Meet the Visioning Committee

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The Vision Worthington Committee consists of 13 Worthington residents who were appointed to the Worthington City Council to lead a comprehensive community-wide visioning process. This committee is tasked with steering the citizen-led visioning process, engaging and listening to community members, and developing a well-grounded articulation of the community's aspirations for the future of Worthington.


The Vision Worthington Committee consists of 13 Worthington residents who were appointed to the Worthington City Council to lead a comprehensive community-wide visioning process. This committee is tasked with steering the citizen-led visioning process, engaging and listening to community members, and developing a well-grounded articulation of the community's aspirations for the future of Worthington.


  • Vision Worthington Chair Joe Sherman

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    08 January, 2020
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    Joe Sherman and his wife, Linda, moved to Worthington nine years ago this December having spent the previous twelve years in that city on the "other side" of the Olentangy....Dublin. Cardinal Health brought him to Ohio from Chicago as a Vice President to help lead and build its pharmaceutical distribution sales effort in the National Retail Market arena. He has since retired from a challenging, yet extremely enjoyable, professional career. Three and half years ago, he joined the Planning Group that leads the efforts of the Worthington Alliance for Responsible Development, or simply WARD. As a result, WARD has given him the opportunity to become involved with City Staff and City Council. He has also volunteered at Dublin Methodist Hospital, The Worthington Food Pantry and annually at Jack's Memorial Golf Tournament. Joe and his wife love to travel and he plays golf whenever possible. As a member of the Visioning Committee, he is excited to be a part of this strategic process for our community, building for our future generations.

  • Vision Worthington Vice Chair Austin Mitchell

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    08 January, 2020
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    Austin Mitchell, PhD, has worked at intersection of strategy, risk and policy in the energy industry for almost 15 years. He is currently at NiSource (the parent company for Columbia Gas). Austin lives in the Wilson Hill neighborhood with his wife, Heather, and their children, Clara and Troy. They moved to Worthington from Pittsburgh in 2015. Austin enjoys policy discussions, family bike rides, golfing with Heather, and hanging out with neighbors. On most Saturday mornings you will find Austin at the Farmer’s Market with his family. Austin values the strength of the Worthington community and is grateful to have a role in the visioning process.

  • Committee Member Laura Abu-Absi

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    08 January, 2020
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    Laura Abu-Absi is a public policy professional focusing on health and human service issues of interest to Ohio’s counties. Prior to her current role serving Ohio’s 88 county departments of job and family services, she worked as a policy analyst for the County Commissioners’ Association of Ohio. She also has experience in both the executive and legislative branches of state government. One of Laura’s favorite parts of her job is distilling complex public policy issues to a conversational level and working to build consensus across varying perspectives. A Toledo, Ohio native, Laura has called Worthington home since 2012. She has two children, the oldest of whom is starting Kindergarten at Colonial Hills Elementary this year.

  • Committee Member Kathryn Burris

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    08 January, 2020
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    Kathryn Burris is retired after 25 years in the financial services industry, working the majority of her career as a licensed financial advisor. An Ohio native and graduate of The Ohio State University, Kathryn has lived in Worthington for 15 years with her husband Mark and Quincy, their black Labrador Retriever. Kathryn is an avid sports fan and a novice gardener. She believes citizens should be well informed and active participants in their community. Kathryn thinks a successful visioning process will require collaboration between residents and city leadership, using imagination, compromise and common sense.

  • Committee Member Catey Corl

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    29 January, 2020
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    Catey is the Director of Experience Strategy and Research at a local tech consulting firm called g2o, where her team of design researchers and strategists guide the creation of future products and services. Her background is in design, but her passion is in bringing the voice of the people and the understanding of what brings them value to guide the future experiences we design. She’s a Columbus area native and chose Worthington for her home in 2013. She loves anything and everything about being outdoors and can often be found hiking, biking, gardening, or walking around town with her husband, John and her two kids Wyatt (7) and Mae (4). Wyatt is 1st grader at Colonial Hills and walking with him over the stream and through the woods to school is the best way to start her day.


