Chamber Insider Blog

SBA Spotlight: Loudoun Habitat for Humanity

Thank you to Loudoun Habitat for Humanity for answering a few of our questions.
Congratulations on being named a finalist for Loudoun Nonprofit of the Year!
The 24th Annual Loudoun Small Business Awards will be on November 1, 2018 – Tickets/More Info Here

1. Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today? 

The idea for a Habitat for Humanity in Loudoun County was conceived when the Leadership Loudoun Class of 1992 focused their ‘Think Tank” project on the lack of affordable housing in Loudoun County. The group determined that Habitat for Humanity might be part of the solution.  A steering committee of diverse volunteers began to meet, raised the $3000 needed to establish an official affiliate, and officially chartered the affiliate in the Spring of 1993.

The young affiliate worked hard to organize and recruit volunteers and raise sufficient funds to begin building.  Within three years, Loudoun Habitat’s first partner family moved into their new home in Leesburg.  Over the past 25 years, Loudoun Habitat has constructed 18 new homes with several of these houses in two small neighborhoods located outside of Middleburg in the historic area called St. Louis.  Additionally, Loudoun Habitat has purchased and renovated 26 houses located in Sterling, Ashburn, Leesburg, and Purcellville.

To date, Loudoun Habitat has built or renovated 44 homes for 45 families. The total impact is 174 individuals now living in affordable, stable homes of their own. These families all have a mortgage and are working members of our community.

Our Habitat affiliate is here today because of the dedicated volunteers and staff that believe in our mission –  seeking to put God’s love in action, Habitat for Humanity brings together people to build houses, communities and hope.  The heart and soul of the Habitat story is our volunteers. We are active in Loudoun County because of the many volunteers and donors that belief in our mission and support this mission with financial funds and people power. We build houses with volunteers. We help run the ReStore with volunteers. Our day-to-day work in the office is supported by volunteers. Our successful Raise the Roof Gala is run by volunteers. The Habitat board of directors are all volunteers.

2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?

This is Loudoun Habitat’s 25th year here in Loudoun County. Winning this award from the Chamber of Commerce means that others recognize the value of our work and see that it is making a difference for our community and neighbors in need. We know there is so much more to do. Our vision is a county where everyone who wants to call Loudoun home can find an affordable place to work, play and live a happy life. This award will allow for a louder voice to the work of Habitat in our county. It will rally more people to join the cause. It will bring attention to increasing needs of our low-income neighbors. It will provide Loudoun residents a place to volunteer and give back to our community.

 3. If you weren’t running your own business/working at this business, what would you be doing?

Designing and creating costumes for local theater

4.  What book are you reading right now?

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (I saw the musical this summer and it piqued my interest to learn more about this founding father.)

5. What is your favorite book?

Wow, that’s a hard question. Like asking “what’s your favorite song” only harder. As a Habitat person, The Theology of the Hammer by Millard Fuller is must reading. My personal favorites? Lord of the Rings series and Harry Potter series. I know – not very intellectual but I have read these books several times during my lifetime and every time I start reading I can’t put them down.

6. If you have 24-hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?

Hang with my posse of friends over dinner and drinks at my house.

7. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?

As a nonprofit, we are lucky to witness small things making big impact every day. For example, having a child who is in their new house for the first time take my hand to show me their new bedroom. They have so much happiness about something I take for granted. A space to call their own.

8. What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?

This sounds funny but I don’t remember having a career picked out. I wanted to make a lot of money, travel the world and be a totally free spirit with no ties. LOL – I married and had three children and can’t imagine life any other way.

Childhood dream? I wanted to be like Carole King and Carly Simon – mostly the songwriter part. This was just a dream because I never had the talent or writing chops to get there. But I had my pretend stage and spent many afternoons making up my own music.

9. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?

My parents because they ingrained in me a strong work ethic.

10. What is your favorite thing about running a business in Loudoun County?

Loudoun County is so diverse in its people and culture. I have loved working here because of this rich diversity and of course with Habitat for Humanity we really get to experience this diversity in our work.

11. If you’re not in the office where can we find you?

Helping a local middle school with their musical production and hanging with my kids and friends.

12. What is your favorite weekend activity in Loudoun County?

We work a lot of weekends with Loudoun Habitat so favorite activities include working on one of our Habitat houses, bringing lunch to volunteers working on the job site, unpacking donations in the ReStore, or sitting in on class with the Home Buyer’s Club. After all of this activity, I’m tired, so relaxing at home with a good book or good movie and a glass of Loudoun wine!

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