Building Hope – January 2016

In the Spotlight
Greg Carter Elected 2016 HomeAid Northern Virginia President

Greg CarterGreg Carter, senior vice president, senior credit products manager, commercial real estate banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, was recently elected the 2016 president of HomeAid Northern Virginia, following leadership service on HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Board of Directors, and on HomeAid Chicago’s board in 2004, when that chapter was just getting started.

Carter’s appointment continues a long tradition for Bank of America: Since 2004, Bank of America has contributed more than $2 million to support HomeAid America and its 17 chapters. The company has also has been continuously represented on HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Board of Directors since the organization was founded 15 years ago.

“Bank of America has enjoyed a strong affiliation with HomeAid over the years,” Carter said. “This opportunity to lead the Northern Virginia chapter in 2016 is a natural extension of the bank’s history with HomeAid, but also an important continuation of service in my personal career, which for 31 years has been focused on financing real estate and the housing industry. I joined HomeAid Northern Virginia’s board in 2011, shortly after moving back to the DC area and meeting with Mike Scheurer and Steve Alloy about their efforts here. I think very highly of HomeAid; there’s so much energy here, and I’m proud to be involved.”

Looking forward, Carter hopes to deploy HomeAid’s financial resources and complete as many projects as possible.

“We have a strong balance sheet due to successful fundraising,” he added, “so we will continue to leverage our resources and the partnerships of our Builder Captains and trade partners for another strong year. I’d love to see HomeAid complete another 10 to 12 projects in 2016.”

Also serving on the 2016 executive committee are Brian Davidson, immediate past president; Jerry Berman, vice president/president-elect; Rick Cole, treasurer; and David Gill, secretary.

New Board Members

Two new members were elected to the 2016 Board of Directors: John Buhl, Jr., Buhl Electric Company; and Juston Sizemore, ProBuild. Both companies have been active trade partners with HomeAid over the years, and we are grateful for Buhl’s and Sizemore’s continued support on the board. Welcome!

Buhl, president of Buhl Electric, has been involved as a trade partner with HomeAid for years, most recently working closely with Brian Davidson, HomeAid’s 2015 president.

“Van Metre is one of our biggest clients, and Brian a good friend,” Buhl said. “I’ve watched him as he’s represented HomeAid at functions ranging from golf tournaments to the Gala to the ribbon cutting at Youth for Tomorrow, and I realized that serving on the board would be a good thing to be a part of. In the past, I also organized golf tournaments raising money for Parkinsons research, so I can offer that experience to HomeAid’s fundraising efforts. It’s a great community of people, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Juston Sizemore, area vice president at ProBuild, is also a longtime partner with HomeAid, both as a contributor to projects and as a supporter of HomeAid’s many events and fundraisers.

“The more we got involved with the shelter projects,” Sizemore explained, “the more we started to see for ourselves how these projects change people’s lives. I’ll never forget the year ProBuild sponsored the Trade Partner of the Year Award at HomeAid’s Gala, and I attended for the first time. I watched a video that night, full of the stories and testimonials of the people HomeAid had helped, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. That video really touched my heart, and I knew I wanted to align myself with HomeAid. This will be the first time I’ve served on any board, and I’m looking forward to helping leverage my connections and networks with suppliers for the benefit of HomeAid. I want to be the bridge who can bring on even more manufacturers and suppliers.”


In Your Neighborhood
Youth For Tomorrow’s Newest Home Opens, Provides Safe Haven for At-Risk Girls
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stanley-martin-homesHundreds of supporters turned out to celebrate the dedication and ribbon cutting of a new, 5,000 square foot girls’ home, located on the campus of Youth For Tomorrow (YFT) in Bristow, Va. The $750,000 project, built by HomeAid, Builder Captain Stanley Martin Homes, and 90-plus trade partners, is one of the largest completed in HomeAid Northern Virginia’s history and will allow YFT to expand its services to 36 more girls each year who are pregnant, young mothers, homeless, runaways or survivors of sex trafficking.

Former Washington Redskins Head Coach and YFT Founder Joe Gibbs, in a dedication speech punctuated with stories that drew laughs from the large crowd, reminded those in attendance that although “I get a lot of the credit for YFT, all I really did was come up with the idea. Today, it’s CEO Gary Jones, his vision, the staff, and the people sitting in this room today who have all done more than I ever did.”

“You have become a part of YFT’s story,” he said. “One of the most exciting things about this home is that everyone who is here gave. You’re all giving to others, and as we go charging through life, the time and resources you gave here will help change young people’s lives. How many opportunities do you have in life to do that? By being a part of this, you’ve touched lives.”

Two girls currently enrolled in YFT’s program also addressed the crowd, sharing their personal stories and providing a first-hand glimpse into the transformative experience that YFT has provided them.

“The YFT program is a national model,” said CEO Gary Jones, “and although we may not be able to stop [the reasons girls need to come here], we can ask, ‘What can we do to help? And having another home will allow us to help many more girls every year. Thank you.”

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman-at-large Corey Stewart, added, “This is a proud moment for the County; this is a tremendous facility you’ve added here. These projects don’t happen without long-term dedication, hard work, a great deal of ingenuity, and creativity. As the second largest locality in the Commonwealth, Prince William is in need of facilities like this one that help our youth. To see more than $500,000 raised by HomeAid and Stanley Martin Homes is incredible, and I thank you, and every one of your trade partners, for putting in the hard work and the dedication to making today possible.”

