Heights Libraries Welcomes Newest Board Members, Honors Outgoing Members

Director Nancy Levin gives outgoing Board President Ron Holland a parting gift for his years of service, a framed photo of the newly renovated University Heights branch and a copy of his speech from the building’s grand opening.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library is pleased to announce the appointment of its newest board members, Vikas Turakhia and Dana Fluellen. Their terms will begin in January 2018, replacing outgoing board members Ron Holland and Susan Beatty.

Turakhia, a Cleveland Heights resident for the past three-and-a-half years, has been a high school English teacher for nearly 20 years, and currently teaches English at Orange High School in Pepper Pike. “I want to be an advocate for Heights Libraries,” he says. ”This goes beyond my interest as a frequent library patron and the father of two children who benefit from the library. I want to do all that I can to ensure that public libraries continue to be a gateway for the public, broadening knowledge, providing new experiences, and functioning as a societal unifier and equalizer.”

Turakhia replaces outgoing board president Holland, whose term ends in December 2017 after serving a full seven-year term.

Holland served on the board from 2010-2017, and his tenure included planning the renovation of the University Heights branch, which started in 2016 during his term as board vice president, and reached completion during his term as president this year. “I am happy to have seen through the completion of the University Heights branch renovation, and look forward to seeing the continued growth and success of our library system,” says Holland. “My inspiration for joining the library board stemmed from first being a lifelong user of the library for personal and educational needs, and second from my desire to give back to a library system that gave me so many years of employment during my own high school and college years and now gives knowledge to my own children.”

Holland has been succeeded as board president by Abby Botnick, who previously served as vice president and chair of the operations committee.

The second new board member, Dana Fluellen, has lived in Cleveland Heights for 41 years, currently works in child care administration and has been volunteering with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District since 2011. “I have been a dedicated library patron my whole life,” says Fluellen. “I am in awe of its resources and would like all citizens to be aware of them and use them.” She continues, “I have worked with children and parents most of my adult life, and I want to encourage them to get involved at the library.”

Fluellen will serve a partial board term of four years to replace Beatty, who stepped down from the board after three years of service when she moved to Lakewood this year.