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At the 2016 TASH national conference in St. Louis, Missouri, Gail Fanjoy was
presented the Barbara R. Trader Leadership Award, which is presented to
a TASH member who demonstrates extraordinary leadership toward the
enrichment of the organizationwho must exemplify TASH values, possess a
profile of courage, contribute to the growth and success of the organization,
and promote TASHs contribution to advocacy and social justice for
individuals with disabilities. A leader in disability advocacy for 40 years, the
mission of TASH is to promote the full inclusion and participation of children
and adults with significant disabilities in every aspect of their community,
and to eliminate the social injustices that diminish human rights.
Gail is CEO of KFI (Katahdin Friends Inc.), a private not-for-profit agency
which provides whole-life supports for people with disabilities, and whose
headquarters are located in Millinocket, Maine (with branch offices in Lincoln,
Bangor and Portland) Having worked for KFI since 1976,
Gail has been a leader in the revolutionary shift in service delivery away
from sheltered and segregated services to customized supports for people in
the community.
In the 28 years Gail has been a member of TASH, she has been a dynamic,
inspirational and sought-after presenter. A gifted story-teller, Gail shares
stories of the lives of people supported by KFI, which illustrate lessons
learned along KFIs journey. She has also facilitated many Community
Gatherings, along with other gurus in the field, brainstorming ways to give
people supported regular lives that include a home of ones own, a job,
friendships and relationships, and meaningful community engagement.
These presentations inspired many other provider organizations to reach out
and ask for help to begin the process of transforming their services.
Invitations to visit other agencies increased and Gail has become a mentor
to countless provider agencies across the country.
Gail just completed serving two terms on the TASH National Board of
Directors, is currently serving on the TASH New England Board of Directors,
and the Maine APSE (Association of People Supporting Employment First)
Board of Directors. In addition, she has recently been named a Subject
Matter Expert in the national Employment First movement by the federal
Department of Labors Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

The following are quotes from letters in support of Gails nomination for this
it is my belief that Gails effectiveness as a leader is because of one
thing : her heart is 100% into her work. Her deep passion for helping
people live a good life one that honors their uniqueness, their ability
to contribute and their need for relationships is her driving force.
Barbara R. Trader, former Executive Director of TASH, Washington,
Gail Fanjoy is a tireless and fearless advocate for people with
disabilities. In my experience at SRVS, Gail has freely given her time
to open our eyes to the meaning of community participation through
real relationships for people with disabilities. Tyler Hampton,
Executive Director of SVRS, Memphis, Tennessee
Gail is called upon by Federal agencies, State regulators, providers,
businesses and others to show them the way, to lead and she does
so naturally and graciously; with wit and charm; with humor and a
gentle (sorta) hand to guide the way. Gail is uniquely a true leader.
Merrill Friedman, Senior Director, Disability Policy Engagement,
Anthem Inc., Washington, D.C.
TASH is an organization that leads by example. Barb Trader was an
Executive Director that led by example in so many ways. Gail Fanjoy
epitomizes leadership by exampleand shows how one person from a
tiny town in northern Maine can impact an entire country. Lisa A.
Mills, PhD, Independent Consultant, Wisconsin.