Ohio Valley Region Spotlight
Greetings from the Ohio Valley region! I am Nicole Phillips, and I have had the pleasure of serving as the Ohio Valley Regional Director since mid-2019. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, I managed to escape Buckeye country and became a “Double Domer,” graduating from Mendoza in 2005 and again with my MBA in 2010. I currently live in Columbus where I work in the Corporate Strategy group at Nationwide Insurance. I have been active in the ND Club of Columbus for a number of years and am honored to now serve on the NDAA Board of Directors.
The Ohio Valley Region is also served by a trio of great Affinity Regional Directors including Stan Bernat ‘79 (Senior Alumni), Caitlin Kennelly '06 (Women Connect) and Nicole Fantozzi ‘16 (Young Alumni). We are eagerly and actively looking for a new Diversity Council Regional Director.
Made up of 18 clubs located in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, the Ohio Valley Region is led by an amazing and dedicated group of volunteer club leaders. 10 of our 18 clubs were recognized with a 2020 Force for Good Award -- a true testament to the incredible work these clubs continue to do, even amid the pandemic.
We closed out 2020 with a multi-region holiday-themed virtual event in December with our neighbors in the Illinois and Midwest regions. Ideas were exchanged, ugly sweaters were worn, and a great time was had by all!
2021 started off looking very similar to 2020, with many clubs choosing to limit their offerings to virtual events only. But as vaccines became more widely available and the weather improved, many Ohio Valley clubs happily resumed in-person activities this summer.
Recent club highlights include:
Some of the region’s larger clubs returned to in-person programming with a splash by hosting their signature events this August. This included the ND Club of Cleveland’s Fighting Irish Hootenanny concert and networking party (complete with Irish music and an all-you-can-eat Irish buffet!), the ND Club of Cincinnati’s O’Byron’s/ND golf outing and the ND Club of Dayton’s annual golf outing, cookout, student sendoff and reverse raffle fundraiser.
We had quite a few SSLP students around the Ohio Valley region this summer, and the ND Club of Columbus returned to in-person events by hosting a dessert reception to celebrate its 5 SSLP students and hear about their experiences working with some great local organizations.
Speaking of service, the Ohio Valley clubs have continued to support their local communities throughout the pandemic, and this summer many clubs have returned to organizing regular in person service opportunities for their members.
With the start of classes just around the corner, clubs including the ND Club of Akron, ND Club of Canton, ND Club of Central Kentucky, ND Club of Erie, ND Club of Greater Louisville, and ND Club of Mansfield took the opportunity to celebrate the newest members of their local Notre Dame communities by hosting in person student sendoff events.
As we prepare for football to kick off later this month, the Ohio Valley region is excited to see what this season has in store with many of our clubs again hosting in person game watches. And before year end our region will begin looking ahead to next season as we start planning to host the season opener against Ohio State in Sept 2022. Go Irish!!