Myers named to state committee

A local man was recently named to a state committee which will help make recommendations in awarding funds to local and state history projects.

Greg Myers has been named a member to the History Fund Review Committee, as well as part of a panel to help recommend recipients of grant funds for history projects in Ohio.

“I was very honored,” Myers said of the position. “It’s a pleasure to be asked for the first round.”

The History Fund is a competitive matching grants program supported through one of four tax check-off funds found on Ohio’s income tax forms. Grant funds are available thanks to the nearly 17,000 Ohioans who voluntarily contributed an average of $8 per person to the History Fund in 2012, from tax year 2011, which is the first year of operation for the program, according to the news release from the Ohio Historical Society.

Myers, who was the former president of the Ohio Local History Alliance, lobbied this idea to state legislators to make this funding possible.

Previously known as the tax check-off, the History Fund was developed to support the preservation and sharing of Ohio’s heritage by funding local, regional and statewide projects, programs and events related to state history. It was created in the state’s two-year budget that was signed into law by Gov. John R. Kasich on June 30, 2011.

Job duties that Myers will be in charge of is to help review applications that have been submitted for history funds. Myers is one of 15 people who will make recommendations to award over $100,000 in funding for local and state history projects across Ohio.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to start putting funds into local and county historical societies,” Myers said.

The panel will hold a review meeting, which will be open to the public, and will make funding recommendations, and recipients of the grants will be announced on Feb. 27.

“We are pleased that these individuals from across Ohio agreed to serve on this important panel,” Executive Director and CEO of the Ohio Historical Society Burt Logan said of the panelist. “They are leaders in the field of history in the state.”

The panel consists of professionals who represent the grant program’s constituencies, which are local historians, historic preservations, museum professionals, archeologists and archivists.

“There is a real demand for this program,” Ohio Historical Society Local History Coordinator Andy Verhoff said. “The History Fund has received 64 applications for $891,000 in grant requests. Our panelists’ experience and recommendations will help the Ohio Historical Society support outstanding projects.”

Verhoff noted he hopes great projects plus high demand for grants will inspire more tax check off and History Fund support in 2013.

Myers, who serves as the executive director of the Wapakoneta Area Economic Development Council, is the past president of the Ohio Local History Alliance, the vice president of Cridersville Historical Society and the vice president of the Armstrong Air and Space Museum Board.

Ohio residents have had the option of donating to causes such as wildlife conservation, nature preserves, scenic rivers and the protection of endangered species, and in 2011, the History Fund joined these programs on the 2011 Ohio tax form and will be on future tax forms, providing Ohioans a way to help preserve their state’s history, according to a news release from the Ohio Historical Society.

Mary Ann Olding, of Minster, was also named as a panelist to the History Fund Review Committee. She is the president of the Old Word Research Company and is a member of the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board.