, has a brother and a sister who do not work in the business. But his two daughters, Alli Redinger and Lindsey Hance, do, in sales and account management. “I’ve tried to treat my daughters like the rest of the employees here,” says

Hance, who says his management style is different than his father’s. “He was a very entrepreneurial individual, where I’m more of a caretaker. I try to lead by example, and he had a different leadership style. It worked very well.” Working with family comes with bumps in the road, Hance says, but “if you make the pecking order clear,” it can help. “That’s one thing my father always did, and I don’t think that’s always the case in other businesses,” he says. Hance says the business, whose clients include Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret and Big Lots, continues to grow—though not without adjusting to the digital world and its impact on the print industry. “That’s one of the reasons we’re able to stay afloat, is our ability to adapt to the new environment,” he says. “Most of our change comes either directly or indirectly from our clients and the interpretation of their needs.” One of the needs that’s been easy to adapt to is the personalization of print materials, such as grocery store coupons that are personalized to a shopper’s list. “(A company’s) ROI skyrockets at that point. To be able to personalize something and get it out to customers makes such a difference,” says Redinger, who joined Robin Enterprises five years ago after working at a small marketing agency right after college. “As strong as your data is, is as strong as your marketing is,” she says. “The data aspect is huge. The quality is always going to be good, but the strength of the campaign, if they have the data, we can do some amazing things with it.” The family bond extends beyond the Hances, she says. “I like to think our shop here, everybody feels like family,” Redinger says. “It’s not just our family. We have brothers who work side-byside on the presses. We have husbandand-wife teams. Guy doing what his father used to do. We’re surrounded by really wonderful people here. It’s more than just the three of us here. We’re all family.” The UPS Store 752 N. State St. and 520 S. State St. westerville-oh-5141.theupsstorelocal. com and westerville-oh-0462. It all started in 2004, when Bill Roebuck, with the help of his daughter, Tiffany, opened a UPS Store in the NorthRidge Crossing shopping center at State Street and Maxtown Road. Shortly thereafter, in 2005, they opened another location on South State Street.

Today, with the help of Christopher Roebuck, they own and operate two more UPS stores: a Bexley location that opened in 2013 and an Upper Arlington location that came online in 2015. “I opened with my daughter, Tiffany, and she works kind of part time. She’s a stay-at-home mom raising a family, so she handed the reins over to her brother, Christopher,” Roebuck says. “Chris was in the Army, did a tour in Iraq, and when he came back, he started working in the store and he took over as she was starting a family.” Bill and his wife, Nanette Roebuck, co-own the stores while Tiffany Roebuck Ricart is a manager and Christopher is area supervisor. Roebuck says being surrounded by family at work is “fantastic.” “Especially getting started and having a family member make that journey with you,” he says. “If you already have a strong family relationship anyway, you can enhance that by working together.” Roebuck says the strong relationship he has with his children started young. “If you just take the successes that you’ve had in nurturing those children, you just continue that on into the business environment,” he says. “The biggest thing is letting them have the ropes. I’m 61, getting ready to turn over the business to my son. (It) gives him the opportunity to make decisions, to make mistakes. It’s really fun to see them be successful and take on challenges.” Like all UPS Store sites, the Roebucks’ businesses offer mailbox, printing, packing and shipping services. The industry has seen its challenges, both in terms of individuals mailing and shipping fewer items and as print products have declined as digital took over. But Roebuck says his UPS stores adjusted by offering a variety of services to continue growth, such as a notary, computer access and shredding. “(UPS) embarked on a very aggressive print marketing campaign to elevate our sales. It was a natural fit because we were business-to-business oriented anyway,” he says. “Digital has the impact to accelerate and enhance our products because there’s so much available in this store. Technology itself has improved so much.” Roebuck says their stores continue to experience growth. “It’s been a lot of fun.” Steph Greegor is a freelance writer.

