For community building purposes and as information for newcomers, we provide here the names of the parishioners who share in the labor of love that is Saint Martin’s. More groups, programs and names are forthcoming.
The Vestry Members of Saint Martin’s Parish Church
Class of 2018
- Jane Albert (Parish Life)
- Dan Carter (Adult Formation, Congregational Development)
- Karen Gerken, Senior Warden (Property, Outreach)
- Kris Gillespie, Junior Warden (Finance, Outreach, Planning)
- Victoria Ware (Church School, Youth, Outreach)
Class of 2019
- Linda Bird (Parish Life, Bicentennial Missioner, Columbarium)
- Robert Case (Property, Stewardship)
- Merry Petroski (Parish Life, Children’s Formation)
- Jean Schmiege (Stewardship)
- Greg Streicher (Stewardship)
Class of 2020
- Clint Cassese
- Jeremy Clark
- Ken Porter
The Finance Committee of the Saint Martin’s Vestry
- Colleen Deering, Treasurer and Chair
- Kris Gillespie
- Alfred KanagaRaj
- Nancy McKinley
- Amanda Meitz
The Property Committee of Saint Martin’s Vestry
- Don Bird
- Andy Botzman
- Bob Case
- Karen Gerken
- Bruce Kovall
- John Meade
- Elaine Brophy
- Jennifer Brush
- Karen Gerken
- Kris Gillespie
- Nancy Horn
- Beth Young Petrequin
- Victoria Ware
- Jane Albert
- Corrine Castrini
- Nancy McKinley
- Merry Petroski
- Donna Sullivan
- Bob Case
- John Meade
- Tim Schaaf
- Jean Schmiege
- Greg Streicher
- Clergy ex officio
- Linda Bird
- Gail Kallock
- Wardens ex officio
Our Lay Ministers with Special Responsibilities
- Cheryl Gray, Parish Nurse
- Alfred KanagaRaj, Administrative Assistant (Service Leaflets)
- Karen Swan, Pastoral Care and The Daughters of the King
- Judy Tremain, Coordinator of the Altar Guild
- Elizabeth Hays, Women’s ChristCare Journeying Group
- John Meade, Alfred KanagaRaj, Wednesday Men’s Group
Church School and Youth
- Katie Clark (Coordinator)
- Merry Petroski (Special Events)
- Victoria and Rob Ware (Christmas Pageant)
The Altar Guild of Saint Martin’s Church
- Margaret Ardill
- Lynn Buck
- Ginny Fisher
- Karen Gerken
- Linda Gilbert
- Cheryl Gray
- Louise “Skip” Grip
- Joan and Mike Henck
- Gail Kallock
- Linda Mellen
- Carol Munz
- Jean Schmiege
- Paula Stepnick
- Judy Tremain, Coordinator
Saturday Service Auxiliary
- Linda Bird
- Nancy Horn
- Beth Young Petrequin
- Mary Prince
Jane Albert’s history with the Episcopal Church began in 1963 when she was confirmed in the Church of the Good Shepherd, Lyndhurst, Ohio. As a child she attended the Methodist Church with her parents and three younger brothers. She was active in the children’s choir and in youth groups. While living outside of Ohio for ten years and starting her family, her first order of business was to locate the nearest Episcopal church in which to build friendships and ground her family in the faith. Returning to Ohio and to the Chagrin Falls area, she discovered Saint Martin’s Church and what she describes as “my new church family.” Jane’s current profession is as a pastry chef, an occupation that keeps her involved with two local businesses, plus she has a small sewing business. She describes her free time activities as “anything outdoors, particularly hiking in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and our beautiful metropolitan parks, and playing golf.” She has recently taken a break from her Meals On Wheels volunteer job which she enjoyed for a number of years, and will again. Jane’s family includes three grown children; a daughter and two sons, two grown stepsons, and five grandsons. Her family is divided between the Cleveland-Akron area, Baltimore and Chicago. Jane was widowed four years ago. During her years at Saint Martin’s, she has been involved with vestry for four terms, plus her service as warden. Jane is a member of the chancel choir, ushers, was fellowship chairman for a number of years, belonged to almost every women’s organization, prepared meals and provided speakers for women’s dinners, and taught Sunday school. She is currently part of the Journeying Christ Care Group. Jane writes: “Priceless is my walk with the Lord, which keeps me on track and speaks to me through my heart, my family and my friends. Christ is the best support system I could ever want or need. I pray often for calm strength, patient wisdom and for the Lord to be beside me every step of the way. He encourages me to use my gifts and talents wisely for him.”
