Fairborn — During Monday night’s city council meeting, Mayor Paul Keller declared April 4 to be “Marty Heide Day” in the City of Fairborn in honor of Heide’s forthcoming retirement from her long-held position as director of special events and district outreach for 10th District of Ohio Congressman Michael R. Turner.
Keller made a short speech about Heide’s contributions to the local community before handing Heide’s her proclamation certificate and introducing her to speak in front of a crowd of council members and 25 citizens in the council chambers. Heide thanked both the mayor and the city council for this auspicious recognition, visibly tearing up with emotion.
“It’s enlightening to let people know what we do in our office,” Heide later said. “A lot of people don’t know what a congressional district office does. How we’re in many respects the on-the-ground local representative of Congressman Turner while he’s away in Washington, D.C. or otherwise traveling.
“He’s a legislator, and a very good one. But he also has constituent services to provide, and that’s what my office focuses on. We’re the front lines for people calling in and trying to navigate those services on a local level.”
Heide began her more than three-decade tenure with the congressman going back to Turner’s earlier work as lawyer at the Dayton-based law firm Pickrel, Schaeffer, and Ebeling. Originally from Lafayette, Indiana, Heide moved to her adoptive city in 1989 when her husband landed a job in the area. Though passionate about real estate, Heide quickly too on a role as paralegal under Turner and joined him when he was elected as congressman in 2003.
“The relationship has continued until now,” said Heide. “That’s 33 years together, 19 of which were in our current office.”
Heide’s work for the congressman includes tasks of a case worker with special emphasis on assisting community members with matters involving real estate business and immigration law. As outreach director, she acts as “the eyes and ears for Congressman Turner” at various area meetings.
Her role as director of special events means Heide has been intimately engaged in producing such specialty gatherings as the high school art competition that Turner hosts every year as well as the service academy nominations Turner provides to young men and women applying to the Air Force Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy, the Coast Guard Academy, the Naval Academy, and West Point.
“All of this was a learning curve in the beginning, just like any new job,” said Heide. “But it was very rewarding to try and help people. It took a lot of reading, a lot of asking questions, and working with various congressional liaisons that we have access to that help us navigate our way through it all on behalf of constituents.”
As Fairborn has been one of the Greene County cities that Heide has had a particular presence in — including her utilization of a three-minute block of speaking time at the beginning of each city council meeting — she’s not too surprised but remains eternally grateful for her unique accolade.
“Retiring at the end of the month is an unknown,” said Heide. “Of course, COVID has kind of given me an opportunity to work from home and being home more. But retiring is a big step, and it’s a joyous time of your life. But it’s also very new to me. It’s humbling to receive recognition for my job that I did from people that appreciate that.
“I was very honored at the council meeting that they chose to do that. It’s not just me personally but the efforts that I have made to open lines of communication with this office and the things that are going on right now, as well as providing education on these important issues. I strived to make a footprint and I think that everyone should try to do some community service in their own way.”
As a self-proclaimed “hobbyist” who is focuses most of her at-home time walking, quilting, gardening, raising puppies, and reading mystery novels, Heide is eager to transition into the next phase of her life while acknowledging that she’ll “certainly be staying busy! That’s the key to life, I believe. I think the best thing is to stay busy.”
Contact Mathew Klickstein at 937-372-4444, ext. 2122.