Our People


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

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.

Brandy Arnold


Brandy Arnold is an East Hills resident of four years. She is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and is currently obtaining a Masters in Marketing from Eastern Michigan University. Brandy works for Kids Food Basket and has worked as freelance writer for multiple area publications. On the board, she is focused on East Hills Loves Congress and various marketing initiatives. In addition to her involvement in East Hills Council of Neighbors, Brandy is on the Grand Valley State University Young Alumni Council, is a Challenge Scholars Community Partner, and volunteers for an array of organizations including Avenue for the Arts and Local First. 

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.

Abigail Bruins

Abigail Bruins has been an East Hills resident for 3 years. After graduating from Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in Earth Science, Abigail wanted to move back to the city she had grown up in. She loves that the neighborhood is vibrant, walkable, and friendly. Abigail currently works in sales for a company that provides environmental health and safety solutions. In her free time, you can catch Abigail sipping beers at the latest brewery in town, watching films at the UICA, and attending music shows. 

Meagen Coburn


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.

Traci Montgomery


Traci Montgomery has lived in East Hills for six years. She has spent five of those years renting in Diamond Gate. She received her bachelor’s degree from Calvin College in math and geography and now works for Meijer supporting the company through Customer Insights work. Traci currently serves as the Board Treasurer for EHCN.


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.