About Hearcel Craig
Hearcel F. Craig has dedicated his career to building a stronger Columbus community and helping others.
Councilmember Craig currently chairs the Recreation and Parks Committee and the Veterans Affairs Committee,
which was established in September 2011 to help meet the needs of veterans, service personnel, and their families.
Chairman Craig has led the Veterans Affairs Committee since it was established in September 2011 to help meet the needs of veterans, service personnel, and their families. He has worked to connect veterans with existing services and resources in the community and also created new initiatives like the Better Municipal Care for Veterans Home Fund, which helps veterans and their families make needed repairs to their homes.
As chairman of the Recreation and Parks Committee, Councilmember Craig is a strong advocate for the city’s recreation centers, where children, families, and seniors can access a wide range of programs and services to enhance their quality of life.
Councilmember Craig’s commitment to the residents of Columbus began decades ago when he worked as legislative liaison for the Ohio Department of Youth Services. During his tenure at ODYS, Craig drafted and secured legislative sponsorship for bills introduced in the Ohio General Assembly, including H.B. 812, which secured $83 million for much needed capital improvements to ODYS facilities.
Craig continued his work with young people when he served as director of recruitment & admissions for City Year. City Year is a highly successful program which recruits young adults to work full-time for one year on various social service projects around Columbus. In return, City Year corps members receive valuable training and leadership skills that benefit them later in their professional lives.
Councilmember Craig also understands the importance of reinvesting in our neighborhoods to continue expanding the local economy. As former executive director of the Hilltop Civic Council, he managed a comprehensive social service agency that served 10,000 people annually in one of Columbus’ historic neighborhoods. Directing the Hilltop Civic Council’s 35-person staff and administering its $1.2 million annual budget, Craig supervised programs for a comprehensive community health care center, youth and senior services, a resettlement center for new Americans, and a food and clothing pantry.
During the past three decades Craig has volunteered his time as a trustee on numerous community service boards, many focused on education. He has served as a member of the Columbus Public Schools Equity Task Force, the Columbus State Community College Department of Business and Industry Technology Curriculum Committee, the Southside Learning and Development Center’s Board of Trustees, the Ohio Hunger Task Force Board of Trustees, and the Columbus Cultural Arts Center Board of Trustees. He is currently serving on the board of Military Veterans Resource Center. Craig also served as board chair for the Alliance for Cooperative Justice, board chair for the Franklin County Prevention Institute, and chair of the State Education Committee for the Columbus Chapter of the NAACP. Craig was named the 2011 Public Servant of the Year by Community Shares of Mid-Ohio.
Councilmember Craig earned a Master of Science in Administration degree from Central Michigan University. He was a Join Together National Leadership Fellow at Boston University School of Public Health. He served in the United States Army from 1970-1972.
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