The Licking County Courthouse Lighting Committee


Established in 1969 the non-profit Licking County Courthouse Lighting Committee, Inc. oversees all the activities related to supporting the annual holiday lighting of the Licking County Courthouse and surrounding Courthouse Square. These responsibilities include design, purchasing, installation, removal, and seasonal storage of all the holiday decorations / materials used. As well as community / media communications, fund raising and lighting ceremony production. 

Through the Committee’s efforts they have restored the project to its original grandeur and beyond. Today, we support a full lighting program of lighted stringers, and spotlights as well as colorful decorations encompassing the Courthouse building and surrounding lawn and Gazebo.

Early in 2008 the Licking County Courthouse Lighting Committee announced the creation of an endowment fund for the annual holiday lighting of the Licking County Courthouse. The goal of this fund is provide for the continued success of the annual holiday lighting and was made possible by a donation from a local long time benefactor of the project. Historically, the lighting fund committee has received inquiries about long term financial support for the project outside of the annual community fundraising drive. By creating this fund we have the ability to accept bequests, memorial donations and invest these monies for the long-term benefit of the project. The lighting committee has decided to direct a portion of the proceeds from the annual “Lite The Nite Car Show” and the royalties received from the Bicentennial book, ‘Images of America – Licking County’ into the fund as well.

Fund raising activities historically have been limited to the annual community fund raising drive from both community individuals and business / organization donors. Special memorial or event contributions and the annual “Lite the Night Cruise In”, which attracts several hundred automobiles (Classic & Hot Rod) each fall to downtown Newark. 

 Tax-deductible donations may be made to the non-profit Licking County Courthouse Lighting Committee Inc under section 501(c) (3) as designated by the Internal Revenue Service.


Volunteer Directors and Officers 

Spencer Barker, President

Commercial Real Estate Agent & Auctioneer at Shai Commercial Real Estate, Spencer can be seen working on all types of projects around Licking County with a diverse group of clients. He graduated from Granville High School in 2009, attended The Ohio State University and then went on to graduate from The Ohio Auction School in 2014, in May 2016 he became a State of Ohio Licensed Auctioneer and in 2017 graduated from the Hondros Business School and proceeded to get his Real Estate Sales Agent license. Previously he held positions at Apple Tree Auction Center, Central Ohio Geriatrics, Paumier Medical Management Group, Apple Inc. and The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology. Spencer has been involved in the Licking County Courthouse Lighting since he was born in 1991 and is following in the steps of his late father, John C. “Jay” Barker. He is also a member and current Vice-President of the Newark-Heath Rotary Club, supporting board member of LICCO, past board member of Weathervane Playhouse, attends Second Presbyterian Church in Newark and sits on the governing board of the church. He also is a member of The Young Leaders of Licking County and the Licking County Foundation Scholarship Review Committee.  Spencer currently resides in Newark.

James Johnson, Treasurer

President and CEO of Hopewell Federal Credit Union, Jim has worked in the financial services industry for almost 40 years with experience in credit unions as well as both banking and savings and loan organizations.  He has been with Hopewell Federal since 1996. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management and Human Resources from Park University and is a graduate of the Credit Union National Association management and financial management schools. Jim is very active in both the credit union industry as well as his community.   He is a Past President of the Newark-Heath Rotary Club and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of LICCO, Inc, Vice Chairman of The Energy Cooperative Round Up Foundation, Secretary of the Heath Community Arts Council Board of Directors, Seated Director on the Ohio Credit Union League Political and Legislative Action Committees, as well as serving as Budget and Finance Committee Chairman for First Presbyterian Church in Newark. Jim and his wife, Nancy, reside in Heath an enjoy spending time with their growing family.

David Bibler, Secretary

Executive Director of the Licking County Aging Program.  He has been a resident of Licking County since 1981 when his broadcasting degree brought him to Newark as a news reporter for WCLT.  He subsequently worked as Executive Director of the Licking County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Executive Director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Licking County.  Dave has served on a number of non-profit boards in the community, including his appointment to the Courthouse Lighting Committee in June 2014.  He is past president and a member of the Newark-Heath Rotary.  Dave continues to put his broadcasting experience to work as a P.A. announcer for Newark Catholic football, basketball and baseball as well as the Licking County Settlers.  He and his wife, Becky, live in Newark and have two children.

Ryan Bubb, Director

Asset Manager for locally owned AKD Construction (formerly RMSe) a nationwide retail construction company.  Currently serving a second term as an At-Large City Councilman for the City of Newark.  Ryan chairs the Ways and Means Committee along with serving on the Finance and Service Committees.  As of August 2014, Ryan will be consulting with new ownership for the redevelopment of the Licking Springs Golf Course (Trout Club.)  Each summer, Ryan also volunteers his time for the Licking County Settlers.

Thomas O'Brien, DIRECTOR

During his 31 year career with the Newark Fire Department, Thomas has served as compliance chief, HAZ-MAT coordinator, paramedic, member of the equipment specification committee, member of the IAFF executive board, and currently serves as 2 units shift supervisor and operations chief. He has been the fire training coordinator at the local vocational school, and has taught at FDIC and is an Adjunct Instructor for The National Fire Academy. He has an associate’s degree in Fire Science from Hocking College and a bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Management from Franklin University. He has a Master of Public Administration as well as his Executive Fire Officer designation from the National Fire Academy. Thomas is designated as a Chief Fire Officer and is a MIFireE. Thomas has also been doing accreditation visits for CPSE/CFAI for the last 9 years and has served as a team leader for numerous departments. He is a member of IAFF, IAFC, Ohio Fire Chief’s Association, and is on the Board of Directors for the Newark-Heath Rotary Club. He currently resides in Newark with his wife Michelle.

Jeffery Walker, Director

Retired director of The Licking County Emergency Management Agency, formerly he served in Safety and Security Management with Licking Memorial Health Systems. A retired Newark Police Officer his community involvement has included the Boy Scouts, Newark Area Safety Council, Operation Feed and their Church Council. Jeff and his wife Carol reside in Newark; they have one son and daughter and grandchildren.

Tim Bubb, Emeritus Director

Licking County Commissioner, he was elected in 2004 and began serving as Commissioner since 2005. He also served as elected Newark City Treasurer from 2002 to 2004. Previously Tim served from 1985 till 2003 as News Director for the WCLT Radio stations (T100 & 1430AM). His community activities have included the Newark Lions Club (former Trustee & President), Newark Public Library Board (Trustee & President) and Board Member of Licking County Crime Stoppers. Tim provided the leadership for the successful community effort to construct the new Main Public Library in downtown Newark. He began his service on the Courthouse Christmas Lighting Committee in 1975. He and his wife Marianne reside in Heath; they have three sons and four grandchildren.

Photography By: Nathan Arnold, Juliet Connolly, and John Rossignol