December marked Patty Brooks’ one year anniversary as Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls. “I can’t believe it’s been a year!” she exclaimed.
“I’ve probably learned the most about construction and everything that goes into that process,” she said. It is extraordinary the number of volunteer hours that are needed and the measures that are taken to control the costs associated with building a Habitat home. Second to that would be learning about the family selection process. It can take a couple of years from start to finish for a partner family and that’s a serious commitment.
If you’ve attended one of our home dedications, you’ve heard it time and again that the groundbreaking and dedication ceremonies are some of Patty’s favorites. The sponsors, partner families, volunteers and Habitat leadership gather on-site to celebrate Habitat’s mission to bring people together, building homes, communities and hope.
Being with the families in a hopeful environment has helped ignite Patty’s passion for Habitat for Humanity, and drives her to “get out from behind her desk” more in 2016. She wants to meet volunteers on new home construction sites. She’d like to greet Neighborhood Revitalization groups, while they’re painting houses. She looks forward to welcoming new home sponsors to Habitat Sioux Falls.
Looking to the future and seeing the first home constructed indoors in our Annex excites her. “When opportunities fall to Habitat, it speaks to this Habitat and our reputation.” It speaks to the amount of work and effort staff and our partners contribute. “I think we have the staff and the capabilities” to be an affiliate of excellence, which is an annual award Habitat for Humanity International grants.
We know Patty’s relationship with God will guide us as we achieve major goals. “I’ve found myself more centered with God.” Being prayerful in addressing the need for safe, affordable housing focuses Habitat’s Christian ministry in providing that hand up, not a hand out – a philosophy that sits well with Patty’s heart.
How does one describe our new Executive Director in one word? How about two? Or ten? She loves to run, represent the under-represented, and take care of her family. Envision her as the one running toward the opportunity to take care of the families who are under-represented and under-resourced. You have Patty Brooks!
She joined us by way of The Compass Center, where she served as the Executive Director for four years. She volunteered on The Compass Center Board of Directors, before taking the job. It was the perfect segue to the position. And a perfect opportunity to learn about leadership from different perspectives, equipping her to become the new Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls!
Patty was thrilled to receive the call that she’d been chosen as the new Executive Director. “I feel very fortunate that I was selected.” She grew up in Sioux Falls. “This is my home. I am proud to call it my home.” She has a stake in the growth and prosperity of this town and looks forward to helping families grow and prosper with Habitat Greater Sioux Falls. When asked what has struck her about Habitat Greater Sioux Falls, she replied, “The reputation the organization has and that people truly understand and know what we do.” It is a blessing to be associated with this incredible mission and work, she feels. We feel blessed to have Patty Brooks on staff and excited to see what we accomplish together.
We are proud to introduce Paul Johnson, the new Construction Manager at Habitat Sioux Falls (pictured on the right, in the center). He started in April and hit the ground running. We had some clean-up from the 2013 season, which he addressed. Now we’re moving on the 2014 construction season, mud and all. Paul ran a custom home building company and owned a lumber yard, prior to joining our ranks. You could say construction is in his blood. Paul’s ethics are apparent as you work alongside him. He was familiar with Habitat’s mission to build with those in need. He said that he has noticed a difference in volunteers’ drive, when he explains that the homes are paid for by the families and not given. And regardless of who’s doing the work, volunteers or partner families or the Master’s Builders, the bar is set at the same height. “It still needs to be done right, no matter who the customer is.” He is excited to see how this job and Habitat Sioux Falls grow. He has plans to add to the list of tasks that volunteers can complete. Training and information are the keys. We all have the opportunity to learn, share and grow at Habitat.