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614-882-3782 Westerville365 | Spring 2016


Inniswood volunteers work offsite on fall cleanup at the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden in Bexley.

Helping An army of volunteers has kept Inniswood Metro Gardens looking good since it opened more than 30 years ago.

By Kathy Lynn Gray 22

Spring 2016 | Westerville365


Volunteers pull weeds on the west side of Inniswood during a weekly work session last summer.


o one likes pulling dandelions, right? Wrong. At Inniswood Metro Gardens, battalions of volunteers find huge satisfaction in yanking the tenacious weeds from the beds of the 123-acre park in Westerville. Along the way, they gain friendships, knowledge and camaraderie as they work to keep the black-eyed Susans in check, the daylilies from toppling over and the roses clipped to ultimate perfection. “It’s just a really fun thing to do,” says Sharon Young, an Inniswood volunteer for 14 years and a longtime gardener. “You’re with a group of like-minded people, working in the fresh air. I get a real lift out of going over there and chatting with the people I’m working with.” Young, 72, is one of more than 270 volunteers whose work is vital to keeping Inniswood operating, says volunteer coordinator Terri Bassett-Smith. Last year, volunteers put in 11,261 hours, the equivalent of five or six full-time employees, she says. Inniswood has had volunteers since 1983, a year before the park opened on the site of the 37-acre estate of sisters Grace and Mary Innis. The sisters, who loved gardening and wildlife, donated their home and property to Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks so the public could enjoy its gardens and woodlands. “I was just blown away by their peonies and irises,” says Dora Strohecker, 81, who visited the gardens nearly 60 years ago when the Innis sisters held an open house. Grace Innis gave her some larkspur seeds that day, and they have continued to reseed and grow each summer at the Genoa Township home Strohecker shares with her husband, Daniel. Strohecker returned to Inniswood as a volunteer 24 years ago, first helping out on Saturdays and then expanding her volunteer time after she quit her job as a secretary at the age of 60. “I’ve loved gardening since I was a Girl Scout,” she says. “Here, we are all similarly minded, with one great interest that brings all kinds of people together. It’s not only the physical aspect of volunteering, the outdoor exercise, but I’ve gained quite a few friendships.” Getting Started Volunteers begin by taking four weeks of training, led by staff members and other volunteers each March. During those 12 hours, they learn about the park and the many different ways to donate their time. Bassett-Smith ticked off a few: designing and planting the 80 or more pots scattered around the grounds; watering those pots (that group is known as the bucket brigade); maintaining bluebird houses; cutting fresh flowers for arrangements; working in the greenhouse; and maintaining the garden’s ferns. Many start out on the bed maintenance crew, which meets Thursday and Saturday mornings from April through November. Volunteer Vaughn Hovey, 71, is in that group, having worked for the past eight years weeding, raking, planting bulbs and whatever else the staff suggests. “It’s amazing what we can do as a team,” Hovey says. “And it feels nice; bed maintenance is therapeutic in a way because you actually go out and do something and see results.”

Courtesy Inniswood Metro Gardens (2)

“It’s just a really fun thing to do. You’re with a group of like-minded people, working in the fresh air. I get a real lift out of going over there and chatting with the people I’m working with.” Sharon Young Inniswood volunteer and longtime gardener Westerville365 | Spring 2016


Courtesy Inniswood Metro Gardens (3)

from left: Linda Mash enjoys the display gardens during a 2014 volunteer field trip to Wade and Gatton Nurseries in Bellville. Volunteers (from left) Carole Cole, Pam MacCaughey, Nancy Thomas and Diane and Gary Bauman with the cypress and cardinal vines in Inniswood’s Oval Bed A fall display created by volunteers

“I tell them to find out how we can fit into your schedule. Some may be avid gardeners, but the common denominator is that they have a passion for what they do.” Terri Bassett-Smith volunteer coordinator

“Here, we are all similarly minded, with one great interest that brings all kinds of people together.” Dora Strohecker 24-year volunteer 24

