As the challenge of affordable housing grows, Our Towns Habitat for Humanity is committed to helping more families find permanent housing solutions. To help fulfill the vision of a world where everyone has a decent, affordable place to live, the organization is expanding its board of directors with seven new members, representing North Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties,
Entering its 33rd year, Our Towns Habitat works to end poverty housing by partnering with families and individuals in communities from Huntersville to Statesville.
“Thanks to our generous donors and volunteers, Our Towns Habitat finished this past fiscal year strong, completing 15 new homes and 41 critical health and safety repairs for homeowners in need,” said Chris Ahearn, chief executive officer. “The need for affordable housing in our area is significant, and our volunteer board is critical to achievement of this mission.”
The following individuals were welcomed to the board this month:
• Christian Burns, a financial advisor with Edward Jones. Burns has previous nonprofit experience, having served as executive director of client relations and cultivation for the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina, Inc.
• Rev. Alexis Coleman, associate pastor of missions at Davidson United Methodist Church. Coleman is a certified trainer for “Bridges Out of Poverty,” a model that helps communities build long-term sustainability among people of all economic classes.
• Ashley Hudler, who works in enterprise strategic sourcing for Lowe’s Companies, Inc. Hudler is a project and people manager with extensive experience working with internal and external stakeholders to influence strategies, process improvement and manage expenses.
• Jermain Parker, business development manager with Capital Bank. Parker works across the greater Lake Norman region. He serves as treasurer of the Statesville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is on the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Diversity Council.
• Colleen Penhall, vice president of corporate social responsibility for Lowe’s Companies, Inc. Penhall is responsible for the company’s global strategy in sustainability and community relations. She also manages the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation and the employee relief fund. She previously served as the company’s top communications executive and spokesperson.
• Jessica Stewart, director of communications for the Iredell County Economic Development Corporation. She is responsible for marketing the community through coordination with state and local officials, helping existing businesses expand and attracting new businesses to the area. She has also been an active volunteer with the United Way of Central Carolinas.
• Todd Williamson, executive director of DLP Cardiac Partners. Williamson returns to the Our Towns Habitat board, having served from 2009 to 2015. He presently chairs the homeowner selection committee and serves on the finance committee. He has participated in multiple Our Towns Habitat build trips to Guatemala to serve families in that impoverished country.
The 2018-2019 Executive Committee is led by President Brenda Suits, Vice President Matthew Blickley, Treasurer Steve Klueg and Secretary Margie Brady.
Continuing board members include Lamar Austin, Roger Ball, Tim Brown, Maxine Hargus, Carolyn Hart, Amy Hartman, Scott Lagueux, Richard Reid, Bill Russell and
One in three families in the greater Lake Norman area spends more than 30 percent of their income on housing--forcing them to make tough choices between housing and transportation, food and medical care. In fact, many of the people who work in this area, such as teachers, restaurant workers and police officers, cannot afford to live here.
Habitat homeowners pay approximately $600 per month on their mortgage, while families on the Our Towns Habitat waiting list pay, on average, more than $1,000 per month on rent—often while enduring substandard, unsafe conditions.
“Our Towns Habitat’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. We look forward to continuing partnerships with the towns of Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville, Troutman and Statesville to find solutions to the housing challenges for hard-working families in our community,” Ahearn said.
Contact: Erin McCloskey