  • Committee Member Paul Cynkar

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    08 January, 2020
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    Paul Cynkar spent 25 years with the Worthington Schools, serving as assistant superintendent, director of teaching and learning, and as a middle school principal. After a 35-year career in public education, Paul joined the not-for-profit Battelle for Kids as Chief Operating Officer in December 2008. He retired from BFK in October 2018 after the death of his wife in August of that year. He currently serves as a consultant for Red Brick Hill LLC, a Worthington-based leadership organization and for the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, a Cleveland-based philanthropic organization. Paul also currently serves as the Chair-Elect of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Ashland University and Ohio University, teaching graduate courses in community engagement and politics and served on the First Lady’s planning committee for Ohio Governor Ted Strickland’s Institute for Creativity and Innovation in Ohio. Paul has lived within the boundaries of the Worthington School District since 1983 and in the City of Worthington since 1996. His daughter, and her family live in the Lakes of Worthington. Grayson, his grandson, attends kindergarten at Bluffsview Elementary.

  • Committee Member Cindy Findlay

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    08 January, 2020
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    Cynthia Bent Findlay is a stay at home mom and freelance writer. She has a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communication ('95) and worked in journalism in the Pittsburgh area at daily, weekly and monthly publications. Findlay moved to the Columbus area in 2001 to be with her husband, Doug. Since then she has written extensively for Columbus Business First and more recently for Columbus CEO and the Columbus Dispatch. Cynthia has also worked in public relations, mostly for the United States Fencing Association, and edited the association's magazine for more than 10 years. The Findlays moved from Schumacher Place to Worthington in 2008 and have two kids in Worthington schools, a sixth grader at Worthington Estates Elementary School and a freshman at Thomas Worthington High School. Cynthia is passionate about volunteerism, civic participation, and about journalism in education. She enjoys research, and also reading, gardening and playing violin and piano.

  • Committee Member Matt Lees

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    08 January, 2020
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    Matt Lees has lived in Worthington with his husband, Ray, and eight children since 2007. They chose Worthington for its close-knit neighborhoods, parks, diverse schools and walkability. Matt is a senior communications consultant for Nationwide where he manages executive communications with associates, agents and industry partners. Matt has 25 years of experience communicating for non-profit, corporate and government organizations. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Marietta College, and he is certified in organizational change management and focus group facilitation. Matt is active with Feeding America, Haitian Health Foundation and Worthington Schools. Matt looks forward to working with this committee to help our residents envision the future of our city.

  • Committee Member Jon Melchi

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    08 January, 2020
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    Jon Melchi (Melk-eye) is the Executive Director of the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio (BIA). The BIA is in its 75th year of serving the Central Ohio residential construction community by representing nearly 800 builder, developer and associate members. Before joining the BIA, Jon served as the Vice President of Government Affairs and Business Development with Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI). He has served on the Board of Directors for the Family Business Coalition and the Small Business Legislative Council. Jon is a graduate of The Ohio State University and lives in Worthington with his wife Amanda and daughters Mary and Claire.

  • Committee Member Linda Mercadante

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    08 January, 2020
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    Linda Mercadante, Ph.D. was recently named Distinguished Research Professor at Methodist Theological School after serving for 32 years as the Straker Chair of Historical Theology. She is also ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She specializes in the social and spiritual analysis of culture, using qualitative analysis. Author of five books and hundreds of articles, her most recent is Belief without Borders: Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious. She is immediate past president of the Worthington Libraries Board of Trustees and still serves on that board. She has also been a part of Leadership Worthington and the Colonial Hills Civic Association. While growing up in Newark, NJ, she dreamed of living in a place like Worthington and so has been a grateful resident for the last 20 years. She and her husband Joseph Mas, an attorney and regular on WOSU's "Columbus on the Record" have three grown children. Son David graduated from Thomas Worthington HS.