Spring 2016 | Westerville365

The retired businessman says the program’s training was one of the best he’s been involved with, and he appreciates the fact that volunteers who physically can’t work among the beds have other opportunities. That’s what kept Strohecker coming back after she no longer wanted to dig in the dirt. In recent years she’s been part of the taxonomy group, which meets to talk about plant families and the technical aspects of plants. She’s also helped with events such as the annual Inniswood plant sale and An Affair of the Hort, a horticulture show that has been held for many years at the park. Hovey’s wife, Karen, 71, volunteers in what’s known as the DIG, or Design Interest Group, that is responsible for large plant pots. Group members decide which plants they want in the pot or pots they’re designing, purchase the plants during a group “buying day” and then create their containers. “My husband likes to help plant and weed—that’s his thing—but I like to design,” she says. The group also designs and creates holiday decorations. “I do pots once a year and design a door once a year,” Mrs. Hovey says. The Hoveys started volunteering at Inniswood after moving to Columbus from New York in 2001. They’d always had multiple flowerbeds at home and wanted to share and expand their knowledge. Char Steelman, manager of Inniswood public gardens, says many volunteers come to the park because they’ve recently moved to central Ohio and are looking for ways to make friends. Others have moved into smaller homes where there’s little opportunity to garden, making Inniswood an appealing alternative. There’s also a large group of volunteers who had visited the park for years to walk its trails and enjoy the gardens before they found time to give back, Steelman says.

Green Thumb Not Required Plant knowledge isn’t a requirement to participate, Bassett-Smith says; staff members help the uninitiated sort out which plants are weeds and which are not, how deep to plant bulbs and how to trim rose bushes. Volunteers, no matter how knowledgeable, expand their gardening expertise. “I thought I knew a lot, but you wouldn’t believe how much I’ve learned since I’ve been here,” says Young, who volunteers about 100 hours a year. In recent years, she has worked on the annual plant sale, scheduled this year for April 30 and May 1. Besides the hands-on learning, volunteers can attend educational talks by staff and guest hosts throughout the year and take specially organized trips to flower shows, arboretums and other metro parks. In the past they’ve gone to the Cincinnati Flower Show, a private conifer garden and Schedel Arboretum and Gardens in Elmore, Ohio. And the group has several potlucks throughout the year, including a Frankfurter Fest each November to celebrate the end of the volunteer season. Bassett-Smith says there are few rules for volunteers. Each pays a $15 membership fee in the Inniswood Garden Society, and the minimum age is 18. But there’s no minimum or maximum number of required work hours. They’re encouraged to contribute at least 40 hours a year and some put in hundreds of hours, but any time is appreciated, she says. “I tell them to find out how we can fit into your schedule,” she says. “Some may be avid gardeners, but the common denominator is that they have a passion for what they do.” Most work during the scheduled volunteer times of 9 a.m. to noon Thursdays and Saturdays, but others meet with their groups at various times. On Sundays from May through October,

Kingwood Memorial Park

A spring tulip display off the Brookwood Trail

Call or Stop In For A 15 Minute Tour 8230 Columbus Pike, Lewis Center, OH 43035


Courtesy Inniswood Metro Gardens

Inniswood Metro Gardens


940 S. Hempstead Road Westerville 43081 614-895-6216 Inniswood Metro Gardens is open daily from 7 a.m. to dark. Admission is free. The Innis House, the former home of Grace and Mary Innis, is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and closed Mondays and holidays.


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seasoned volunteers man the park as Garden Ambassadors, greeting visitors and answering questions. Unlike volunteers at most metro parks, those at Inniswood must go through training to participate. The next opportunity will be in March 2017. “By the time they’re done training, they have everything they need to get started,� Bassett-Smith says. And once they start, most stick around. Young says Inniswood has become a vital part of her life during more than a decade of volunteering. “I’ve made many, many dear friends,� she says. “We trade tips on flowers and tips on families and where the best restaurants are. It’s become very dear to my heart.�



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Kathy Lynn Gray is a freelance writer.



