Leslie Rich is passionate about building relationships, creativity and community. She cut her teeth in community organizing and development in her work creating Girl Scout troops in public housing sixteen years ago. In 2009 she started Westwood Works with seven friends to bring an Artworks mural to the neighborhood. Before starting Westwood Works, she started the writing and literacy collective InkTank with her brother and two friends to help kids in Cincinnati build their creativity, writing and storytelling skills in a fun environment.
Leslie co-chairs the Westwood Art Show, is a member of the Gamble Nippert YMCA Branch Board along with being involved with general Westwood awesomeness. Leslie and her husband Bill love living in Westwood with their two boys. Her family has deep roots in Westwood as her father was a small business owner for over sixty years. In her free time she enjoys making music, reading, and baking.
John and his wife Sue are life-long residents of Cincinnati and live in the community of Westwood with their two daughters Jane and Anna. They are both active in the Saint James church and the Westwood community. John has a passion for working to improve the quality of life in his community and the city; a passion that began in 1976 at Saint William’s school in Price Hill. John is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and works for KZF Design as the Director of MEP Engineering Services. He is also, one of the original co-founders of Westwood Works.
Retired Art Teacher, St. Catherine of Siena
Married for almost 50 years to Richard and mother of 5, grandmother of 9.
Resident of Westwood and member of St. Catharine of Siena parish since 1972. Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from Mt. St. Joseph College and retired from teaching art, religion, and social studies (7th and 8th grade) in 2011.
Marie has held many volunteer positions in the parish and school while working full-time: Scout leader, soccer coach, soccer coordinator, festival worker, etc. As a board member of Westfed Habitat for Humanity, she participated in the construction of over 25 houses in Westwood and the surrounding communities, earning the title of ‘Siding Queen.’
In her retirement, she continued to be a ‘professional volunteer.’ Tandem bike-riding with the blind, charity sewing for local hospitals with Common Thread, chairing the Adopt-a-Pot committee for Westwood Civic, working with her parish conference of St. Vincent de Paul to assist those in the community who are in need and underserved, and serving on the Westwood Works board as a member-at-large and event volunteer.
Westwood is a community that she loves and seeks to serve however she can, to enhance and affirm it’s positive and welcoming character.
Nikki has always had a passion for problem solving and relationship building. She is proud to serve on the board of Westwood Works planning community events and meeting new people. She is excited about the existing assets in Westwood and the bright future ahead as a result of strong community building efforts.
Nikki and her husband Chris have two boys, Louie and Malcolm, and have lived in Westwood since 2004. She owns her own design consultancy based in Westwood, and is also proud to serve on the board for Celebrate Adoption Cincinnati.
Vintage Wine Distributer
Emily Reynolds moved to Westwood in 2007, after growing up in the Chicago area. Emily was a founding member of Broadhope Art Collective, where she sold her jewelry, and “Westwood is the Best Hood” totes. She loves working on the events which draw the community together, and engaging more of her neighbors in the work of strengthening Westwood. She has also served on the board of Westwood Civic Association, and is one of the co-founders of the Cincinnati United Youth Council.
Jess Thayer has always loved a project. With degrees in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture, she started her own business – Contours & Clay. In her studio, she works to combine her passion for pottery and the natural world through ceramic artworks and landscape design. After being an artist in the Westwood Art Show in 2012, she has been the co-chair for the show from 2013 – Present. She joined the board of Westwood Works in 2016 and has also been the project coordinator for Westwood Second Saturdays from 2017-2018.
Jess looks forward to continuing using her talents to improve the community through creative event planning, engaging artworks, quirky landscapes, and environmental education. Jess and her husband Josh have enjoyed living in Westwood since 2009 and continue that journey with their two boys, their dog and thousands of bees.