Stephen P. Hansler has served as the Executive Director of Maximum Accessible Housing of Ohio (MAHO) since its inception. Under his leadership, we have provided fully accessible housing to hundreds of people with mobility disabilities. We have also taught the necessity for and principles of accessible housing to government officials, housing professionals, consumers, and case workers. This award honors Steve’s commitment to attaining independent living through accessible housing. The Hansler Award is presented each December; nomination information for 2017 will be posted in the fall.
The 2016 Hansler Award Winner is Ann Russell! Read Steve’s presentation speech below:
I don’t remember exactly when Ann joined the Board but I know it goes back to the 90’s.
What I do know is that her commitment to people with disabilities goes back way before that. When Ann was a member of the admissions committee, every so often somebody would come to be interviewed and Ann would say “I remember you from camp” since Ann volunteered at a camp for children with disabilities for many summers.
As a Board member, Ann has always done whatever needed to be done. She was Board President twice because that is how she could help. Right now, she is volunteering regularly in the office because that is where we need help now. She has always been a do-er.
On the Admissions Committee, her Physical Therapy knowledge was always helpful. The disability verifications often have medical terminology. Ann would be able to tell us that a diagnosis of hemulosis (made-up term) was likely to mean someone would need our apartments while halitosis was simply bad breath.
I do remember one story in particular. In 2004, we did a fundraising concert with a famous jazz singer as the performer. Our consultant told us that something we should do is to have the Board President call the performer to welcome them to Cleveland. Ann was the Board President. At about 1:30 in the afternoon, Ann called me to tell me she had just called the singer and she complained that Ann had woken her up and was generally very crabby. This was yet another example of Ann doing what needed to be done with no reward.
With thanks for all she has done and continues to do for MAHO and people with disabilities, I am delighted to present the 2016 Stephen Hansler award to Ann Russell.