Westerville365 | Spring 2016


Athletics to Academics


erhaps the most noticeable item adorning Scott Reeves’ office is an Ohio State University banner signed by numerous former Buckeyes greats, such as track star and Olympian Butch Reynolds, men’s basketball standout Ron Stokes and football coach Jim Tressel. A few inches away is an autographed picture of former Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes that Reeves, executive director of secondary academic affairs for the Westerville City School District, received about four decades ago. For the 47-year-old Reeves, the inspiration that helped fuel his career was born from what he learned while playing and following sports. “What I realize for a lot of kids, because it was for me, is that the life lessons you continually draw on you learn from sports,” he says. “The perseverance, the goal setting, getting up when you’re knocked down, the big victory, the defeat you have to come back from, gutting it out … to be more than you think you can be, do more than you think you can do. Sports has always been valuable for me in that way.” Reeves is in his sixth school year in his current position and 14th year as an administrator. He also has roles with the Central District Athletic Board and the Ohio High School Athletic Association. Every March for the last few years, you could even hear Reeves color commentating for the high school boys basketball state tournament on the OHSAA radio network. A former Ohio State men’s basketball player who served as a student assistant coach in 1992 when the Buckeyes made a run to the Elite Eight, Reeves spent a decade coaching basketball before his career path took a turn. His love affair with sports, however, started long ago and never has wavered. “I absolutely don’t sit here if it weren’t for the athletic opportunities I had,” Reeves says. “That was my vehicle to go to college. That was my opportunity to


Spring 2016 | Westerville365

Former Buckeye Scott Reeves traded a coaching career for a job as an administrator. But his work still affects students— both on the court and off.

By Jarrod Ulrey coach and build those relationships with my players. That was my opportunity to be involved with the Ohio High School Athletic Association to the degree that I am today. “Now I’m the father of two kids who are currently in school and are playing sports. … Now I’m the parent in the stands, or I’m the dad taking you to practice and to AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) and all of that. My wife played sports in high school. She played sports in college. So it’s always been a significant piece of my life.” A Sporting Life Reeves says he grew up in the “era of the original Bad News Bears,” the 1976 movie about a Little League baseball team that unexpectedly makes it to their league championship game. Growing up in Columbus in the mid-1970s, Reeves remembers playing both Little League baseball and football because “everybody” did so. He didn’t play organized basketball until seventh grade. “Kids then, we played outside all day,” Reeves says. “We played Wiffle ball, baseball in the streets. We played Nerf football in the streets. We played basketball in the playgrounds. That’s just what we did. So it was natural to continue to play sports, and in a couple of them I ended up being pretty decent.” Before graduating from Eastmoor High School in 1987, Reeves put together an impressive résumé of athletic achievements. He helped the boys basketball and football teams each earn City League runner-up finishes in 1986. In spring 1987, he had a memorable day at the Class AAA state track and field meet, capturing the long jump title (24 feet, 3/4 inch), earning a runner-up finish in the 300-meter hurdles and running on the state champion 400 relay as the Warriors earned a state runner-up team finish. Reeves originally went to Ohio State on a track scholarship but also had the opportunity to play basketball for the Buckeyes under former coach Gary Williams in 1987-88. Russ Rogers, who

