Peg Furnas, Director of Operations
I reside in the Chagrin River Valley within a 30-minute scenic non-highway drive into the city. Having a cup of tea in the outbuilding of our 150-year-old Western Reserve farmhouse with my husband, four adult daughters visiting from CA, NJ, Columbus and Ohio City, our Golden Retriever, and friends gives me time for uninterrupted one-on-one conversations. My sweet space!
Our home sits on an acre of land; treed with perennial gardens which delight me every season. (Yes, even in the winter!) I am a member of the Garden Club of America Cleveland, where I continue my education and enjoyment of all things green and flowering. Within minutes, I can walk, bike, or ride to a Geauga County Park or to South Chagrin Reservation and Polo Fields, part of the Emerald Necklace. Here my Golden and I wade in the river, walk along sandstone cliffs, and cross-country ski. Refreshed and ready for fun, dinner and culture, I head towards the city.
A visit to University Circle is like traveling abroad to me: the owned and international exhibits at Cleveland Museum of Art, music at Cleveland Institute of Music, author talks and opera at the Maltz Performing Arts Center, and a night at Severance with the Cleveland Orchestra. I am a volunteer docent for Baroque Apollo’s Fire, who play in area churches. Speaking of traveling, I’ve got a growing list of destinations I’d like to find myself in, adding to those I’ve already visited; Johannesburg, South Africa; Auckland, New Zealand; Guatemala City, Guatemala; and Stockholm, Sweden.
Driving along Millionaires’ Row to dinner in AsiaTown, I pass the few mansions that remain and also see the present-day challenges of the neighborhoods along Euclid Ave. Social justice is a passion of mine, especially as it relates to women and children. As a graduate of Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2018, I learned about specific needs in our city and created a solution for a nonprofit – Family Connections. I was a member of a three day Cleveland Rising Summit Fall ’19 and am continuing in a small group to figure out how to make neighborhoods safe and equitable for all. Along with local hero Renee Jones who advocates for women in Cleveland, my husband and our daughters advocated to our members in Congress and the Senate in their home offices and on Capitol Hill for legislation to support women coming out of human trafficking.
I try to stop at the downtown Cleveland Public Library Main Branch when in the city because of its’ grand architecture, special collections, and views of the Malls and the lake from the top floor. My preference is a non-fiction book with hard-back binding and paper pages rather than an e-book.
Growing up in NE Ohio’s western harbor town of Vermilion, as well as my roots in County Mayo, Ireland – which sits alongside the Atlantic – I feel most at home along the water’s edge.