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Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee

Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee

RPAC provides recommendations and advice to City Council and City Staff on a variety of topics, including development of existing parkland; recreational facilities; trails and bikeways; health, wellness, and recreational programming; and updates to strategic plans.

Major topics to be considered include the future Community Center and the development of athletic fields and other park amenities.

The Committee consists of ten (10) volunteer members who are residents of Hilliard.

Members

Commission member since 2023

Term ends 2025

Background

Anderson has a degree in government administration from Christopher Newport University. She started her career in higher education administration roles at Virginia Tech and Texas A&M University. She moved to Ohio in 2011 and worked for 10 years in talent management and diversity. She currently is a manager in diversity, equity, and inclusion at Cardinal Health.

Personal

She lives in Hilliard with her husband and their two active boys, who love to spend time exploring Hilliard parks and playing sports.

After recently retiring from a career managing projects for a Central Ohio publishing company, Tina Cottone is now ready to help the City of Hilliard chart its course for the future in other ways as a member of Hilliard’s City Council.

Tina was elected to her first term as a member of City Council in November 2021, and says she is honored to have this opportunity to serve the Hilliard community and its wonderful citizens.

“As our city continues to grow, I will be a voice for the community to implement changes at the city level that reflect the wants and needs of all the people who live here,” she said.

Tina has been a regular volunteer at the Hilliard Food Pantry, delivering monthly grocery items to people in senior living communities. She is currently the secretary of her homeowners association, and frequently bakes casseroles and cakes for people who need help.

With her free time, she enjoys spending time outside walking, gardening and playing with her two Maltese dogs, Tank and Max. Tina is part of a book club that introduces her to books that are not mysteries. She loves public art and is a big fan of modern dance.

She graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in English.

She and her husband, Rick Adams, have lived in Hilliard since 2010.

Tina’s four-year term runs through December 2025.

Commission member since 2022

Term ends February 2026

Background

Coyle served for more than 40 years in public administration leadership positions. His experience includes parks and recreation director in Milford, Delaware, and parks, recreation and properties director in Cleveland. He was also an athletic specialist in the US Air Force. He holds a master’s degree in public recreation administration from Temple University.

Hilliard community service

Coyle has been a member of the Recreation and Parks Advisory Board since May 2022.

Personal

He and his wife, Peggy, moved to Hilliard in April 2012. They are both retired. 

Panel member since 2023

Term ends 2026

Background

Gara is a stream and wetland mitigation coordinator with the Ohio Chapter of the Nature Conservancy (TNC), specializing in the study of native wetland plants and the use of geographic information systems technology to enhance the quantity and quality of Ohio’s aquatic resources. Before joining TNC, he was employed as a wetland ecologist with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. While there, Gara worked on numerous research projects to better understand these important aquatic habitats. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art and biology from Bluffton College in 1985, a master’s degree in botany from Ohio University in 1987, and a doctorate from The Ohio State University in environmental science 1995. As a long-time Hilliard resident, he is passionate about increasing green space protection within the sensitive Darby Watershed. 

Hilliard community service

Gara and his family moved to Hilliard in 1999 and have enjoyed watching it develop into a vibrant community that embraces diversity. He and his wife are members of the Hilliard Area Garden Club, which is responsible for maintaining the beautiful gardens at Veteran’s Park and the VFW outpost on Avery Road. The club has also worked with the Recreation and Parks Department to control invasive species and establish designated walking paths through the Municipal Park woodlot so residents can learn about and enjoy Ohio’s native spring wildflowers.

Personal

He and his wife have two grown daughters. They live in the Hampton Oaks subdivision and love visiting downtown to enjoy the many fun, family-friendly events the city has to offer.

Not only is Peggy Hale the only board-certified emergency medical physician to have a seat among the members of Hilliard City Council, she also is the only officially trained ninja among the seven elected officials!

Peggy was elected to her first term on Council in November 2021 on a platform that included an emphasis on health and wellness – a natural fit, considering her experience as an ER physician, a former teacher in grades 6-9, and a mother of two young boys.

She also was a member of the Healthy Hilliard PAC, the community group that advocated for the passage of the 2021 Issue 22 income tax increase, which earmarked funds for recreation and parks – including the construction and operation of the City’s planned Community Center.

“As a doctor, I am a huge proponent of health and wellness. I will always support the health and wellness of our community,” Peggy said.

Peggy even competed to be on the TV show “American Ninja Warrior” in 2017, making her the only person to ever be both an elected City of Hilliard official and a ninja.

She is actively involved in the community, including serving as the Good Tidings Christmas Store Donation coordinator, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship E-learning director, UALC Community Garden volunteer, SON Ministry/FESTA Dinner Angel, and guest lecturer at English as a Second Language classes.

Peggy is a Hilliard City Schools lecturer for Just-in-Case (topic: anti-discrimination) and composting, volunteer at Hoffman Trails Elementary, and a volunteer doctor at Vineyard Free Clinic. She operates a pro-bono telemedicine clinic for the homeless, uninsured or underinsured individuals; is a food pantry volunteer; is a guest lecturer at Cross Sports at the Ohio State University; and is a Younglife/Wyldlife host.

She was named Chief Resident for 2009-2010, Resident of the Year in 2007-2009, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital Resident of the Year in 2010. She was a participant in the third annual Paul Ambrose Health Promotion Student Leadership Symposium, was a recipient of the Paul Ambrose Health Promotion Grant, and was a National Merit Scholar.

Peggy earned her bachelor’s degree from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree from the Midwestern University of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale, Arizona.