was the U.S. sprint coach at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, took over as Ohio State’s track coach in 1989. According to Reeves, having one of his track athletes also playing men’s basketball “wasn’t in (Rogers’) plans,” so Reeves competed only in track that year. After Randy Ayers succeeded Williams as men’s basketball coach for the 1989-90 season, Reeves chose to leave the track team and return to the basketball program. Reeves served as a backup in 1990 when the Buckeyes lost to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the second round of the NCAA tournament, and in 1991 when they lost to St. John’s University in the Sweet Sixteen. During his season as a student assistant, an Ohio State team led by Jim Jackson lost to Michigan 75-71 in the Elite Eight. It proved to be a crucial year in the life of the then-23-year-old. “In my remaining two quarters to graduate, coach Ayers allowed me to be a student assistant, so if you see me in the 1992 picture, I’m in a suit,” Reeves says. “I still have every practice plan from that year. That did more to prepare me to go into coaching at the high school level than anything.” Reeves got a job teaching and coaching basketball at Independence High School for the 1993-94 school year, and his first team featured three future professional athletes: Joe Cooper, who would play football for Ohio State and in the NFL; Kenny Gregory, who went on to play basketball for the University of Kansas and in Europe; and Eric Crozier, who played several years in minor league baseball and had a short stint with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004. After three seasons and a 45-9 mark coaching the Independence junior varsity team, he coached Northland’s varsity to a 27-17 record in two seasons. Reeves then went 50-17 in three seasons as Independence’s varsity coach, with two City League runner-up finishes. He became the first man to play and coach in the City League championship game. “I loved it,” Reeves says.

“I find a lot of similarities between coaching and administration. There’s still a lot of goal setting, still a lot of strategizing. You’re looking at academic data or monetary data as opposed to stats and rebounds and free-throw percentages and all that.” —Scott Reeves

Lorrie Cecil

Lorrie Cecil Westerville365 | Spring 2016


that happens in the classroom, and being able to have that type of impact on your community I think really attracted me to this path.”

Jarrod Ulrey

Reeves (left) prepares to hand the Division II district championship trophy to the Eastmoor Academy girls basketball team Feb. 26 after its 54-41 win over Lakewood at Westerville Central High School. New Career Path Moving into an administrative job for the 2002-03 school year brought excitement but it wasn’t without cost for Reeves. “I was always torn because I still miss coaching, and really what I miss about it is the relationships you build with your players,” he says. “When I took administrative classes, I always had principals that allowed me to, as much as they could, participate in learning what administration was about. I always felt gravitated to that.” Reeves’ first administrative role was as assistant principal at Reynoldsburg High School, from 2002-07. “It just worked out that my former high school principal, Bob Stamps, was the principal at Reynoldsburg and needed a couple of assistants, and before you know it I ended up out at Reynoldsburg working with my former principal,” he says. He then served as principal at Pickerington High School Central for three years, where his final hire was boys basketball coach Jerry Francis, who led the school to the state championship in 2011-12—the year after Reeves left. In Westerville, Reeves is a coach of a different sort. He’s the direct supervisor of eight principals, including all three high schools, as well as the coordinator for college and career readiness and the coordinator for minority achievement. He also works with athletics directors and often represents Superintendent John Kellogg at events he’s unable to attend. Keith Bell, superintendent of Euclid City Schools, was principal of Westerville South High School from 2004-08 and then spent two years in Reeves’ current position. He’s also someone Reeves considers a mentor, having known him 28

Spring 2016 | Westerville365

for more than 30 years. “Scott’s a good guy,” Bell says. “Professionally what he’s done is become a sponge. He’s really tried to increase his content knowledge in whatever he’s done. I call him a kid, but he’s not. He’s a great family man.” Among the biggest issues Reeves has worked through in Westerville was how to deal with a $23 million budgetary shortfall after the failure of a combined property tax and earned income tax ballot issue in November 2011. Some of the cuts were subsequently restored after a levy passed in March 2012. He also played a role in the district reducing its pay-to-participate fees for high school and middle school athletes late last year. “This is the end of the sixth school year for me, and boy it goes quick,” Reeves says. “The initiatives and the issues always change. (My job is) very encompassing but it’s good. I enjoy it. I find a lot of similarities between coaching and administration. There’s still a lot of goal setting, still a lot of strategizing. You’re looking at academic data or monetary data as opposed to stats and rebounds and free-throw percentages and all that. Your impact transcends just the teaching and learning

