Tom O’ Grady – President
As the Director Emeritus of the Southeast Ohio History Center in Athens, Tom O’Grady not only managed one of the most expansive repositories of Southeast Ohio stories, but he is one himself. Residing in SE Ohio since 1980, he ran the Athens County Recycling and Litter Control Program and has been engaging Ohioans with the history of the region ever since. Also an outstanding photographer and orator, Tom is a talented presenter of Ohio History from its barns and canals to architecture and politics. Now, Tom is focusing on development and outreach at the Southeast Ohio History Center, and continues to teach Astronomy at Ohio University, which he has done for 36 years––so far!
Tim Traxler – Vice President (founding member)
Tim Traxler has been a vocal and passionate supporter of the esthetic and economic value of historic preservation in Athens County and the surrounding area for over 50 years. He has worked hands-on as a tradesman, proficient in all trades, as a general building contractor, and as an inventive entrepreneur in the development of durable, energy efficient and sustainable building products and systems. His current business is the sale and construction of large volume water storage tanks (500-650,000 gal), which are used to mitigate storm water and for collecting water from green roofs among many other practical residential, commercial, agriculture and industrial uses that benefit the environment. His interest and enthusiasm for the protection and preservation of historic buildings is well known. He has been especially involved, as a knowledgeable and concerned citizen, in keeping tabs on management, preservation and restoration of one of Athens County’s most infamous and mystifying historical landmarks: The Athens Asylum complex, owned by Ohio University, also referred to as “The Ridges.”
John Winnenberg – Treasurer (founding member)
John Winnenberg grew up in the middle of the Little Cities of Black Diamonds region and has spent much of his time here committed to preservation. He was one of the leaders in saving the theater building that has become known as Tecumseh Theater on Shawnee’s historic Main Street. The building’s newly renovated first floor now serves as a community meeting place. Winnenberg is also a key organizer in Ohio’s Winding Road and its economic development and sustainable tourism initiative.
Amy Grove – Secretary
Amy Grove has worked on preservation and celebration of history and culture in Southeast Ohio for many years. A Pennsylvania native who put down roots in Morgan County in the 1970’s, Amy works as an ambassador for Morgan County’s many assets with the OSU Cooperative Extension Program. She and her husband were the last people to operate the Stockport Mill as a working feed mill before it became a historic hotel.
Joyce Barrett, Columbus
Director of Heritage Ohio since 2007, Joyce has been involved in preservation for many years, previously serving as Director of Preservation at Heritage Ohio. She began her career in museums, received her BS in History from Iowa State University. She has also worked at the Smithsonian Institute. She also received her MBA from Arizona State University and has served as the Associate Executive Director of the Arizona Historical Society and Executive Director of the Iowa Historic Preservation Alliance.
Pat Henahan, Columbus (founding member)
A longtime supporter of heritage preservation, Henahan was a program officer with the Ohio Arts Council. Along with fellow historian Nancy Recchie, Henahan was one of the founders of the Ohio Hill Country Heritage Area concept. The Lancaster native has also been active in the Ohio National Road Association.
Evan Shaw, Meigs County
Evan Shaw has used his award-winning videography skills to tell stories of home towns around Southeast Ohio with the “Our Town” series, which so far has documented the history of Lancaster, Pomeroy, Jackson, and Athens. An avid historian and video story-teller, Shaw has worked as a videographer for NFL Films and is currently employed by WOUB. He, his wife, and their young son live in Athens.
Past Board Members
Paige Alost, Athens County CVB
Bojinka Bishop, Athens City Council
Martha Burton, Portsmouth Ohio (founding member)
Betty Campbell, Rankin House
Ben Carpenter, Perry County Commissioner
Ann Cramer, Wayne National Forest, Athens County (founding member)
Tom Johnson, Mayor of Somerset Ohio
Ted King, Wayne National Forest
Kelly Messely, Fairfield Historic Parks District
David Mitzel, Director of The Muskingum County Community
Lorle Porter, PhD, Author or “Ohio’s Hill Country” (founding member)
Nancy Recchie (board consultant, founding member)
Deanna Tribe, OSU Extension (founding member)
Melanie Warman (founding member)
Joe Winnenberg, Website Design
Sandi Landus, Bookkeeping
Herman Carson, Attorney