New members step forward to help lead SHA!

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I am honored and excited to serve as President of the Summit Hill Association’s Board of Directors for the next year. The strength of the organization is a testament to the vibrant community which we share. The continued strong participation by those who live, or own a business or property in Summit Hill is essential to the vitality of the neighborhood. I know that the newly elected and returning board members are up to the task.

The following three Board members are not returning this year, and we owe each of them our gratitude:

Dann Dobson is a long-time SHA Board member and volunteer who is leaving the Board after his latest 3-year term. Dann was instrumental in assisting with the 2011 SHA Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) proposal for the renovation/improvements of lighting and iron guard rails for the three bridges over Ayd Mill Road. We hope that project will get city funding in the future.

Lisa McGann’s contributions to the neighborhood are truly innumerable. She has left an indelible mark on the community by serving on the Board since 2007, and taking on many challenges as Chair of the 2010 House Tour, Vice-Chair of the 2008 House Tour, and Chair of the Development Committee from 2008-09. Lisa also is a long-time and admired Crime Prevention Block Leader.

Patrick Meacham stepped in to fill a vacancy earlier this year and the Board greatly appreciates all of his efforts in that regard.

We are fortunate that a number of board members chose to seek re-election for a second term and that three eager members of our community stepped forward to serve on the Board. This talented group is described in detail below.

Everyone involved with the Summit Hill Association works hard on your behalf. To accomplish our work, and advocate for this wonderful neighborhood, we need your help in addition to those who already volunteer for the Board and its committees.

There are many projects underway and SHA welcomes and needs additional volunteers. Please contact our office to learn about the many ways you can help. Your participation will not only be meaningful, rewarding, and fun, but you will play an instrumental part in building an even stronger community.

Thank you.

Please take a moment to meet the following new and reelected SHA Board members:

Ken Bayliss – Grand Hill

I have served three years on the SHA Board of Directors and on the SHA Zoning and Land Use Committee. I have also been pleased to write several “In the Spotlight” Business articles for The Summit newsletter. I am a native St. Paulite and my family was living in a brownstone apartment near Summit and Dale when I was born here in 1959. My family moved to Rochester when I was young. After attending St. Olaf College, I returned to St. Paul and lived here for fourteen years. After a few years away, I returned to St. Paul in 2004. I am an attorney who devotes much of my practice to defending governmental entities in lawsuits.

Since returning to St. Paul I have come to appreciate the richness of our neighborhoods and have recognized that the appearance of our corner of St. Paul did not come about by accident. While researching a speech that I gave at a neighborhood gathering one Fourth of July, I learned that some of St. Paul’s earliest zoning disputes arose in our neighborhood. It was the far-sighted vision of the city that created the jewel that is Summit Avenue and its surrounding neighborhoods. My wife and I have participated in house tours over the years and this taught me the importance of working with neighbors.

I have served on many boards and committees in my professional life and would like to continue working SHA and neighborhood committees. I have enjoyed serving these last three years on the board and would like to serve another term.

Mark Berhow – Fairmount Ave., Re-Elected

My wife Alida, daughter Elaea, and I have been residents of Summit Hill since 2005. I am a practicing attorney with Hinshaw & Culbertson in Minneapolis, and have been since 2004. I have also been a SHA Board Member since 2008, and for the last year, both chaired the Zoning and Land Use Committee and served as Vice-President.

I hope to continue working to strengthen and preserve this wonderful neighborhood.

Lisa Erickson – Osceola Ave., Re-Elected

My family has lived in the neighborhood for 8 years now, and I was born and raised in Merriam Park. I have one son, Gavin Aspen, who is 7 1/2 years old. I have coached his soccer team at Linwood for 4 years now, and look forward to doing so next year. We play a lot of sports in our family.

Currently, I am an Executive Board Member of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce and my main responsibility there is for Membership and Recruitment. I am involved with Friends of Fort Snelling, and I volunteer at the James J. Hill Business Library. In New York City, where I lived for 10 years, I worked in the fashion industry designing clothes, then went to Columbia University and obtained a degree in History. Post-college years, I have worked as a recruiter/headhunter, and have my own firm today. During my 14 years back in St. Paul, I have also restored many older homes, and feel strongly about encouraging restoration in all the vibrant neighborhoods of St. Paul. In the past, I volunteered for the Summit Hill House Tour.

