Alison Matas Smith joined Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio in 2020 as the Development Director. In her role, she writes grants, meets with donors and community partners, and helps create marketing materials that tell the Habitat story. She's thrilled to be on staff with an organization that is dedicated to strengthening neighborhoods and improving quality of life for Stark County residents. Before joining Habitat, Alison worked for The Canton Repository, where she wrote about economic development initiatives in Stark County, such as Strengthening Stark and Hall of Fame Village. Alison has a master's degree from the University of Missouri and a bachelor's degree from Marietta College. She lives in Jackson Township with her husband, Ryan, and their puppy, Kozmo. 
Aaron Brown has been involved in the not-for-profit world most of his life. Aaron’s father was the Executive Director of the American Cancer Society where Aaron spent many hours volunteering. Through these early endeavors, a foundation of community development was laid. Aaron’s community-focused career has ranged from positions within churches to targeted neighborhood revitalization and development. Currently, Aaron is the Director of Neighborhood Investment with Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio. Within his role he facilitates property acquisition and development, targeted neighborhood renewal strategies, community relations, and product procurement for construction projects and Habitat ReStore. This position marries his passions for helping people, building solid relationships in the community, and furthering the Habitat mission of ending poverty housing. Aaron is also an actor, with more than 25 years of theatrical and film experience. He is a city of Canton resident, a husband of 22 years, and a father of 3 boys. 
Alison and Aaron will give us an update on our local Habitat's mission to provide people with a 'hand up, not a hand out' in assisting them to build affordable housing for themselves and, in the process, to improve neighborhoods.