The people behind SPRD... Heath Foott
Last updated 12/6/2022 at Noon
Heath Foott keeps busy with his remote work for Meta, his former service with the Oregon Army National Guard, and enjoying the benefits of living in Central Oregon. Yet he somehow finds the time to serve on the Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD) board.
Foott and his family have been in and out of Sisters over the last 35 years, leaving to get employment elsewhere and eventually settling down in Sisters Country. He is a 34-year veteran of environmental and safety work for companies, including working for OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). He currently works for Meta remotely from his home in Sisters.
Foott has had parallel careers, working for large companies and as a lieutenant colonel in the Oregon Army National Guard — nine years enlisted and 32-1/2 years as a logistics officer and flight medic operating out of Salem. He still works as the chief in the Construction Facility Management Office.
Foott also has a sheep ranch in Sisters known as the Sisters Soay Sheep Company keeping up the bloodline of the soay sheep species, which hail from Scotland.
He also serves as the budget committee chair for the American Society of Safety Professionals.
In 2018, the election ballot for new SPRD board members was left blank, and Foott rallied his community and friends and ended up being the write-in member with the greatest number of votes chosen to serve on the SPRD board.
“I wanted to volunteer and give back to my community, and two months later I get a call that the write-in votes had won it with the highest card wins,” he said.
In 2020, he was put on the ballot to serve again. Foott has served as board vice president, and the role of member at large. Foott assists with strategic planning for the board, assessing what new things they can take on and whether there is an appetite for something new in the community. Foott also works with timeliness — how to steer the District in the right direction based on levies and bonds coming on the ballot.
“I really help in looking at the timing of certain things and investments. Timing is everything in a small community, so I help make sure we are fiscally responsible and work as a sounding board for the ideas coming up,” said Foott.
“Surviving through COVID as a District was big; it really made us stronger and the parallels of working with kids and elderly people and continue to grow our offerings,” he said. “It’s been awesome working with Jennifer [Holland, executive director] and rewarding learning from her experience.”