Young hired as new executive director
Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys has announced that Lili Huergo, Executive Director, is retiring.
After four years of service, she expressed, “I will miss Habitat a great deal, but it’s time for me to begin working on my bucket list. I will continue to support this wonderful organization as a volunteer as they continue their ongoing mission to provide affordable homeownership in the Middle Keys. I’m looking forward to sharing my experience with my successor.”
All of Habitat’s families, officers, volunteers and supporters thank Lili for her outstanding contribution and dedication, wishing her great success.
“Lili has been a great asset,” stated Bruce Ferraro, Middle Keys Habitat board president. “During her tenure we have experienced a growth of 14 new Habitat families and homes. She will be missed, but we are all excited about the changes to come”.
Christine Todd Young, volunteer and communications officer for the past two years, has been named the new Executive Director.
Young joins the organization with an extensive background in business strategy and team development.
“I’m very excited and honored to take on this important role,” she noted. “Habitat is very dear and near to my heart. I have many new and exciting ideas for our local Habitat and look forward to bringing them into the community with hopes of continued support.”
Two years ago, Middle Keys Habitat partnered with the Monroe County School Board and Marathon High School to build the organization’s first Habitech home for Stanley Switlik Elementary School teacher Sarah Adams. Under the watchful eye of vocational instructor Glenn Naklicki and several local contractors, students constructed the home almost in its entirety within the walls and classroom hours at Marathon High. The home was unveiled with much fanfare and support from local businesses in the Fall of 2009.
Last year, four families achieved the goal of home ownership in four condominiums adjacent to the Boat House property in Marathon.
Though the organization has existed in the Middle Keys since 1991, Young said one of the biggest obstacles, besides acquiring land to construct new homes, is clearing the misconception that Habitat simply gives away homes to families that apply.
“Each homeowner that’s selected must put in hundreds of sweat equity hours before they’re handed the keys to their new home,” she elaborated.
Within other Habitat organizations around the globe, homeowners wield hammers and haul lumber during construction to fulfill their commitment of sweat equity hours. Since land in the Florida Keys is in such limited supply, Huergo noted a recent shift in the organization’s mission to search out foreclosed properties in which they can place Habitat families.
“It’s always more economically feasible for us to build a property from the ground up instead of inheriting construction issues from an existing property,” she noted. “But in the absence of available land, we are keeping this open as an option.”
Christine Todd Young can be contacted directly at (305) 743-9828. She would enjoy the opportunity to introduce you to Habitat’s mission if you are interested in joining us, or for more information, visit www.habitatmiddlekeys.org.