She and her husband, Matt, have two children. They have lived in Hilliard since 2012.

Peggy’s four-year term runs through December 2025.

Commission member since 2021

Background

McDonough is the deputy superintendent for Hilliard City Schools. He maintains support systems for all phases of the district in the areas of development and implementation of business management, operations data and informational services, maintenance, buildings, and grounds, along with transportation. He oversees all district athletic and extracurricular activities.

Hilliard community service

He has worked for Hilliard City Schools since August 2008, serving as an assistant principal at Darby High School for three years, the director of secondary education for four years, and in his current role since August 2015. Before serving on the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee, he served on the Hilliard Sports Commission.

Personal

He and his wife, Kristin, have lived in Hilliard since 2000. They have two daughters. Madelyn, 19, is a sophomore at The Ohio State University. Maya, 17, is a senior at Hilliard Davidson High School. 

Commission member since 2022

Term ends March 2024

Background

Richardson is the president and CEO of Richardson Marketing Group, a marketing firm specifically designed to enhance the customer acquisition efforts of insurance agents. He also is a partner and chief operating officer of Freedom Direct Life Insurance Services, a published author, and speaker. A former teacher, Richardson also volunteers his time as the president of the Hilliard Optimist Club and acts as the director of basketball operations. He is a graduate of Ohio Dominican University.

Hilliard community service

Richardson has been active in community service in Hilliard for more than a decade. He has served on several boards and committees including Portrait of a Graduate, Hilliard by Design, RPAC, and the Hilliard Optimist Youth Club.

Personal

He has a passion for entrepreneurship and has dedicated countless hours helping young and aspiring entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground. In his spare time, he loves to play golf and hang out with his family. He and his wife, Desiree, have four children and three grandchildren. All four children are Hilliard Davidson high school graduates. 

Commission member since 2021

Term ends February 2026

Background

For the last 16 years Schooley has worked within the Department of Recreational Sports at The Ohio State University, currently serving as the assistant director of satellite and outdoor facilities. Before that he was at the University of Kansas as their assistant director of sport programs for four years. He also officiates football and basketball at the high school level. His wide-ranging experience within the sports and recreation field from the collegiate side brings a unique perspective to the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee. Before serving as the RPAC chair, he also served as a member of the Hilliard Sports Commission. He received his master’s degree in recreation and sports science from Ohio University and his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University.

Hilliard community service

In addition to the Hilliard Sports Commission and the RPAC experience, he has been a volunteer assistant coach within the Hilliard Baseball Association and Hilliard Optimist leagues and the Hilliard Panthers baseball organization.

Personal

Originally from Bowling Green, Ohio, he is now married to Kara Schooley. They have three children, Amelia, Bennett, and Parker. They have lived in Hilliard since 2008. 

High School Student Representatives

Commission member since 2023

Background

Banyots has lived in Hilliard his whole life and has always loved it here. He is a senior at Hilliard Davidson High School. He swim for the Hilliard Davidson swim and dive team and swam for the Worthington Swim Club. He is currently taking engineering at Davidson and hopes to attend Wright State University in mechanical engineering. He hopes to use this degree to work for IndyCar, design race cars.

Hilliard community service

He has worked for the City of Hilliard as a lifeguard for three years, including working as a lead lifeguard in 2023. He also has been a swim coach for the Hilliard Marlins swim team for the past two years.

Commission member since 2023

Term ends 2024

Background

As a student at Hilliard Bradley High School, Kumar’s perspective enriches his service on this board with a unique understanding of the recreational needs of his peers. His firsthand experience as a young member of the community allows him to understand and advocate for the interests and preferences of the youth, contributing valuable insights to the Recreation and Parks Advisory Commission.

His professional background includes an internship at IC3D, a local 3D printing company. This opportunity sharpened his technical skills and instilled the significance of innovation and collaboration in a professional environment. Kumar believes these values, crucial in the fast-paced and dynamic world of 3D printing, align seamlessly with the vision of a new recreation center for the City. Innovation and collaboration will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in creating a facility that meets the evolving recreational needs of our community.

Hilliard community service

In the spirit of community service, Kumar’s engagement in Hilliard has been both diverse and impactful. For the past two summers, he dedicated his time to the Hilliard Leadership Corps, where he actively participated in service such as assisting at the Hilliard Food Pantry, taking on the role of a junior rec camp counselor, engaging in park cleanup at Municipal Park, and volunteering at Freedom Fest.

Within the school setting he is a proud member of Hilliard Bradley’s Jaguar Ambassadors, a selective service club committed to supporting Hilliard schools through various events and fundraisers. As the treasurer of his school’s Interact Club, the secretary of its Key Club, and a member of the National Honor Society, he has had the privilege of contributing to the community through a wide array of events and projects.

His involvement extends beyond the school clubs as a dedicated member of Boy Scout Troop 418. He has actively supported fellow Eagle Scouts with their service projects, each leaving a positive impact on the community. He will soon undertake his own Eagle service project, adding to the legacy of community service upheld by Troop 418. Additionally, his participation in the annual Toys for Tots drive reflects his commitment to spreading joy and support to those in need. Through these experiences, he has cultivated a deep sense of responsibility and enthusiasm for making a meaningful difference in the Hilliard community.

Commission member since 2023

Meetings

RPAC meets on dates and times it deems necessary to fulfill its purpose and to meet deadlines as required by Hilliard City Council. All meetings are open to the public.

For further information or questions please contact Director of Recreation and Parks Ed Merritt.

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