Linda Bird is an alum of Mount Ida College, Newton, Massachusetts, where she studied business. She also studied foreign languages at Russell Sage College, Troy, New York. She has worked as a legal secretary, in real estate, as a medical office manager and, for almost thirty years, as the principal’s secretary in a middle school. During that time she directed the school’s drama program and also took groups of students to Washington, DC. Married for fifty-plus years to Don Bird, the Birds have two girls: Mindi, an RN at Cleveland Clinic Cardiology and will complete her Nurse Practitioner degree next December; and Aimee, who teaches kindergarten and lives in Bend, Oregon. Their three grandchildren were confirmed at Saint Martin’s. Christian is presently training for Navy Special Ops/Warfare; Schuyler is doing “his thing” as a server at Hyde Park and Logan is a student at Paul Mitchell. The Birds have been members of Saint Martin’s for about thirteen years. Linda has served on vestry, focusing on Parish Life, fellowship and fundraising. Linda and Don are “cradle Episcopalians.” Linda previously served on a vestry and as Episcopal Church Women (ECW) President at a Chicago-area church. Don and Linda grew up in the same church in Delmar, New York. Linda is still in touch with some of the “kids” with whom she went to church camp in the Adirondacks! Linda enjoys thrift and consignment shopping, traveling, reading (on historical topics) and the TV series Downton Abbey. She has taken special trips with all three grandchildren, most recently in 2015 to New Zealand and Australia with Logan. About her faith Linda says, “I believe in the power of prayer and have witnessed God’s grace in my life.” About the parish Linda says, “The climate at Saint Martin’s has changed for the better. I am eager to see our church grow and thrive in a positive atmosphere as we worship and celebrate God’s gifts as a church family.” Linda just completed a three-year term on vestry and is being elected for a second three-year term.
Robert Case holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Missouri (1972) and attended Trane’s Graduate Engineering Program, LaCrosse, Wisconsin (1973). He was assigned to the Cleveland-Gardiner Franchise as a Sales Engineer, promoted to Sales Manager 1984, General Manager 1992, President 2001, and CEO/President 2013. He has been the Vice President of NATFH (National Association of Trane Franchise Holders) and is a Board Member. He also serves on the Board of AE3 (Alliance for Energy, Economic, and Environmental Building Solutions). Bob and sister Nancy Horn grew up in Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in St. Louis County, Missouri. Bob’s wife Roslyn Case grew up in the Cleveland area attending Catholic schools through college. They have been members of Saint Martin’s for over thirty years, during which time Bob has been a regular worshipper, for the past ten-plus years attending and ushering at the 8 a.m. service of Holy Eucharist. Their three children Alyssa 33 (who now resides in Chicago with her husband Franz Russler), Matthew 30 (who resides in Seattle with his wife Jordan), and Michael 28 (who resides in San Francisco) were raised in Saint Martin’s Church. Matthew and Michael were baptized at Saint Martin’s and all three were confirmed here. Bob has been a member of the property committee for many years (prior to the building of the education wing). During his children’s school days he coordinated Junior Chapel with another member, depending on the year. He also coordinated the acolyte program for several years. Bob reads the bible daily and attends church regularly to try to get his mind focused on the right things. He feels he has an ability to focus on the important issues that are put before him and also has the ability to help those around him focus. Bob is into working out, to stay in shape — a lot of bicycling. He enjoys traveling the country to see his children and watching sports for relaxation. He feels it is an obligation to serve in God’s church.
Dan Carter attended Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. He holds a Juris Doctorate from Villanova University School of Law and has practiced law in Pennsylvania and Ohio for over forty years, also serving as a law instructor in Delaware Law School, Widener University. He has published in his field and been invited to speaking engagements with NPR and the Federalist Society. Until 2013 he was a partner in the firm of Buckley King, Cleveland, as formerly in Timby Brown & Timby, Philadelphia. In 2014 he established the Law Office of Daniel P. Carter, LLC. Dan and Regina have been married for 31 years and have three adult children: Emily, Danny and Annie, out of college, and Lizzie, who is a junior at Orange High School. They have been at Saint Martin’s for more than ten years. Dan previously served two consecutive terms on the Saint Martin’s vestry and was a vestry member in Christ Church, Villanova, Pennsylvania. By way of civic involvements, Dan has served as a board member of Benedictine High School 2006-2013 and has served as chair 2011-2013. He is an admissions officer for West Point.
