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Rep. Kent Smith announces Bill Faith, Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, and Heather Taylor-Miesle as recipients of the Jane B. Sheats Community Impact Award

May 13, 2022
Kent Smith News

COLUMBUS—State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced Bill Faith (Executive Director at Coalition on Housing and Homeless in Ohio), Lisa Hamler-Fugitt (Executive Director at Ohio Association of Foodbanks), and Heather Taylor- Miesle (Former Executive Director at Ohio Environmental Council) as recipients of the Jane B. Sheats Community Impact Award, named after the first African American woman in the United States to chair a county board of elections. Ms. Sheats is in her 90's and currently lives in Rep. Smith's district. She and Rep. Smith have been friends since before he was first elected to the Ohio House.

“These three award winners are moral and issue leaders inside the Capitol Square community. They are each strong public policy advocates within their policy areas of expertise of hunger, housing and the environment. They have dedicated many years of service to fighting for the needs of every day Ohioans and I wanted to honor their work and amplify their voices by presenting to each of them the Jane B. Sheats Community Impact Award," said Rep. Kent Smith.

The goal of the Jane B. Sheats Community Impact Award is to recognize the selfless efforts of others and the impact their hard work has made. The award will be presented with a spirit of gratitude.  

Pictured above: Bill Faith receiving the Community Impact Award from Rep. Smith

Bill Faith has served as COHHIO’s executive director since 1994. Throughout his career, Bill has worked to develop housing solutions for people with disabilities; directed agencies serving the needs of the homeless and promoted affordable housing, especially for very low-income people. He has had extensive involvement with all of the key state and federal government agencies on a wide range of housing and homelessness assistance programs. COHHIO, under Bill’s leadership, pushed for the creation of the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, which has distributed over $1 billion to groups pushing for an end to homelessness and expanding affordable housing over the past 30 years. On the national level, Bill has served as Chairman of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) for six years and also as President of the Board of Directors for the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Pictured above: Lisa Hamler-Fugitt receiving the Community Impact Award from Rep. Smith

Lisa Hamler-Fugitt has served as the executive director for the Ohio Association of Foodbanks since 2001. She is Ohio’s leading anti-hunger voice and a hard-working advocate for Ohio’s foodbanks and Ohio’s food insecure families. The Association represents Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks, serving over 3,700-member food pantries, soup kitchens, and other hunger relief agencies, and more than 1 in 6 Ohioans each year. The Association’s mission is to provide food and other resources to people in need and to pursue areas of common interest for the benefit of people in need.

Pictured above: Heather Taylor-Miesle with the Jane B. Sheats Community Impact Award

In her time with the OEC and OEC Action Fund, Taylor-Miesle was instrumental in launching and growing many facets of the environmental family of organizations. On the policy front, she advocated for important wins, like the conservation of 30,000+ acres of AEP ReCreation Land and historic water quality improvements through the H2Ohio and Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative programs. Taylor-Miesle was a vocal opponent of House Bill 6 and the public corruption that perpetuated what many have called “the worst energy bill of the 21st century.” She also was one of the chief negotiators on the language that passed to amend the Constitution to end gerrymandering in 2018.