People in Teller County and all over the world partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call HOME. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Two positions are new hires and two are internal promotions to new positions.
Woodland Park, CO -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/19/2016 --Habitat for Humanity of Teller County (Habitat) recently announced their hiring of 4 staff members to complete the Woodland Park office team. The new hires are Susan Cummings, Home Owner Services Coordinator; Karen Fay, Financial Coordinator; Violet Hanratty, Volunteer Coordinator and Colleen Urffer, Resource Development Coordinator.
Cummings owns her own bookkeeping business in Woodland Park (Aspen Office Works) and will continue to operate it while providing part–time services to Habitat. She has also provided accounting services to several other non-profits in Colorado. Cummings formerly worked with Habitat in their finance department as the General Accountant. As Home Owner Services Coordinator, her duties will include identifying and recruiting qualified applicants and partnering them with the Habitat program. The Home Owner Services program includes, homebuyer education classes, hands on build site opportunities (sweat equity), loan origination support and ongoing homeowner support.
Cummings has a strong background in residential development, home construction and non-profit work experience. "I was raised by an entrepreneurial father who developed large tracts of land and made those tracts affordable so families could afford to build," said Cummings. "I have also worked with many non-profit organizations that seek to better the community by providing services to benefit deserving individuals who need a hand up. I have a desire to be more a part of the Woodland Park community," she said. "So, becoming a part of the Habitat team was a natural draw for me."
"I feel that Habitat is truly committed to helping the residents of our county and we do that by placing most of our funding toward providing housing," said Cummings. She also strongly believes in their volunteers. "I cannot praise them enough. The benefits we receive on a build site using volunteer labor is amazing and makes all our efforts possible. Our volunteers are priceless," she said.
Teller County is conspicuously lacking housing for lower income residents, according to Cummings. "I would like to see Habitat address this need in a broader capacity," she said. "I also have a goal of providing each new homeowner with education on what it means to be a good neighbor, community participant, and responsible homeowner."
Karen Fay has lived in Woodland Park for over 30 years. She will be working in the Habitat office part-time taking care of the general accounting needs of the organization which includes bookkeeping, processing financial reports, donor funds management, mortgagee funds management, and providing some other miscellaneous assistance to Habitat Executive Director, Jamie Caperton.
After volunteering with Teller Habitat for more than 2 years, Fay is happy to be a permanent part of the team. Fay is retired from the high-tech industry. She was originally attracted to working with Habitat by having the chance to give back to the community while working with a construction platform.
As Habitat's financial coordinator, Fay will be handling a variety of financial aspects from accounts receivable/payable and loan management to home closing documents. She is very detailed oriented and strives to build precise, clear records of all Habitat financial activity. Fay believes that there is no better way to help a person than give them an opportunity to be self-sufficient.
Hanratty loves to serve. She has served in many non-profit capacities for the last 20 years from sitting on boards to fundraising to labor. She likes to do the things she asks the Habitat volunteers to do. As the volunteer coordinator for Habitat, Hanratty will be working with and beside all the volunteers and the volunteer programs. She will help people register and sign up for Habitat's build projects and work with outside groups such as AmeriCorps volunteers and the Air Force Cadets, and on projects like the Collegiate Challenge groups, the annual Women's Build and many others.
"My vision for this department is to grow our volunteer program by 50% over the next year integrating our volunteers into our program leaders and helpers. I have a goal of finding new skilled volunteers and letting them use their talents to help us be a better and more productive program," said Hanratty. "I feel that people who volunteer with Habitat get to be part of a greater family. They get to help people in their own communities and make them a better and more beautiful place to live."
Hanratty comes to Woodland Park from Buena Vista where she was the manager of the ReStore for Chaffee County Habitat for Humanity for the past year. While there she oversaw the remodel and restructuring of that store and built the volunteer program up 40%. "I came to Habitat of Teller County because I like a challenge and I'm not only doing the volunteer coordinating, but also helping to move forward with plans to open a store for Habitat," said Hanratty. "I love the Habitat mission, and because my husband and I were looking to relocate to the Woodland Park area I looked for a job within Habitat and was lucky enough to find one."
Hanratty is very excited for the opportunity to be a part of Habitat of Teller County. She is looking forward to the challenges ahead and wants to invite anyone interested in Habitat to give her a call and see what it is all about. "We are trying to understand what it is the volunteer wants to get out of volunteering and what their expertise are instead of just handing out jobs - really fitting volunteers where they fit," said Hanratty.
Urferr is an AmeriCorps volunteer currently serving with Habitat of Teller County. She previously worked for almost 2 years as the Habitat volunteer coordinator; prior to that she worked for the USFS as a wildland firefighter.
As resource development coordinator, Urffer will be researching, analyzing, and coordinating fundraising activities, which include grant writing, developing our donor base, and helping plan fundraising events. "I believe that the biggest opportunity for growth in this new position is in developing the Habitat donor base and our relationship with current donors," said Urffer. "I'd really like to target this aspect of fundraising, in addition to working on grants and fundraising events." Additionally, she is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, so her coursework is applicable to the new resource development position.
When asked why she believes that people should want to donate money to Habitat, Urferr said that "housing prices are rising quickly in Teller County, and many people working in the service sector struggle to afford decent homes. Habitat works to build strength, stability, and self-reliance for our homeowners through providing decent, affordable shelter. Everyone deserves a decent place to live."
Originally from Boylston, Massachusetts, Urffer enjoys life in Colorado, first working seasonally in Canon City, and then moving to Woodland Park in 2014. Serving others has always been a passion, from life as an AmeriCorps volunteer, to working with the elderly at the Little Sisters of the Poor nursing home, to home repairs in the heart of Appalachia with the Christian Appalachian Project.
"We are so blessed to have these highly-qualified individuals. Let's just say that we now have a dream team," said Jamie Caperton, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Teller County.
About Habitat for Humanity of Teller County
People in Teller County and all over the world partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call HOME. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Other projects completed in the community include Las Casas in Woodland Park, a Historic Housing Project in Cripple Creek, a home renovation in Guffey and 31 homes build throughout Teller County. Habitat is currently renovating the Clock Tower Condos (formerly the Lofthouse Motel) into 9, affordable housing units.
Learn more about Habitat at http://www.tellerhabitat.org/.
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