Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties Expands Staff to Serve More Families

Candi Hagler, Nancy Ridenour and Patty Sutton join Habitat to support the affiliate in roles ranging from Development, Strategy and Homeowner Services.

 

 

Clearwater, FL – Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties President and CEO, Mike Sutton, has announced several new staffing changes to the newly merged affiliate. Just last month, the affiliate announced a merger between the Pinellas and West Pasco affiliates, expanding the organization’s service area immensely to impact more local families.

The affiliate has announced the following organization additions to better serve future and current homeowners:

  • Re-hire - Candi Hagler, Chief Program Officer for Pasco County
  • New Hire – Nancy Ridenour, Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer
  • New Hire – Patty Sutton, Vice President of Development for Pasco County

“The addition of Candi, Nancy and Patty to Habitat’s Executive Team will support our organization as we focus on serving more families in our region in the years to come,” says Mike Sutton, President and CEO.  “Their talent and leadership compliment the significant growth of this organization over the last five years”.

Candi Hagler, Chief Program Officer – Pasco County

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties welcomes Candi Hagler back to the organization. She rejoins the affiliate with her 15+ years of Habitat for Humanity experience, including 5 with Habitat Pinellas.

Nancy Ridenour, Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer

Nancy Ridenour, CPA, joins the affiliate after 25+ years of leading PDR CPA where her engagement in the nonprofit sector helped advance the efforts of many nonprofits.

Patty Sutton, Vice President of Development - Pasco County

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties welcomes Patty Sutton to the organization. She brings over 17 years of non-profit work to our community and is an internationally certified fundraising executive (CFRE).

 

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and West Pasco Counties

In March 2019, the West Pasco and Pinellas County affiliates merged to form Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties. In total, the affiliate has constructed 556 homes for struggling families in Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, using locally raised funds. Volunteers and the future homeowners construct the homes, which are sold at no profit and financed with a zero-interest loan. Habitat Pinellas homeowner candidates earn 30 to 80 percent of area median income. For Pinellas County, that translates to as little as $27,000 a year for a family of four. Candidates must also demonstrate need for adequate shelter; ability to pay back a zero-interest loan and willingness to partner with Habitat Pinellas to invest 350 to 450 sweat equity hours. Mortgage monies are used to build even more homes, making each donation to Habitat a perpetual legacy to the community. Habitat believes that home ownership contributes to family stability, leading, in turn, to community stability. Additionally, the affiliate raises funds through their ReStores, home improvement outlets where donated household and building items are sold to the public. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, contact (727) 536-4755 or visit www.habitatpwp.org.

Mother’s Day is an opportunity to thank mom and all the strong women in your life for their support and love.

This Mother’s Day, we invite you to honor a strong woman in your life with a donation to our Women’s Build. The Women’s Build engages women in our community to help construct a home alongside our homeowner, Tikeytia. Tikeytia has dreamed of homeownership her whole life, and can’t wait for her two kids to have rooms of their own.

During the month of May, we encourage you to give a gift in honor of a strong woman in your life to help Habitat moms like Tikeytia leave a legacy of their own through decent and affordable housing.

Your gift will help to support Tikeytia Walker and her two children’s journey to homeownership. With each donation, we will honor the woman of your choice by displaying their name on a special heart themed card in our Pinellas ReStore for the month of May.

Make your donation online at http://ow.ly/mliX30omUUT.

*When completing an online donation, be sure to fill in the "in honor of" selection with her name.

Our Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative of the Town and Country Villas neighborhood in New Port Richey, is a project bringing more affordable housing in the West Pasco area to multiple deserving individuals and families.

We are excited to announce that the first home in the neighborhood named the “Harbor House” is drawing near completion on Leisure Lane. This home was built for an Army Veteran named Forest and has been sponsored by the nearby Gulf Harbors Civic Association. Forest is looking forward to seeing his completed house and has spent countless sweat equity hours working to see his dream of homeownership come to fruition. We look forward to planning a dedication of his home. We still need volunteers to assist with this project and the construction of future homes in this neighborhood.

Click here to sign up to volunteer.

Today, we are proud to announce the hiring of Nancy Ridenour, CPA, as Habitat’s new Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer and the rehire of Candi Hagler as Habitat’s Chief Program Officer in Pasco County.

Nancy joins us after 25+ years of leading PDR CPA where her engagement in the nonprofit sector helped advance the efforts of many nonprofits. Candi rejoins Habitat, bringing with her 15+ years of Habitat for Humanity experience, including 5 with our affiliate.

"The addition of Nancy & Candi to Habitat’s Executive Team will support our organization as we focus on serving more families in our region in the years to come,” says Mike Sutton, President & CEO. “Their talent and leadership compliment the significant growth of this organization over the last five years”.

