Habitat for Humanity Grand County appoints new executive director
The Grand County chapter of Habitat for Humanity announced this week that Jodi Griesch will be taking over as the organization’s new executive director. The appointment serves as an important move forward for the nonprofit, which has sat largely dormant over the last two years, but is looking to reestablish itself as a force for good within the community.
Griesch is a 19-year Grand County resident, with experience in mortgage banking and bookkeeping. She was first hired in August to help Habitat get its finances in order, and she was able to impress board members in the process.
“She learned a tremendous amount about our organization by going through all of those mortgages and historical data, and of course she learned something about the houses we built and the home owners we’re still connected with,” said Steve Morrison, president of the Board of Directors for Habitat Grand County. “So one of the key things was that she had that experience…but she also impressed us with how hard working she is, how willing to learn she is, and we found that she was really committed to the goals that Habitat has.”
Habitat builds affordable houses for less fortunate families in the county, cutting down on cost be using volunteer labor and donated materials. But a bad land deal in Hot Sulphur Springs has kept the nonprofit from completing a major project in over two years. It’s Griesch’s job to get things moving in the right direction again.
Griesch said she plans on hitting the ground running with fundraising efforts this spring, and is looking for ways to reintegrate the organization into the community.
“It’s definitely a challenge to bring Habitat back into the community,” said Griesch. “I think they’ve been kind of lost for the last couple of years. So I’m excited to just get back into the community and let them know that we’re back. We’re building, looking for families to help and really just getting back out there again.”
Late last year, led by a group of board members temporarily dividing up executive director duties, Habitat began making strides with smaller, community-based projects via the organization’s “A Brush with Kindness” initiative, which helps homeowners with small acts of home repair and preservation.
But Habitat is finally ready to step up to their next major project. Construction on the organization’s 13th Grand County house is expected to begin construction in May, and they’re already accepting applications from county residents interested in volunteering and renting the house. Plans are also moving forward beyond house number 13.
“We’ve got seven lots in Hot Sulphur Springs, and we’re hoping to get five homes on those lots in the next couple of years,” said Griesch. “My primary goals are going to be getting into the community and letting them know we need our volunteers and our contractors back. It takes a village to build these homes, and we’re really excited to be back.”
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