Clint Cassese received his Bachelor of Science in business administration from Bowling Green State University. For the past fourteen years, he has been the Chief Financial Officer of OMCO Holdings in Wickliffe. Prior to that, he held financial management positions in various manufacturing companies. Clint passed the CPA exam in 1981. Clint met Shelley while living in New Orleans. They married there and relocated to Ohio shortly thereafter. They have two children, Michael and Katherine. Both children are acolytes for the church and Shelley teaches Sunday School and has been active with VBS in the past. Clint and his family have been members of Saint Martin’s since 2003. Prior to that they attended Christ Church, Aurora, and before that they attended Trinity Episcopal Church, Troy, Ohio. Clint enjoys being involved with his children’s school sporting activities. He also enjoys history, travel and politics. He is looking forward to serving his church community through working with the vestry.
Jeremy Clark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and has worked in the insurance and financial services industry for twenty years, with the majority of the time focused on helping companies manage their 401(k) plans. He is married to Katie and they have two children: Katherine (17) and Tyler (16). Jeremy was raised in a Southern Baptist Church in Southern Virginia and came into the Episcopal Church when Katie and he were married at Saint Paul’s, Cleveland Heights. The Clarks started coming to Saint Martin’s around 2000, after moving to Chagrin Falls. They previously attended Saint Paul’s and Saint Christopher’s, Gates Mills. Jeremy has served on a handful of committees, but primarily as a reader and chalicist. Jeremy writes, “I look forward to serving on vestry and giving back to the church via time and talent. This was prompted after I informed John Mead of my interest to help him with the oversight of the church property.” The Clarks are a very active family and huge sports fans. There are not many sports Jeremy has not tried or does not like watching. He currently enjoys running, sailing, tennis, golf, Frisbee golf, softball, snow skiing, and water skiing.
Karen Gerken was raised a Lutheran in Minnesota and majored in biology as an undergraduate in Gustavus Adolphus College (B.A.), where she also minored in music. She attended graduate and medical school at Case Western Reserve University, where she earned an M.D. and Ph.D. in Physiology. She did her Residency training at the Cleveland Clinic in anatomic and clinical pathology. She began work at Southwest General Health Center in 1989, with the pathology group Bayless Pathmark, and has served as president of that group for eight years. She was married to Tom Gerken and they joined Saint Martin’s Church in 1991, as Karen puts it, “primarily to civilize the children, but stayed for the wonderful community.” She has been active in the music program as a flute player much of the time since. Karen served one term on vestry in the late 90’s. Daughter Nicky (Nicola) lives and works in Durham, North Carolina, and Will lives and works in Denver. Both were confirmands and acolytes at Saint Martin’s, as well as angels and shepherds respectively in more than one Christmas pageant. Will was baptized in the parish. Neither are married. Karen’s father, Dean Lowrey, lived with the Gerkens for about ten years until he passed away a year ago. Many will remember him as a worshipper in a wheelchair at 10 a.m. services. About her interest in serving on vestry, Karen writes: “I hope to provide perspective as a vestry member in regard to what I have personally felt most valuable as a member of this congregation, with special awareness of the escalating challenges we are facing going forward in regard to membership and fiscal concerns.” By way of favorite hobbies and activities, Karen plays flute in the Solon Philharmonic (local orchestra). She runs, bikes, skis and hikes when the time is there. Science fiction-fantasy are most often her reading choices. She enjoys cooking and preserving with a group of church friends.
Kristina O. Gillespie was raised in the Episcopal Church in Erie, Pennsylvania, where her family attended the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul. Kris studied as an undergraduate in Wittenberg University, where she took a B.A. in Business Administration in 1980, with a minor in East Asian Studies. She worked for BP Oil from 1980-1999 in a wide variety of line and staff positions, including trading, marketing, distribution, procurement, human resources and public affairs. Scott and Kris were married in Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Cleveland Heights, in 1998. They moved to Bentleyville and began attending Saint Martin’s in 1999. Kris served on the vestry of Saint Martin’s from 2002-2006. She co-chaired our Vacation Bible School for four years (2003-2006) when the program topped 120 kids and counselors. She was a Sunday School teacher from 2002-2012. Scott and Kris also co-founded Travel Analytics in 1999, which they sold in 2006. She describes herself as “happily ‘retired’ since then.” Scott provides consultancy and analytical services in the corporate travel space. Kris volunteers for the Chagrin Falls School District in many capacities, including PTO, as a trustee for the Chagrin Falls Educational Foundation, on the management team for two school district strategic plans, and as co-chair of community outreach on two school tax levies. She also served as Secretary for Galen Foundation, a non-profit resource for those affected by cancer, from 2008-2011. With her daughter Leah she has volunteered at Rescue Village since 2011 working with cats. Leah is a senior at Chagrin Falls High School and well known at church as an acolyte and lector. Leah was baptized in Saint Martin’s in 1999. Kris writes: “I am happy to be offered the opportunity to serve on Saint Martin’s vestry again. I am still on my faith journey.” She is open to working in areas where her strengths might be most effective. In addition to the many community contributions Kris has made and continues to make, she also aspires someday to be a ski hostess at a ski resort in the west, perhaps Solitude.