Heart of the Home
Breaking bread with family and friends is a cherished tradition that we are celebrate annually at our Blueprint Gala. Focusing on the “dining room,” we have selected a group of 10 renowned interior designers and event decorators, all of whom have donated their time and talent to create our VIP Dining Rooms. Each has brought their creative expertise to the table, showcasing a diverse look in these stunning environments – each telling their own unique story. We’re pleased to welcome back one of the gala’s founding designers – that has generously brought their over-the-top and award-winning vision to life each of our six years, as well as many returning designers and some new designers as well!

Meet the Blueprint Le Livre VIP Dining Room Designers

Ala’ Bella Interiors
New Designer

Ala' Bella Interiors is a full-service interior design firm, serving the greater Tampa area, that is focused on delivering quality and professionalism to all of their clients with a design that is both beautiful and functional. Ala' Bella Interiors takes an unconventional approach to interior design and while aesthetics is an important factor when designing a space, they strive to give clients peace of mind during the all-too-often stressful design process. Their design team can help identify the needs of the client and create a master plan that best fits their taste, lifestyle, and budget. They facilitate, manage, and organize the entire process from design concept to completion while striving to meet their main goal of helping our clients fall in love with their space again. Alabellainteriors.com

Cheers! Events, Inc. 
Returning Designer

Cheers! Events is a full-service destination management, design, event planning and custom décor company and one of the largest in the Bay Area. Since 2003, Cheers! has taken great pride in providing first-class customer service while producing more than 5,000 breathtaking events for their clients from Fortune 500 companies as well as destination/local weddings and many local galas. From the Panhandle to Miami, Cheers! does all the work so the client can sit back and enjoy every minute. Their knowledgeable experts make sure that every detail comes together seamlessly to create a smashing success. Cheersevents.com

Demetrish Nicole Elegant Events
New Designer

Nicole Elegant Events Is a self- titled event planning company owned by Demetrish Nicole who was born in Augusta Ga. but raised in the sunshine state of Florida and became a Team Lead Biologics Assistant for Oneblood Inc. While saving lives full time she dedicated her off days to event planning however she quickly discovered that a fire which had been put out for so long became ignited which resulted in her weekends becoming her weekdays and evenings. The same passion she has for saving lives is the same passion she has for event planning, and in 2015 she decided to make the decision to start Demetrish Nicole Elegant Events. Demetrish believes that elegance is not catching someone’s eyes it’s creating a vision that will captivate someone’s mind. Demetrishnicole.com

Events by Karima
New Designer

Events by Karima was started out of the desire to attend really put together parties and events! The husband and wife team believe that celebrations should be done the right way or why bother at all. As a result, Events by Karima was born in March of 2015 and has been providing event services to clients with budgets and ideas of all kinds; specializing in full service event planning and decor with an emphasis on attention to detail! Today, Events by Karima is a family business of five members and they strive to make a name for ourselves through creativity and client satisfaction.


Extravaganza! Productions, Inc.  
Founding Designer

Tampa-based Extravaganza! Productions, Inc. has proven itself to be a leading, world-class creative resource and production company for more than 25 years. Specializing in major conferences, corporate meetings and special events for top companies and associations worldwide, EPI is a full-service “one-stop shop” for live event production and can provide creative services including AV, lighting, theme decor and event management from one point of contact. EPI is committed to providing quality production services to customers nationwide. Dedicated to elegance and excellence, they have a reputation for being innovative, professional and taking the time to meet their clients' needs every step of the way. Extravaganzaproductions.com


Keysha Jillian Designs
Returning Designer

K. Jillian Designs thrives on creating designs that fit the feel and character of a client’s home or business to unify the look of their décor. The firm specializes in designing rooms that are comfortable, polished, functional and sophisticated; possessing individual personality and style. Clients receive the personal attention they deserve as Keysha and her team brings their vision to life by listening to their needs and providing a turn-key service with minimal stress. Kjilliandesigns.com


MMD Events
Returning Designer

Events is a full service event production company that specializes in distinctive decor design and is renowned for creating events with edge. Though they are primarily known for their expertise in high end weddings, they also specialize in detail oriented corporate events and fundraisers. mmdevents.com

Melissa LaRosa Interiors
New Designer

Melissa LaRosa is a wife, mother, designer and owner of Melissa LaRosa Interiors (previously Dolce Designs). She believes that design isn’t just about creating trendy rooms, it is about warmth, functionality, harmony and creating a place for their clients to share beautiful memories with their loved ones. Melissa wants her clients to be proud of their homes and ready to host wonderful gatherings for family and friends just as she does with her “big Italian family.” Melissa has been in the design/remodeling industry for more than 10 years and has always wanted to do exactly what she is doing now. melissalarosainteriors.com