Before personally thanking every trade partner and presenting them with a plaque—and a photo with Joe Gibbs—Stanley Martin Homes’ Steve Alloy pointed out that the girls who would be living and recovering in the home are far more important than the physical house.

“This YFT community was started, much like HomeAid was founded, as a public/private enterprise to provide help to those who need it,” he added, “and while our local governments do a great job, it takes a community of service providers and businesses and individuals to make the community come together. Seeing our builders, subcontractors, suppliers and manufacturers do what they do best, and see us together accomplish this incredible project, is an incredible moment. I’m so proud of this team, and I’m proud to be a part of this day.”

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In Your Community
Picture Your Life Project Helps Shelter Residents Share their Stories

PYLFor the second year, HomeAid Northern Virginia is coordinating its “Picture Your Life” project, distributing disposable cameras to local shelter partners so that residents can voluntarily document their everyday lives by taking photographs over the course of one week. HomeAid has also distributed questionnaires to participants, giving them the opportunity to talk about what makes them happy, what they’re afraid of, their biggest challenge, and where they see themselves in five years.

HomeAid first ran its Picture Your Life project last year, using a rotating photographic display at events and online throughout the year to help bring region-wide attention to the similarities that we all share in our daily lives, regardless of personal circumstances and resources.

In an article that ran in the Washington Post last year about the photography exhibit, HomeAid Executive Director Christy Eaton said, “We wanted [shelter program participants] to show us what it means to be homeless, and what their lives are like every day. When we reviewed all of the images, along with the testimonials, it became evident that the homeless have many of the same challenges, fears, hopes, responsibilities and victories in their lives that others do.”

HomeAid plans to present this year’s Picture Your Life collection during the first quarter of the year.


A Newly Renovated Home Gives Fresh Start to Family

donations - with captionJanuary will provide a truly unforgettable start to the year for a formerly homeless family, as a single mother and her daughter will be moving into a completely renovated townhome owned by New Hope Housing. HomeAid, Builder Captain Miller & Smith and 31 trade partners completed the $129,000 project last month, 98 percent of which was donated. The gift of a newly renovated home had particularly special meaning following the holiday season, as New Hope Housing focuses on providing support to children, working to keep families together, and providing permanent supportive housing for families in which at least one parent is challenged by a disability.

To ensure that the family had all of the supplies and household items needed in their new home, NVBIA’s Women in the Building Industry (WBI) committee and Willowsford donated an enormous collection of household essentials—including cookware, towels, and linens—as part of HomeAid’s Welcome Home Baskets program.

“The transformation of the house – including addressing a lot of little design quirks – is amazing!” said New Hope Housing Executive Director Pam Michell. “It really feels like home now—it’s no longer just an institutional place to live.”

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Supporter Spotlight
Meet Mike Sandkuhler

Members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) started HomeAid Northern Virginia in 2001, and Mike Sandkuhler, who was elected NVBIA’s 2016 president, will also serve on HomeAid’s board this year. Find out why Sandkuhler, who first accepted a leadership position as vice president of NVBIA’s Prince William chapter just two years ago, advocated so strongly to serve both organizations simultaneously. 

Q&A GraphicQ: How did you get involved with NVBIA and HANV, and what spurred you to take on leadership positions with both organizations?

A: I agreed to serve as vice president of the Prince William chapter in 2013, and then as the president in 2014, for the straightforward reason that our chapter needed a volunteer leader, and I was asked. But with HomeAid, NVIBA’s 2015 President Jerry Berman set as one of his goals that he really wanted to see the two organizations reconnect more strongly during his tenure. Jerry thought one way to do that would be to have an NVBIA seat on HomeAid’s board, and as the sitting VP for NVBIA, I was nominated to fill the seat. I felt so strongly about being associated with HomeAid that when a permanent board seat opened up this year, I lobbied hard to be the one to get it! And I’m so glad I did—I’ve enjoyed every single thing about working with HomeAid and the other board members this past year, and I look forward to continuing this year.

Q: Why do you feel it is important to give back to the community through your board involvement? 

A: As a builder, what better way is there to give back to those who can’t afford it than to work with HomeAid? And because I’m not (yet!) in a position to support HomeAid’s efforts financially, I’m willing to support them by giving my time and effort. Some day, I’ll hope that I can also write large donation checks, but for now, I’ll give whatever time I can to do what needs to be done.

Q: Through your service on both NVBIA’s and HANV’s boards, what would you like to achieve in 2016?

A: I hope to carry forward Jerry’s original initiative—helping the two organizations work even more closely together—and I hope that this year, we can strengthen the partnership even further. In particular, I would like to see more builders getting involved by taking on projects as Builder Captains. HomeAid is always looking for Builder Captains, and I’m proud to say that The Christopher Companies, for whom I’ve worked since 2004, recently accepted another project in 2016.

Q: Do you have a favorite memory from your involvement with HANV?

A: Without question, I’d say it was the dedication of the new home at Youth For Tomorrow in December. Meeting Joe Gibbs and hearing him speak, you could immediately tell what a genuinely kind man he is … and hearing the stories of the two girls who are enrolled in the program now was really moving. I think so many of us are pretty far removed from stories like that, but they do happen. It feels great to know that I’m part of an organization that’s helping transform and potentially save people’s lives.


READ:  Greg Carter Elected HANV Board President, HANV Elects New Board Members, Youth For Tomorrow’s Newest Home Opens, Picture Your Life Project 2016 Begins, New Hope Housing Project Provides Fresh Start for Family, Supporter Spotlight: Mike Sandkuhler