“He’s been such a positive leader from an academic and athletic side.” John Kellogg Westerville superintendent

Keeping a Hand in Athletics Reeves has fed his hunger for prep sports by serving for the last four years as one of two Class AAA liaisons on the Central District Athletic Board. Members are elected to six-year terms by principals of Central District high schools. Class AAA includes the largest third of those schools based on enrollment. “(Bell) was on the Central District Athletic Board, and through my relationship with Keith he would tell me about the board and what he did,” Reeves says. “It was such a big part of my life being a part of district, regional and state tournaments in basketball and track, and we were in the state playoffs my sophomore year in football, so when the Class AAA position came open, I put myself out there to be elected by the principals.” Reeves served as CDAB president during the 2014-15 school year and currently is the liaison for boys basketball, working directly with tournament coordinator Max Ness. At some district tournament events, Reeves handed out team championship trophies, including when his alma mater won a girls basketball district title Feb. 26. “I just love his enthusiasm for basketball,” Ness says. “He’s cooperative and he has excellent rapport, and that’s important for a tournament of this magnitude.” In August 2015, Reeves began a two-year term on the OHSAA board of directors. Since that time, in addition to dealing with divisional classifications for high school sports teams, the OHSAA board also has talked about issues involving emerging sports as well as finances. “We’ve got, quite frankly, dwindling attendance at state tournaments and we’re trying to turn that around and make it a more fan-friendly event,” Reeves says. In addition to those responsibilities, Reeves has shown his basketball IQ the last four years alongside play-to-play analyst Scott Leo on the OHSAA radio network. “It’s been a blast,” Leo says. “He’s forgotten more basketball than I know, and he’s really fun to work with because he has a great personality and is a guy that knows everyone. One of the really cool parts of having him on the OHSAA (radio) network is his experience as a studentathlete and also from the administrative side. He knows what it’s like from both sides.”

Creating Community Since becoming superintendent in 2013, Kellogg has worked with Reeves on various issues. Not surprisingly, sports sometimes comes up in their conversations. “Clearly he’s washed up as an athlete,” Kellogg says jokingly. “Putting that aside, he’s been such a positive leader from an academic and athletic side. I’ve worked with him at the middle school, expanding opportunities for kids, and on the athletic side, he’s inherited that participation fee and was able to work on that model and put forth the changes the board wanted. “We’re both old former coaches. I think the benefits from Scott’s high school (past) is that he understands that athletics can be so important.” Reeves has been married to his wife, Valarie Reeves, for nearly two decades and has three children, two of whom attend Gahanna-Jefferson schools and play basketball. The familial love of that sport also includes his wife, a 1990 Gahanna-Jefferson graduate who played basketball for the University of Michigan. The Gahanna resident has enjoyed becoming part of a Westerville community that he calls “amazing” in many facets. “We’re named Westerville City Schools, but we actually have students that come from the city of Columbus, students that come from Genoa Township, Blendon Township and Minerva, so that adds a great diversity,” Reeves says. “Our secondary schools specifically are very, very diverse. About 10 percent of our student population are either first-, second- or third-generation immigrant students that speak a variety of languages.” Reeves also sees a community that strives to ensure that its children have rich academic and athletic experiences. “There’s a great passion in this community for the education experiences of their kids,” he says. “It’s very passionate about its sports programs, its arts programs, its theater programs. The community is great, the park system is second to none. You have the benefit of having a very prestigious small private school here in Otterbein University that has shown a great willingness to partner with us in a lot of things. We have a very close relationship with the chamber of commerce. When you look at the fabric of the community—business, school, civic—we all merge very, very well. We just want to make sure our kids have the most access and the best possible experience.” Jarrod Ulrey is a sportswriter for ThisWeek Community News.

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Library Notes Hugo Award winner Jim C. Hines has done two talks at the library. Author Liz Coley will lead a WPL Write-In on May 26.

