Why do you do what you do?
I have always been very active in the Canton community. Concurrently, I continued to get promoted while working for a large national staffing firm. But I found myself downsizing my staff, closing offices, and re-aligning my territory on a regular basis during this challenging economy. It was a lot of stress, and it just wasn’t fun for me any longer. Several people told me about an opportunity that appeared perfect for me — an executive director position with Community Harvest.
And they were right. It has been the perfect match. As a matter of fact, the Community Harvest program is something our entire community should be very proud of. Thousands of pounds of prepared food are discarded each day. Fortunately, Community Harvest is able to rescue food through the generosity of volunteers and a specially equipped refrigerated truck.This food is collected and distributed to hot-meal sites, churches and organizations that prepare food for the hungry on a regular basis. Community Harvest rescued about $1 million in prepared food and delivered nearly 600,000 meals last year. It feels great at the end of every workday.
What is on your bucket list?
This is an easy question for me. Although I have a wonderful stepson whom I love as my own, I have always wanted to experience the wonder of childbirth and provide the opportunities for a child that my mom and dad have given to me. I am pregnant and look forward to scratching off No. 1 on my bucket list — having a baby. My husband and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I also would like to see the Cleveland Browns in a Super Bowl, but that may be a “wish list item” vs. one on my bucket list.
What is on your mind?
I have been asking myself “How lucky am I?” on a daily basis recently. I am truly blessed with a wonderful family, a job I love, and terrific friends. I finally feel like I am right where I want to be. Aside from my daily blessings, I think about the volunteer drivers at Community Harvest all the time. They are the most incredible and generous group of people I have ever met, and they make me laugh. A few of them have gone through some recent health struggles, and I pray often that things will begin to improve for them. They are a primary reason I love my job so much.
WHO: Faith Barbato; married to Michael Barbato; 16-year-old son, Michael Todd.
EDUCATION: Canton Central Catholic High School graduate; B.A. in psychology from Kent State University; M.A. in counseling and human development from Walsh University.
COMMUNITY BOARDS: Leadership Stark County graduate; former Canton Jaycees president and active board member in various capacities for 12 years; Alpha Phi alumni; 2005 Stark County Community Excellence finalist; and volunteer for several local nonprofits.