Our People

Board

Michael Kraus

Karla Amaya-Leone

Karla, her husband, and their cat, Mr. Dallas, have lived in East Hills since 2015.  Originally from California, she moved to Grand Rapids 6 years ago, and has fallen in love with West Michigan. She is a realtor and founder of Home Sweet Homes.  In addition to being a board member of the East Hills Council of Neighbors, Karla is involved with the Hispanic Center of West Michigan, Michigan Street Corridor Improvement Authority Board, and Girls Choral Academy.  She has a passion for the community, and is inspired by the energy and growth of Grand Rapids. When she is not working, Karla and her husband love cooking and entertaining. 

Char Amberger

Chairperson

Charlotte Amberger born and raised in Detroit, moved to Heritage Hill/Eastown after getting a B.A. In political science from U of M and accepting a job with the National Labor Relations Board in Grand Rapids.  After completing a M.S.W. from W.M.U., I worked for Grandville Public Schools as a school social worker.  Now retired, my husband and I live in East Hills and are owners of the Blackport Building and other rental properties in East Hills. Chair of Green Spaces Committee.

Christian Bell

Christian Bell and wife Beth have lived in East Hills since 2003, and appreciate that the neighborhood is large enough to always be new, yet small enough to always be familiar. Christian is a technical engineer at Meijer, and holds degrees from Calvin Theological Seminary and Calvin College. During the spring and summer months he can usually be found watching baseball.

Meagen Coburn

Secretary

Meagen Coburn is a Flint-area native -come- Grand Rapidian by way of Grand Valley State University where she and her husband studied. Having rented in Cherry Hill Historic District circa-2003, they moved to Jacksonville, Florida following college graduation for work where they constantly sought neighborhoods that 'reminded them of GR' - which meant walkability, having access to good beer and good food on those walks, and homes with big front porches to sit on with their dog, Dozer. After what some would call too much life experience in a few short years, in 2013 they had the opportunity to sell their home and buy in Cherry Hill Historic District just a block away from their college home -- and it just felt like home. They can be found on any given weekend entertaining friends and family at their beloved Clown House, a brightly colored Queen Anne Victorian, enjoying craft cheese, craft beer and vinyl records.

Ryan Elenbaum

Ryan Elenbaum first moved into East Hills in the mid 2000’s. He left to spend 2 years in Eastern Europe as a Peace Corps Volunteer which turned into nine-years of International Development in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He recently returned to Cherry Hill with his wife Angela and two young sons. They chose the Cherry Hill neighborhood for its proximity to downtown, walkability, and Cherry Park -- where his children can frequently be found flying off the merry-go-round. Ryan currently works as an internal consultant for a national trucking company finding ways to increase efficiency and productivity.

Ted Lott

Ted has been a resident and business owner in the neighborhood since 2007. Ted is an architect, urban designer and planner and an active stakeholder in the city neighborhoods, working to build strong relations with the City of Grand Rapids and neighborhood residents.
 

Elizabeth Hoffman Ransford

Co-chair

Elizabeth Hoffman Ransford was born and raised a few blocks away in Heritage Hill. After college in Ann Arbor and a few fun but unproductive years jumping from city to city, Elizabeth received a PhD in History from Loyola University Chicago, where she specialized in the history of urban spaces. In 2010, Elizabeth and her husband Charlie moved back to Grand Rapids to buy a home in Fairmount Square. Today, they share their house with three great kids and one bad cat. Elizabeth is a writer, historian, and passionate advocate of East Hills’ neighborhood school, Congress Elementary.

Staff

Cynthia Ayers

Executive Director

Cynthia came to East Hills from NYC one year ago to head up the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign. She spent the past year developing relationships with the city and the community and realized that Grand Rapids had some very passionate citizens. Cynthia is making East Hills her home and thinks that real change happens at the local level. She's looking forward to engaging the East Hills community and building a sustainable network of active citizens to continue to improve quality of life for everyone.