Merry Petroski was born and raised in the Episcopal Church, baptized in Saint Paul’s Church, Phoenix, Arizona. She holds a BFA degree from Pratt Institute, New York. For almost six years Merry has worked at Jennings Center for Older Adults, a faith-based continuum of care campus, including nursing home, assisted living, adult day care and independent living apartments. She is currently a property manager, assisting lower income adults to obtain affordable housing on the Garfield Heights campus and the property in Shaker Heights. Prior to working at Jennings, Merry was home raising two children Jack and Maggie, who were both baptized and confirmed in Saint Martin’s Church. Each has served in our church for years as an acolyte, chalicist and reader. Merry and husband Andrew were married at Saint Martin’s Church in 1992. Andrew is the IT Director at Gillmore Security Systems, as well as a firefighter with the City of Aurora. hJack is currently in Nelsonville, Ohio, attending Hocking College and working on a degree in music management. Maggie is in her senior year at Aurora High School. Merry has been involved with the Saint Martin’s children’s church school as a teacher, committee member, VBS planner /facilitator since 1999. So naturally she feels church school should be a vital aspect of our church going forward. She will advocate for strengthening both church school and youth programming. She has served on our vestry in the past. She says, “If I had free time I would probably be working on one art project or another.” As an aside, many people at Saint Martin’s know Merry as the “chicken lady” since she has owned chickens for many years.
Ken Porter was born in Canton, Ohio. He became a Christian and was baptized when he was in high school. He was a member of First Christian Church in Canton, Ohio, a large non-denominational church. He currently works at BWX Technologies as a mechanical engineer. Ken met his wife of fourteen years, Valli, in their high school youth group. The Porters have been attending Saint Martin’s since the spring of 2012 when they moved to Solon. Ken served in the U. S. Navy for six years, from February 2001 to February 2007. He was stationed aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower as a nuclear propulsion plant operator. He worked at Newport News Shipbuilding from 2007 through 2011 as a test engineer. He attended school at night at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology in May 2011. In October of 2011 he, along with his wife and son, moved back to Ohio to be closer to family. Ken writes, “My wife and I enjoy the liturgical worship of the Episcopal Church. We believe in the emphasis that Saint Martin’s places on worshiping God together as a congregation and the use of scripture in our services. I’m not a charismatic worshiper and I find the Saint Martin’s worship and music to be decorous and focused specifically on God. Saint Martin’s is the first non-mega-church that we have attended and we enjoy the feeling of community that a smaller church provides.” The Porters have two children: Emmett and Arleigh. Ken adds, “I am excited about the amount of young families with children who have recently started attending Saint Martin’s and hope that we can continue that trend during my time as a vestry member.” In his spare time, Ken enjoys spending time with his family and woodworking.
Jean Schmiege was raised in southwest Michigan in a small town and farming community. Her grandparents and family were active in the United Methodist Church where she was a member and she and Bill were married thirty-seven years ago. After nursing school, Jean and Bill moved to Houghton, Michigan, where she worked at the local hospital while Bill finished his engineering degree. Following Bill’s graduation, the Schmieges lived in the Detroit area for six years, then settled in Scotts, Michigan, near Kalamazoo, where they raised their four children Christopher, Rachele, Elizabeth and Diane. The Schmiege family attended Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church where Jean helped to develop the vacation bible school program, taught Sunday School, and worked on their annual Christmas Craft Bazaar. In 2007 Bill and Jean moved to San Clemente, California, and found a church home at Saint Clements by-the-Sea Episcopal Church. They were very active in social groups. Jean served on the altar guild for four and a half years and enjoyed learning about the traditions and sacraments of the church. When they moved to Chagrin Falls in 2012 they searched for a new church home and found Saint Martin’s. Jean joined the altar guild soon after they started attending. Bill and Jean have enjoyed the Saint Martin’s Foyer Groups and various church activities, including providing refreshments at coffee hour. Through her adult life Jean has had many interesting jobs: coordinator of the Schmiege family, ICU & CCU nurse, greenhouse worker and township voting representative. Jean is an accomplished artist and has been working in the field for nearly thirty years. Her paintings were exhibited locally at Hamlet last summer (2015). Bill and Jean enjoy traveling and visiting with their three grandchildren. She continues to paint and take as many art seminars as she can fit into their busy life. She is looking forward to serving on the Saint Martin’s vestry.