Courtesy Westerville Public Library (2)

Events Connect Authors, Readers By Amanda Fensch


ne of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, has a poem called Locks that begins with the line, “We owe it to each other to tell stories …” As a librarian, I am in the business of stories. Our shelves are full of them— from dramas and thrillers to tales of romance and adventure, and everything in between. We check out and take home these stories—read, watch or listen to them, and share them with family and friends. Then, we return them, pick up a whole new batch and start the journey all over again. What I love, almost as much as stories, are the people who tell them: the authors. There is something magical about talking to authors and hearing the inspiration that brought their stories to life or the process behind their writing. And it’s not just me. Over the last several years, I’ve witnessed author talks and workshops become some of the best attended and appreciated programs that keep our patrons asking for more. Connecting readers, writers and authors has been a passion of mine through my career. At the library, we’re making strides to offer our readers presentations by authors who can speak to budding writers in the community and make an impact on their lives.

For any program focused on a speaker to be a success, several things need to be true. Speakers must be intelligent and entertaining. They must be able to inform their audience and answer questions, and the audience needs to be interested in the topic as well as the speaker. But that’s what makes library author visits so engaging: All of these things happen. There is a kind of energy, almost an electric current, when an author steps into a room full of eager listeners. Whether they’re talking about the craft of writing or giving advice on how to find an agent, every author I’ve worked with the last several years has given audiences all they wanted and more. I remember the first time I worked with Jim C. Hines, an adult fantasy author (also a well-known blogger and winner of a Hugo Award for best fan writer). Hines was speaking to a group of teen volunteers who wanted to learn about publishing and writing. Hines’ talk from beginning to end was engrossing and funny, but when he told the backstory of his character Smudge, a fire spider, he had the room in stitches. I remember the story vividly, and even now those volunteers, some of whom have graduated and gone on to college, talk about that program. We hosted Hines again via Skype late in 2015 and he was even better the second time around. A group of 15 adult

writers was engaged with Hines for an hour as he handed out advice about breaking rules and letting your own stories impact your writing. At the library, we’re not only bringing in authors for workshops but also reserving space and time to encourage writers. This year will see the first WPL Write-Ins, giving amateur authors an opportunity to spend a few hours among their peers or to write in quiet contemplation. Write-Ins occasionally will feature a special guest author. On May 26, we’ll host Cincinnati author Liz Coley, who will lead WPL Write-In participants through some exercises and talk about traditional and self-publishing. This spring, the library participated in the Ohioana Book Festival for the first time. The festival is put on by the Ohioana Library, which collects, preserves and celebrates the works of Ohio authors and illustrators. As part of the festival, we booked mystery authors Yolonda Tonette Sanders and Andrew Welsh-Huggins on April 21. Then, on April 22, New York Times bestselling author and multiple award winner John Scalzi, a science fiction writer, was set to do a reading and book signing. If you want to interact with authors and get insight into writing, publishing and the art of spinning your own stories, be sure to take a look at all of the events that we have planned at the Westerville Public Library.

Amanda Fensch is the adult services manager at the Westerville Public Library. For more information about library services and programs, go to 30

Spring 2016 | Westerville365

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Healthy Living

Strength Training Can Benefit Children


“A welldesigned resistance training program is safe for kids, and it can provide fantastic health, wellness and sports performance benefits.”

