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Habitat announces new Board of Directors at 2022 Annual General Meeting

From left to right: Diana Stoker (Treasurer), Lisa Bell (Director), Harvey Walsh (Director), Lorri Kennis (Director), Allyson Schmidt (Chair), Jonathan Kircal (Vice Chair), Frank Bentrovato (Past Chair), Nancy Bailey (Director), Jami DellaVedova (Director), Katie Blunt (Executive Director); Not present: Jeffrey King (Secretary)

Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area (HFHSSMA) held its 20th Annual General Meeting this past Monday at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre – their first time hosting it in person since 2019. 

In Monday’s public meeting, the non-profit welcomed four new Board Directors. Joining Habitat’s Board of Directors are Diana Stoker, a Chartered Professional Account and Licensed Public Accountant, Lisa Bell, Assistant to the Mayor and Founder of Every Breakfast Counts, Jami DellaVedova, Controller of Soo Mill & Lumber Company and Board Chair of the Waterfront Child Development Centre, and Harvey Walsh, Civil Engineer and Habitat volunteer of over 10 years.

Habitat also said its goodbyes to two retiring members – Frank Bentrovato, former Board Chair, and Denton Middaugh, former Board Treasurer.

Frank Bentrovato (Past Chair)

“Board service is one of the most essential volunteer roles in an organization. The time, talent and experience required is extensive and we are fortunate to have had two exceptionally skilled Directors serve on our Board. Frank Bentrovato and Denton Middaugh made valuable contributions to our mission over the last six years, and they will be missed by all. On behalf of the organization, I would like to say thank you for your service and we are grateful for the time spent together,” noted Katie Blunt, Executive Director, in the organization’s annual report.

Katie Blunt, Executive Director

The Executive was approved on Monday as well. The Board elected Allyson Schmidt as Chair, Jonathan Kircal as Vice Chair, Diana Stoker as Treasurer, and Jeffrey King as Secretary.  

“I am honoured and grateful to be elected to the role of Board Chair at HFHSSMA at our Annual General Meeting. Through the dedicated work of our staff and volunteers, HFHSSMA has achieved incredible success in 2021 and we are building on this strong foundation to take our mission for affordable housing in our area to heights that are the stuff that dreams are made of. Our mission for affordable and equitable housing comes true through the work that is done every day with items finding new life through our ReStore, our volunteers inviting friends to join them, our build sponsors and partners donating their skills and expertise, planning that is done on committees, staff following the work through to our partner families unlocking their front doors– we change lives and build our communities. Thank you to all who have contributed to our continued success, and we are looking ahead to serving more families in powerful and innovative ways!” states Allyson Schmidt, Board Chair.

Allyson Schmidt (Chair)

Guest speaker, Ward 2 Councillor Luke Dufour, discussed the importance of affordable homeownership for families in our community and commended Habitat’s ongoing work and leadership in this sector. Jennifer Archambault from BDO Canada LLP, Habitat’s Auditor, presented the organization’s financial statements which revealed Habitat’s resiliency and success amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.

In addition, two volunteers were awarded this year’s Linda Lewis Volunteer Award for exemplary volunteer service for HFHSSMA.  

The first recipient, Barb Bumbacco, has been volunteering with Habitat since 2013. Barb started assisting in the ReStore once per week, but her experience as a teacher and friendly disposition made her a good fit for the Family Services Committee where she has improved the Affordable Homeownership Program and worked closely with incoming Habitat Homeowners.

The second recipient of the Linda Lewis Volunteer Award, Frank Bentrovato, began volunteering with Habitat in 2016. Frank has sat on the Board of Directors, the Build Committee, and the Governance and Nominating Committee. Frank was instrumental in the organization’s transition to a governance board and in facilitating build partnerships, increasing build speed and frequency, and designing Habitat Homes on behalf of his business, Cutting Edge Designs.

Frank Bentrovato (Past Chair) receiving The Linda Lewis Volunteer Award for his exemplary service in 2021; also pictured are Allyson Schmidt, Chair, and Katie Blunt, Executive Director

Staff and volunteers were also recognized for their years of service, including Joe Mackenzie, Finance & Risk Manager, who will have been with Habitat for 10 years this summer, and retiring volunteers Brian and Ethel Esson who have dedicated over 14 years to the organization.

Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area is currently seeking confident, outgoing, and energetic individuals with skills in fundraising, public speaking, or social services to join its Fundraising Committee or Family Services Committee. For more information, click here. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to

In partnership with SalDan Construction Group, Habitat will soon break ground on their Blake Avenue build. The home should be complete by the end of 2022.

As a non-profit, HFHSSMA relies on the generosity of volunteers, donors, and corporate sponsors to achieve its mission. If your business is interested in donating to, or sponsoring, the Blake Avenue build, please reach out to Chelsey Foucher, Fundraising & Marketing Coordinator, at to discuss this opportunity.

Habitat staff and volunteers
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