Greg Streicher is an alum of Orange High School, Pepper Pike (1987), the University of Colorado, Boulder (BA History 1992) and Thunderbird School of Global Management (Masters in Business 1999). Greg’s business career includes work for The Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh (Floor Supervisor 1993); Key Bank, Cleveland (Securities Trader & Project Manager 1994-1996); Coutts Private Bank, Miami, Florida (Head Trader, Treasurer, VP Derivatives 1999-2003); Andy on Call, Cleveland (Owner, Remodeling Company 2004-2009); CareerShift & iNamics (CFO Chagrin 2009-2011); UBS Financial Services (Senior Registered Client Associate on the financial services team, from 2013). Greg’s family has been long time resident in Northeast Ohio. His father James was an attorney at Calfee, Halter & Griswald, Cleveland. His mother owned Benetton & One-Way clothing retailers, Chagrin Falls. Greg has an older sister Cheryl and a younger sister Kerry. Kerry lives in South Russell and has two young children; Cheryl lives in Hudson and has three children in college. Greg’s wife Ann Avery is a doctor at MetroHealth Hospital specializing in infectious diseases. They have two sons: Ben (12) and Nick (15), who attend Chagrin schools. When not chasing their boys’ football and lacrosse teams across Northeast Ohio, the Streicher family enjoys skiing and sailing. Greg has been a parishioner of Saint Martin’s for a little over three years. He has been serving as a lector in the 8 a.m. services of Holy Eucharist. He has been attending the weekly Wednesday men’s bible study group since joining Saint Martin’s. Greg says, “My faith has grown from a mustard seed into a guiding principle of my life in the last few years. I have experienced a faith which has given a new meaning to my life where before there was small, isolated thinking. As my spiritual life grows, I am looking to share what I have in order to help others have better life experiences. I believe serving on Saint Martin’s vestry will help me in this pursuit.” Greg also adds, “I am honored and humbled to be offered a service opportunity with Saint Martin’s. As Saint Francis said, ‘You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working’. I hope the same is true about serving on the vestry.”
Victoria Ware was raised in the Roman Catholic Church until her teen years, when her parents joined Christ Episcopal Church, Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan and received a degree in English Literature. A few years later she received an Educational Specialist degree in school psychology and a Master of Education from Kent State University. She worked as a school psychologist for a few years before staying home with her children. She was a stay-at-home mom for fifteen years. She returned to her profession four years ago and currently works part-time at Newbury Local Schools as the school psychologist for the district. She and Rob have been married for twenty-two years. Their four children are Evelyn, Caroline, Annie, and Bobby. They also have two Standard Poodles, Ellie and Lewis. Rob grew up in Cleveland and Victoria moved here from the Detroit area. Much of her extended family lives in Detroit and Rob’s siblings are still in Ohio. They enjoy yearly vacations at a cottage in Grand Lake, Michigan, and occasionally Florida, where Rob’s parents have retired. Rob and Victoria joined Christ Church, Shaker Heights, and made their confirmation together. While attending Christ Church, Victoria was a youth teacher for a number of years. When they moved to the Chagrin Valley fifteen years ago they joined Saint Martin’s. Anne and Bobby were baptized at Saint Martin’s. Victoria has always been involved in youth education, the Christmas Pageant, and Vacation Bible School. In recent years, she has helped at the Super Sale, participated in the Christ Care group “Time Out” (a mother’s Bible study), attended Crossways for two years, and is now helping with the youth group. Victoria writes; “My faith has grown leaps and bounds through the Time Out group (which, I unfortunately am no longer attending due to work), Crossways, and the weekly sermons. I frequently think that it is amazing I could have reached my age and not known some central things about our faith! I know God loves late bloomers too! I am very excited to be a part of the vestry because this church is a home to my family and I whole heartedly love and cherish it. I hope to help in whatever way God is ready to use me.” Victoria is a frequent dog walker at the South Russell park. She has also recently discovered podcasts and has very much enjoyed Serial! She adds, “I was very pleased to be asked to be on the vestry. I feel I have reached a point where I know our church family well and I hope that I can be a representative voice for our faith family.”
See also the Clergy and Staff page of this web site.