Tony Griffith is a native Floridian born in Jacksonville, and raised in Melbourne Beach, Florida. He received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Finance from Florida State University. He received his Juris Doctor Degree from the Florida State University College of Law.

Tony has won numerous awards in the legal field for professional excellence and high ethical standards such as the Clearwater Bar Association Ralph Richards Award and the Barney Award. He has also been named as one of Florida's "Super Lawyers" by Super Lawyer Magazine and has been selected by Florida Trend Magazine as one of Florida's "Legal Elite". He achieved an AV rating, the highest possible, by his peers for preeminence in legal abilities and ethical standards.

Tony’s involvement in the community includes work with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Springs of Hope Kenya, Sherriff Youth Ranch and he even teaches a weekly class in the local jails. Tony is also actively involved in his church. He has enjoyed coaching and youth ministry as well as the joy of raising 4 daughters with Carol, his wife of over 25 years.

Tony’s involvement with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco spans over 30 years. He began in the late 1980’s as a volunteer on the construction sites. He then furthered his involvement by fundraising to build more homes. He got several churches and the Clearwater Bar Association to sponsor homes. Tony then joined the Habitat Board of Directors and served for five years. During this time he served as Treasurer and President. Today Tony continues to be a wonderful supporter and advocate for Habitat. Tony was recently awarded the Silver Nail Award at the 2019 Blueprint Gala.

When asked what inspires you about Habitat, Tony replied… “First it was the overall mission that attracted me- what everyone knows about Habitat. The heart of the volunteers, supporters and board members as I worked alongside them on homes drew me in further. Then it was getting to know and be awed and inspired by the homeowners and their courage, dedication and faith that really lit a fire for me. Ultimately I saw the core values (Theology of the Hammer) and depth of this Christian ministry that supports and loves and builds up all people regardless of their backgrounds, religious, social or other preferences and then I was hooked for life”.

 

 

This month’s Volunteer Spotlight is highlighting Alejundro Sanchez. Alejundro, a Verizon employee of 19 years, originally began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in his home state of Washington.

“My first experience with Habitat for Humanity was in Washington State in a small town called Burlington. At 22, I was working for Horizon Bank. They asked if anyone would like to volunteer and I excitedly offered my time. I showed up at the site and was ambitious to help. I met a few of the new home owners that were more than excited to greet me and thank me for my time. I spent all day there and looked forward to learning more about building a home and all that goes into it. The pride I felt that day still resonates in my soul.”

In 2016, Alejundro and his partner moved to Florida and are currently in the process of building a home together. Alejundro continues to donate his time through the Pinellas affiliate.

“I initially volunteered to learn more about what it takes to build a home. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to rely on the expertise of the onsite crew and foremen to teach me and help me avoid mistakes if I ever needed to work on my own house in the future. I hoped I would learn more about wiring, drywall, roofing and everything else. In a sense, it was kind of selfish, at first but my perspective changed once I realize who was depending on me to help and who was counting on me to put my hours in to finish the project on time. I soon found out how important volunteers are to the people who need this.”

Alejundro loves meeting new people through his experiences at the ReStore and on build sites.

“What I love about volunteering are the people you meet. I wouldn't have met any of the workers or volunteers if I didn't invest a little of myself to give back what I have been so graciously given. To name one man, specifically, is Dalton. He managed and volunteers at the Palm Harbor ReStore and each day I helped I saw how he ran the entire operation. He's what I would consider a solid pillar of the community. The hard work that he has put into the store, shows. It runs so smoothly; not only in the layout but also in the people who work and volunteer there. This has been my best experience volunteering.”

Habitat Pinellas is grateful for our amazing volunteers and their employers! Alejundro recently donated 50 hours of his time, and through his employer’s volunteer matching program, Verizon donated $750 to Habitat Pinellas.

Does your company offer a volunteer matching program? Contact Alison Riley at ariley@habitatpinellas.org to learn more. Interested in volunteering? Click here to find more information.

 

 

This month’s Volunteer Spotlight is on Diane Everhart. Diane is a New Jersey native but has spent the past 31 years in St. Petersburg. After only one week in the area, she began working for Maas Bros./Macy’s Department Store Furniture Gallery then retired 30 years later. She raised her two nephews from the time they were one and seven years old and provided them a home, which Diane refers to as a “fixer upper.” Over the years, the three of them spent countless hours renovating this house and made it a home; they were all very proud of their accomplishments.

In the early 2000s, Diane first experienced volunteering with Habitat through her employer. At that time she spent her volunteer hours repairing homes of the local elderly community. When asked what she most loves about volunteering, Diane stated, “Fellowship. [I appreciate] the knowledge and experience that I receive doing what I love to do [and] giving back.” She said her best memory of volunteering with Habitat was the experience of being present at the start of a build then witnessing the culmination of all of the hard work at the same home’s dedication with the new homeowners.

“My dad built our family home with his own hands and a very small crew. 50 years later, I seem to feel what he must have felt. From beginning to end, from the foundation to the presentation of the keys and a new beginning; it must be in [my] blood!”

To learn more about our volunteer opportunities for individuals, groups and corporate teams, please click here.