Signature Shindigs
New Designer

With over 40 years of collective event experience, this design team helps individuals and organizations turn their shindigs into Signature Shindigs! They provide packages and turn them into unforgettable experiences. While new to Tampa Bay, Signature Shindigs has been planning events for large and small organizations since 1994, by creating something creative, fun and memorable for guests around the world. Their concept is simple, choose from one of their simple packages, or they can custom create an experience to best fit their client’s goals and objectives. Signatureshindigs.com

uDream Events
New Designer

Events offers full service event planning and a la carte services to assist with event design, budget management, logistics, vendor selection, staffing and event execution. Their service is designed to build the perfect experience that fits specific needs of each and every client. uDreamEvents.com

 

From left: Mike Sutton (Pinellas CEO), Jason Clement (Pinellas Board Chairs), Chris Chambers (West Pasco Board Chair), Kobus Applegrijn (West Pasco CEO).

 

On Friday, March 1st, 2019, two press conferences were held with elected officials, community partners and supporters gathering for an exciting announcement concerning Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties. Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County CEO, Mike Sutton and Habitat for Humanity of West Pasco CEO, Kobus Appelgrijn announced that the two nonprofit affiliates will officially merged, resulting in Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties.

The two affiliates have made great strides in creating affordable housing in our community; Habitat Pinellas was established in 1985 and is ranked as the second highest performing affiliate in the nation based on new home construction, and Habitat West Pasco has served over 80 families since 1993.

Habitat Pinellas recently celebrated their 500th home build in St. Petersburg, with a current total at 515 homes as of February 2019. In 2018, the organization served 140 families with 60 homes built, 60 homes funded overseas, 20 critical home repairs completed and with over 73,000 volunteer hours logged.

“Over the past 12 months, Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco Habitat have engaged in conversation 100% focused around serving more families”, said Mike Sutton, Habitat Pinellas CEO. “We know this step to merge the two organizations will lead to a stronger Habitat for Humanity presence in Tampa Bay and will exponentially provide more affordable housing opportunities in the region.”

Habitat for Humanity of West Pasco recently launched a 5-year project to revitalize a West Pasco neighborhood on Van Doren Avenue and Leisure Lane, known as Town and County Villas. Habitat West Pasco was established in 1993 and just last year impacted the community via home builds, essential repair work and over 12,000 volunteer hours.

“The need for affordable housing has never been greater”, explains Kobus Appelgrijn, Habitat West Pasco CEO. “Organizations that serve a similar population to Habitat are decreasing their reach or going out of business. This collaboration of two Habitat organizations will allow our organization to serve more families in our region. We will be able to consolidate our back office operations in both organizations, expand our reach with our ReStore retail operations, and most importantly build more homes in a larger service area.”

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties will serve the newly merged service area out of the main office in Clearwater and two offices in New Port Richey and St. Petersburg. No positions at either affiliate will be eliminated. In fact, the 56 employees in Pinellas and 12 employees in Pasco will soon grow as 2-3 new positions will be added in the coming weeks. The Board of Directors will merge to have 20-25 members. Mike Sutton will serve as President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties.

Click here to read the Tampa Bay Times article.    |    Click here to watch the recap video.

Over 100 Pinellas County residents will step up to serve as volunteers on the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday for Habitat Pinellas’s Day of Service. Habitat Pinellas volunteers will roll through the Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) of South St. Petersburg providing exterior improvements to seven homes as part of the National MLK Day of Service, joining hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country in volunteer service.

In partnership with St. Petersburg College, Habitat Pinellas has received a $5,000 grant to provide paint, supplies and organization of this event. In addition to this MLK Day of Service, homeowners residing in the CRA of South St. Petersburg can look to Habitat Pinellas all year long for affordable home repairs like roof replacement, structural, plumbing, electrical repairs and painting. For more information regarding this program and the qualification process contact Habitat Pinellas at 727-536-4755 ex 401.

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County has planned a day of service that will leverage the strength of local citizens to help tackle local problems and advance Dr. King’s dream of opportunity for all. The annual event honors Dr. King’s legacy and is an opportunity for Americans to renew their own personal vows of civic responsibility through service to others and engage in conversations to advance community goals.

For a donation of $19.64, volunteers will receive an event t-shirt, lunch and an exciting day with others giving back to our community.

Sponsors for the event include AmerLife, Bon Secour, Hertz, Jeff Coffin Painting, Khonsari Law Group, Lewis, Longman & Walker, Morneau Shepell, Sabal Trust, and Westminster Shores.

 

On Tuesday, January 15th, 2019, representatives from Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, sponsors and elected officials celebrated the groundbreaking of six homes in the Dansville neighborhood of Largo. This new development will provide six more Pinellas County families the opportunity to live and thrive in their safe and secure homes alongside 14 additional Habitat homes in the neighborhood.