I feel that I would be an asset to the SHA Board because of my previous volunteer work, which has relied on my teambuilding experience, entrepreneurial spirit, fundraising abilities, and membership interests. As well, I have come to know my neighbors quite well over the years and communicate with them frequently, making me a fair representative of my neighborhood.

Collin McFadden – St. Clair Ave., Re-Elected

I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 6 or 7 years, and for the last four years have owned a home on St. Clair Avenue. I’ve been on the board for the last three years, and have enjoyed getting to know the great neighbors and community. I’m a freelance software developer, focused on media and higher education, and love rock climbing and playing with my dog Molly. I’m interested in serving on the board because I cherish this neighborhood. There’s nowhere else like it, and I want to help make it a safer, stronger and an even better place to call “home.”

Mark Peschel– Summit Ave.

Summit Hill resident since 1984. Wife is Nina Hakanson, life-long Summit Hill resident and former chair of the Summit Hill Living at Home Block Nurse Program Board. Two adult children: Anna and Emily Peschel. SHA Block Leader and former president of the St. Paul Tennis Club. Attorney with Johnson & Lindberg in Bloomington since 1985.

Important issues: Keeping the neighborhood a desirable place to live and raise a family by maintaining the neighborhood’s quality of life and a good balance between the residential and commercial aspects of the neighborhood. Serving on the board would allow me to play a role in these issues, and I believe it is important to be involved in and give back to the community.

Mia Quijada – St. Alban St.

I have been a resident of the Summit Hill area since

I was a young child. I have gone to school and worked in this area for over 20 years. I am very passionate about furthering the St. Paul community. I have been involved with aiding several small, local businesses for the past 4 years. My main drive behind becoming a board member of the SHA is to represent as many voices as possible in the community, including local businesses and their concerns. I am so excited to serve the community in such a handson way. I am a hardworking person and can’t wait to get to know all of you!

Sara Schmidt – Lincoln Ave.

Sara has lived in the Summit Hill neighborhood for over three years with her husband, Tim, and two young sons. As a stay-at-home mom, she is active in the community and currently serves as the Secretary of the MOMS Club of St. Paul – Summit Hill and as a leader in the Junior League of Minneapolis. As the former President of the Summit Hill MOMS Club, Sara pioneered an annual Preschool Fair bringing together many of our neighborhood’s early education programs with interested families. And, as a member of Junior League for over four years, she currently serves as an advisor to nearly 20 young women serving in this volunteer organization.

Sara is interested in joining the Summit Hill Association Board because of her strong commitment to families in our neighborhood. She is specifically interested in safety, traffic and business development issues in Summit Hill. In her past professional career, Sara served as the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for a boutique investment bank and as a former Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD). She is a 1997 graduate of The George Washington University with a degree in Political Communications.

Alternate: Rob Morse – Osceola Ave.

I moved into the wonderful neighborhood back in 1991.

I was renting the 3rd floor of the home I now own. I started out my life in Crocus Hill as recent college graduate who enjoyed the Grand Avenue attractions and the small town feel the street provided. In 1995 the property came up for sale and I was happy to purchase the old brick home. Though there were a multitude of challenges in owning and old home, I was thrilled to own a piece of history in a beautiful neighborhood. In total, I have lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years now, and have no desire to leave it.

My desire to serve on the SHA was prompted initially from work that I did as neighborhood coordinator on the “180 Grotto” group. The purchase of the property by a developer had caused me to spring into action as I perceived the need for neighbors to provide their input on the changes that occur in their neighborhood. After meeting my many neighbors and seeing that all of them felt a vested interest in preserving the neighborhood and its character, I felt that I should try to represent those interests.

The issues that are of keenest interest to me are zoning, traffic, historic preservation and neighborhood involvement.

I currently reside at 712 Osceola and live there with my wife, Natalia and 2 children ages 6 and 13. I like to spend time outdoors and can often be found with my family working outside here or at our cabin in Ely, Minnesota. I currently volunteer at my church as a treasurer and at my children’s school. I am a Technology Manager for U.S. Bank managing a development group for the past 6 years. I like to fish, play chess and program computers. If it sounds boring, it sometimes is, which is why I would like to be on the SHA board to provide some creative ideas and try and help build a strong and robust community. Thank you.