Question 1: How long have you been involved with Habitat, and what got you interested in the organization?
I first became involved with Habitat in 2007 or 2008 when I arranged for my office to take part in a build day, which has since been an annual event for my office. I joined the Board of Directors in 2011. As a real estate broker, I truly believe in helping families get into homes even when the situation is non-traditional. Giving back to our community is important to me and I was drawn to Habitat's role as a hand-up, not a handout.
Question 2: Do you get involved in builds personally? If so, what do you like working on?
Yes - for many years. The best time I had was hanging cement board siding with a couple other ladies from my office! With a nail gun! We had to have been the slowest volunteers ever but the Construction Manager was very patient with us.
Question 3: Habitat has been around a long time, but people sometimes have misconceptions. What is a myth that you'd like to correct about the program?
We do not give away homes. Our partner families spend 200-300 hours training, volunteering, and learning about how to be a successful homeowner before they buy their homes. Each home comes with an affordable 0% interest mortgage for the owner. Our families have jobs and keep their credit in order. But our families would not qualify for a traditional mortgage or be able to save a large down payment. Habitat works to fill that gap in affordable, safe home ownership.
Question 4: Do you have any personal stories of interactions with clients that keep you motivated about the mission?
Too many to pick just one!
Question 5: What do you do in your professional life before Habitat, and how is did that draw you here?
I am a real estate broker with the F. C. Tucker Company in Carmel, Indiana. My first interactions with Habitat were when I called to have my office take part in a build day, which my office had annually ever since. My involvement on the board came about a few years later when I finished a year long board of directors service training program through the United Way. I wanted to use my skills beyond organizing a build day for my colleagues.