By Jeff Sydes

ypically when people think of strength training, they think of college and professional athletes or weekend warriors surrounded by barbells, machines, loud music and lots of grunting. But did you know that strength training can be beneficial for kids? While the safety and effectiveness of children participating in strength training has been a source of great debate, there is now evidence supporting strength training by preadolescent and adolescent children, and its acceptance by medical and fitness organizations is largely universal. A well-designed resistance training program is safe for kids, and it can provide fantastic health, wellness and sports performance benefits. Fact Vs. Fiction Here are some myths about strength training and kids that can be debunked. Myth 1: Any type of exercise involving moderate to heavy loads is unsafe and inappropriate for children. On the contrary, the forces placed on the joints of young athletes during sports participation may be far greater than those generated in strength training programs. Research has shown that injury rates from age-appropriate resistance training programs are actually lower than those seen in athletics and recreational activities. In other words, it is safe—if not safer—for a child to engage in strength training compared to sports and other recreational activities. Myth 2: Strength training can damage developing growth plates and possibly stunt a child’s growth. There is no evidence to suggest that strength training negatively impacts growth and development during childhood. As long as age-specific guidelines are followed, weightbearing activity (including strength training) can actually influence growth positively. Myth 3: Kids can’t benefit from strength training because they lack the hormones to support improvement in muscular strength. Muscular strength and power can be significantly enhanced when children are exposed to a variety of resistance training. For preadolescents, increased strength is due to neurological factors and improvements in the coordination of muscle groups. As children enter puberty, their hormonal environment changes dramatically, and their ability to gain muscle mass increases. Other benefits of resistance training include enhanced physical and psychosocial development, lowered injury risk during sports participation, and prevention of obesity, diabetes and other chronic medical illnesses.

Follow Proper Guidelines It is important to reiterate that strength training can be safe and beneficial as long as proper guidelines are followed. The following tips are key to providing the best experience and minimizing any risks associated with participation: 1. Children should be evaluated by their pediatrician before beginning strength training. 2. Ensure your child is mature enough to understand instructions and is eager to try this type of activity prior to beginning strength training. 3. Find a certified strength and conditioning specialist to provide supervision and instruction at all times. A good coach will understand progressions, is willing to demonstrate proper technique and has the ability to speak to children on a level they will understand. 4. Establish realistic goals that are consistent with the physical abilities and emotional maturity of each child. 5. Warm up by doing at least 10 minutes of light aerobic activity and stretching. Examples include riding a stationary bike, jogging in place, doing jumping jacks or jumping rope. A similar cool-down period should be included at the end of strength training. 6. Focus on proper technique instead of the amount of weight lifted. 7. Specific exercises should be learned initially with no load (resistance). An example would be to learn how to perform pushups correctly first, master technique through repetitions and then progress to bench press with a barbell and no additional weight. Once the skill is mastered, loads can be added in small increments. 8. A good strength training program should address movements through a complete range of motion and include: lower body pushes and pulls, upper body pushes and pulls, and torso stability. 9. To achieve strength gains and prevent injury, workouts should last about 20 to 45 minutes, two to three times per week with rest periods in between.  10. Any signs of illness or injury should be evaluated before continuing exercise. Parents should consult their child’s pediatrician before beginning any sort of new exercise routine, and they should not be afraid to ask questions. The more parents understand about strength training and their child, the more comfortable the whole family will feel engaging in the activity.

Jeff Sydes, CSCS, is the lead sports performance specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. For more pediatric health news, go to


Spring 2016 | Westerville365


A bugler practices May 23, 2015, before flag-lowering ceremonies at the annual Field of Heroes memorial.

Courtesy Gary Gardiner

Scenes from the City


esterville photographer Gary Gardiner started his My Final Photo project Nov. 15, 2004. Here are a few more images from the series. For an online slideshow, go to Westerville365. com. To see more of Gardiner’s work, go to

Courtesy Gary Gardiner

Farmer Kevin Scott harvests corn Oct. 19, 2015, as an American flag flies in the background.

A duck navigates the calm waters at Highlands Wetlands on Aug. 10, 2015.

Generations Performing Arts Center dancer Chanel Grace Stone was photographed after a performance at 4th Friday in Uptown Westerville on April 24, 2015.

Courtesy Gary Gardiner

Courtesy Gary Gardiner Westerville365 | Spring 2016



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Westerville365 Spring 2016  

Westerville365 Spring 2016

Westerville365 Spring 2016  

Westerville365 Spring 2016