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Habitat Announces New Board of Directors

Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area (HFHSSMA) held their 18th Annual General Meeting this past Monday – though it was their first time having done so virtually.

In Monday’s Zoom meeting, the non-profit announced some substantial changes to both the structure of the Board and the Board itself. The Board welcomed a new member, Allyson Schmidt, as a Board Director. Schmidt is also chair of HFHSSMA’s Family Services Committee.

Habitat also said its goodbyes to two retiring members – David Thompson, former Board Chair, and Kristy Aloe, former Treasurer.

“This has been my last year serving as Board Chair for this amazing organization. We have accomplished so much together to build stability for Algoma families through affordable homeownership. Thank you to staff, volunteers and fellow Board Members for your commitment to this vision,” wrote Thompson in this year’s annual report.

Frank Bentrovato, former Board Vice-Chair, was elected as the new Chair for the organization. Bentrovato, an Inspector for the City of Sault Ste. Marie, has spent four years with HFHSSMA already and is looking forward to the work he will do in the next two years.

“My goal is to build on our organizational strengths and scale up our build operations in order to serve more families,” wrote Bentrovato in the annual report.

The Board also announced a structural change from an operations board to a governance board. This will assist in role delineation between Board and staff, thereby focusing talent to further grow local operations.

In addition, Brian Esson was awarded this year’s Linda Lewis award for his outstanding volunteer work for HFHSSMA. Brian has been a volunteer since 2010 and truly exemplifies the values of Habitat. He has passionately dedicated his time to cleaning, processing, repairing and repurposing donations at the Habitat ReStore while being a role model for everyone he works with.

The organization will be working on a special build on Oakwood Street this year – their first fully accessible home. HFHSSMA expects to break ground on this build very soon and is excited to be serving Tracy Poliquin and her family. “This is our first accessible build and our first multi-generational family. I expect to see a lot more Habitat firsts in the years to come. It’s an exciting time to be part of Habitat Sault Ste. Marie and Area” states Katie Blunt, Executive Director.

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