As part of an ongoing effort to bring housing to Pinellas County's working-class neighborhoods, Habitat Pinellas is working with Pinellas County officials and community partners to build the six single family homes in Dansville.

“Habitat Pinellas has enjoyed a long relationship with Pinellas County officials,” said Mike Sutton, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. “This partnership has allowed our organization to collaborate with sponsors and the community to redevelop the Dansville and Ridgecrest areas of Largo.”

Sponsor support from Bankers Financial, Hooter’s, Kane’s Furniture, MaintenX, MarineMax and Raymond James will provide funding and construction volunteers for the six homes being constructed in the Dansville neighborhood of Largo.

There’s no doubt that today Habitat Pinellas is one of the highest ranked Habitat affiliates in the nation. In fact, we were just ranked number two in the nation based on new home production. Staff and volunteers work tirelessly to keep the mission going, and year after year the number of families we serve increases.


But a great organization starts with a solid foundation. Tom and Lynne Webster were one of the pillars of that foundation. Tom and Lynne sacrificed security for commitment. In the early 1980’s they left secure jobs to attend the six month director training program at Habitat International headquarters, during which they received free housing and a $60 per week stipend.


After completing the program, they committed their lives to full-time ministry work and Tom took the position of Director of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. They initially lived out of a small house provided by Trinity United Church of Christ, earned no salary and received only a small stipend. Tom worked six days per week on average. At the time, Habitat Pinellas only had $3,000 in the bank. Tom credits his faith in God and said many miracles are what kept him going.


Tom served Habitat Pinellas from 1985 to 1993. His dedication and service resulted in 30 homes built during that time and helped lay a solid foundation for the tremendous growth we see today. We are very grateful for Tom and Lynne’s devotion and perseverance. Their sacrifices, tenacity and resolution paved the way for more than 500 families to receive a home of their own.


Thank you Tom & Lynne!

                       

On Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 representatives from Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and St. Jude Great Commission Community Development Corporation (CDC) gathered to break ground in St. Petersburg. Habitat Pinellas will be partnering with St. Jude Great Commission CDC to complete their first home for a low income family.

With similar goals of affordable housing and community empowerment, the partnership was a natural fit. “Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County is committed to increasing affordable housing opportunities within South St. Pete”, said Mike Sutton, CEO of Habitat Pinellas. “We are able to use our resources and 33+ years of experience to increase the capacity of other nonprofit affordable housing providers through collaboration. We are excited to break ground on St. Jude’s first home!”

"We are very happy to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and Hancock Whitney as we all work to bring affordable home ownership opportunities to families in South St. Petersburg”, said Jo Ann Nesbitt, President/CEO of St. Jude Great Commission CDC. “Habitat, Hancock Whitney, and St. Jude have a shared mission to improve the lives of families through home ownership. Affordable housing remains a challenge for many low income families in St. Petersburg, and we believe this partnership will make an enormous difference in overcoming that challenge. We look forward to working together to achieve real impact in the communities we serve!"

From left: Karl Nurse, Habitat Pinellas Board Member; Pastor Ed Nesbitt Jr., St. Jude Great Commission CDC Advisory Board Member; Gaby Camacho, Habitat Pinellas; James Robinson, St. Jude Great Commission CDC Advisory Board Member; Mark Giese, Hancock Whitney; Jo Ann Nesbitt, St. Jude Great Commission CDC; Mike Sutton, Habitat Pinellas; Ken Rush, Habitat Pinellas.


About Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County
Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County has constructed over 500 homes for struggling families in Pinellas County, using locally raised funds. Volunteers and the future homeowners construct the homes, which are sold at no profit and financed with a zero-interest loan. Habitat Pinellas homeowner candidates earn 30 to 80 percent of area median income. For Pinellas County, that translates to as little as $27,000 a year for a family of four. Candidates must also demonstrate need for adequate shelter; ability to pay back a zero-interest loan and willingness to partner with Habitat Pinellas to invest 350 to 450 sweat equity hours. Mortgage monies are used to build even more homes, making each donation to Habitat a perpetual legacy to the community. Habitat believes that home ownership contributes to family stability, leading, in turn, to community stability. Additionally, Habitat Pinellas raises funds through their ReStore, a home improvement outlet where donated household and building items are sold to the public. 

About St. Jude Great Commission Community Development Corporation (CDC)
St. Jude Great Commission Community Development Corporation (CDC) is a Faith-based organization located in St. Petersburg, Florida created in 2016 to promote economic mobility and make neighborhoods great places to live. St. Jude Great Commission CDC partners with others to build affordable housing and create economic opportunities that enable people to do good and live well. They help make neighborhoods viable by strengthening the people who live there. From advancing and preserving home ownership, to opening doors to economic mobility through entrepreneurship, St. Jude Great Commission CDC is creating great opportunities and changing outcomes. For more information, visit www.stjudegreatcommissioncdc.org.