Ohio Environmental Council, February 7, 2022
Columbus, OH — Heather Taylor-Miesle will step down as Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) Executive Director effective March 4, 2022 and will soon transition to a new role at a national organization. She will also be stepping down from her role as President of the OEC Action Fund, the OEC’s 501(c)(4) sibling organization, but will remain on the board.
“Working for the OEC, OEC Action Fund, our family of organizations—and specifically with this team—has been the highlight of my career,” said Taylor-Miesle. “The organizations have never been in a better position to make the change we need in Ohio to create a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable state for all who call Ohio home. It is an honor to have been a small piece of their history, and I am now thrilled to continue supporting them as a partner and donor.”
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.” Her leadership against Statehouse corruption and for a stronger democracy has been critical in the fight for fair maps and will continue. Taylor-Miesle was on the board of the Fair Districts, Fair Elections effort which negotiated and passed the 2018 Constitutional amendment for fairer Congressional districts. The amendment’s anti-gerrymandering provisions were recently affirmed by the Ohio Supreme Court, who ordered the Ohio legislature to go back to the drawing board and stop cheating Ohioans.
Taylor-Miesle also worked with OEC leadership to voluntarily recognize the OEC Workers United and helped negotiate the organization’s first Collective Bargaining Agreement to create a more just, equitable organization and movement. Under her leadership, OEC and OEC Action Fund have grown well beyond the Columbus headquarters to include important work with partners in Cleveland, Toledo, Cincinnati, Mahoning Valley, Appalachia, and with national partners, like League of Conservation Voters.
Taylor-Miesle currently serves on many boards, including Ohio Voice, BRITE Energy Innovators, the Equal Districts Steering Committee and Progress Ohio; she has helped raise millions of dollars for organizations in Ohio fighting for a better future for the state.
“We are deeply grateful for Heather’s visionary leadership over the past six years,” said OEC Board President Rich Shank. “During her tenure, Heather led strategic planning efforts for the OEC which expanded our innovative programming and strong partnerships across the state and the nation. She worked to build staff capacity and more than doubled our budget by creating new opportunities for fundraising. We wish Heather the very best of luck in her future professional endeavors and look forward to continuing to collaborate with her.”
“Heather has helped grow the OEC Action Fund into a powerhouse political force that is a key player in Ohio’s environmental and progressive movements. We thank Heather for her strong leadership that has secured important victories for Ohio’s environment and our communities. We look forward to her continued service on the board,” said OEC Action Fund Board Chairperson John Marshall.
The OEC Board of Directors has named Trish Demeter as Interim Executive Director of the organization. Demeter joined the OEC in 2011, and currently serves as Chief of Staff where she coordinates and supports the OEC’s policy advocacy efforts, government relations, and legal strategies to advance the organization’s goals on energy, land, water, and democracy issues. Before taking on her Chief of Staff role, Demeter served in the roles of OEC’s Director of Clean Energy and Climate Campaigns as well as Vice President for Energy Policy. Additionally, she directs the OEC Action Fund and will serve as its Interim President.
The OEC will launch its search for a permanent Executive Director in the coming weeks.
The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) is the state’s most comprehensive and effective environmental advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Ohio. The OEC develops and ensures the implementation of forward-thinking, science-based, pragmatic solutions to secure healthy air, land, and water for all who call Ohio home.
The OEC Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization, seeks to protect and enhance the environment, economic viability, and health of all Ohio communities by expanding access to public lands, advancing critical environmental priorities, holding policy makers accountable, and electing environmental champions.
Media Inquiries: ebacha<at>theoec.org