Our Board of Directors is a dedicated team comprising nine key members who play pivotal roles in guiding the Scandinavian Club of Columbus. The board is composed of four distinguished positions:
Co-Presidents: Leading the club's strategic initiatives and fostering a sense of community.
Executive Assistant: Providing crucial support and organisation to ensure smooth operations.
Treasurer: Managing the club's finances with prudence and transparency.
Secretary: Keeping comprehensive records and facilitating effective communication.
Our board convenes monthly, with the majority of meetings held virtually to accommodate our dynamic operations. Together, we focus on discussions that steer the club in accordance with our bylaws, which were thoughtfully voted on and approved by our membership in 2022. You can review the by laws here. This framework forms the basis of our club's constitution and helps us maintain a strong sense of purpose and unity.
Michael Lindner (SE), Co-President
Ruth Briland (SE), Co-President
Åke Hellstrom (SE)
Åke has been a Club member since the late 1990's, while sitting on our Board for many years. Still no splinters or nails in his rear, he says...
Some of his most enjoyable Club memories are from doing graphic design and construction of our booths at the annual Columbus International Festivals.
He was born in Norrköping, Sweden and came to Industrial Nucleonics in Columbus 1969 (later became ABB). Right after his MSC in Applied Physics at Chalmers in Göteborg. Retired as Chief / Principal Eng in 2009, but continued consulting - and looking back at patents and products. Ake eventually developed a working style like Frank Sinatra's teaching - "I did it my way." "You must often break old rules for making real innovation." This also reflects his ScandiClub contributions - dig in wherever something is important for our members, while being capable of doing it!
Dale Svendsen (DK)
Dale Svendsen joined the Club in 1978 along with his wife, Gail, and their family. He has continued active membership and has served as Club President at least 4 times. Dale’s parents were Danish and he was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. His wife, Gail, is from primarily Norwegian and Swedish heritage. She has also been very active in the Club for example serving several term as a Board Member.
Together they have raised three children in the Club who for example participated in the Scandi Youth Dancers. Both of our daughters were Lucia as were two of our granddaughters. Dale came to Ohio to attend Medical School at Ohio State. Mostly he has remained in Ohio other than military service in California, an internship in Evanston, Illinois and a Penn State University faculty position. He is a retired psychiatric physician who has enjoyed providing clinical care including Mental Health care at the OSU Student Mental Health Clinic, serving as Medical Director for the Ohio Department of Mental Health, and as Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at OSU teaching Public and Community Psychiatry to Psychiatry residents and medical students. He is most proud of his Scandinavian Club role over the past several years in modernizing the Club. The club originated in 1937 but life in the 21 st Century is very different. Modernizing the Club has involved digital communications and management, eliminating costly monthly dinners prepared by members, modernizing Club By-Laws and Board roles supported by committees of willing members, choosing event venues that are less expensive and encouraging voluntary donations and engagement in activities by members and associate members of all ages. We also created Special Interest Groups (Swedish Language Group) and small group activities at local establishments such as after work Scantini’s at restaurant/bars and Skandikaffee breakfasts at local restaurants. Dale is still focused on helping the Club to more successfully engage youth and families.
Ingrid White (SE), Treasurer
"I grew up attending Scandi Club meetings with my parents, Carl and Linda Eriksson, and I was Lucia in 1984 or 1985. I moved away from Columbus in 1993 and just returned with my husband Gary and our two sons Garrison and Ethan in 2018. We were just starting to get out and meet people in the Club and then the pandemic hit!
When I was little, my family traveled to Sweden every summer for 3-4 weeks and visited my relatives. My dad and his sister owned a summer house together in a small village called Fredros, near the Norwegian border. During college I spent a year abroad at the University of Stockholm, and I ended up minoring in Scandinavian Studies at Ohio State. I loved my time in Sweden and hope to be able to travel to all the Nordic countries more often in retirement (which is still a good distance away).
Harry Parsons (SE)
Harry is a three-year member of the club now starting his second year on the board. He served 31 years as a refractory sales specialist for Emhart Glass, builders of glass container making machines with two plants located in Sundsvall, Sweden. His grandparents immigrated from Sweden 1895 influenced his interest in Swedish and Scandinavian culture. Currently he serves on the membership and nominating committees and is a caller for Club events. In addition to the warm fellowship the club provides, he also enjoys the movies and baking for our great buffet meals.
He also likes our welcoming hospitality that is evident whenever we meet. His advice to newcomers: get involved, join committees and help with Club activities to fully enjoy meeting others to share their stories of our common Scandinavian heritage. Have fun!
Megan Ginter (DK, NO)
Member since 2022
Megan Ginter has been a member of the Club since February 2022. Since then, she has served as the Executive Assistant. Her main role is to write the monthly newsletters. Megan’s grandmother, Gail Anderson, was a part of the Club decades ago. Megan feels that she’s carrying on the Scandinavian pride and legacy!
Megan shares ties with Denmark and Norway. Besides having ancestry in these Scandinavian countries, she has relatives from Ireland and Germany. Megan serves on the Communications Committee and enjoys receiving feedback from members. Besides being involved with the Club, Megan is in graduate school at The Ohio State University in the nurse practitioner program. Outside of school and work, she likes to spend time with her two cats, Louie and Frankie.
Matt Soucie (DK, SE)
Communication & Membership Committees
Member since 2021
Matt joined the club in 2021 after moving back to Columbus. Prior to that, Matt was Cabin Crew for Norwegian Airlines, where he frequently travelled to Scandinavia, and beyond. He fell in love with Copenhagen, and the Danish culture. After being made redundant due to the pandemic, he decided to move back to Columbus, where he now has a career in residential real estate sales.
Matt has been studying Danish since 2020, and he enjoys continuing the Scandinavian traditions. Matt's morfar (grandfather), "Larson" was Swedish. He fondly remembers his grandfather's herring on the table for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which he still remembers to put out for nostalgia.