EASTON – Habitat for Humanity Choptank has selected JoAnn Hansen as its next executive director. Ms. Hansen has been involved in advancing the mission and cause of nonprofit organizations in Chicago, New York City, New Jersey, and now here on the Eastern Shore for more than 25 years. Most recently, she served as the chief executive officer of the Dorchester Family YMCA.
Ms. Hansen follows Nancy Andrew who in October announced her plan to leave the organization in January 2018. This was timed so that an executive search committee could identify her successor and to have a productive transition. Ms. Andrew has served with the affiliate for over eight years including six as its executive director.
“Nancy has been a tremendous asset to our mission and its impact on the community,” says Charlie Bohn, president of the board of directors. She led Habitat Choptank through the after-effects of the economic downturn, growth of the home purchasing program, launch of a neighborhood revitalization program, expansion of the affiliate’s ReStore, and restructuring of the nonprofit’s balance sheet and funding sources.
Ms. Hansen was born and raisedin Bonfield, Ill., located approximately 60 miles south of Chicago. “It was a rural community not so different from the Eastern Shore,” notes Ms. Hansen. “I’m so grateful to have found my home here. Home is so much more than a physical location. It’s a place of safety and security with a sense of belonging and purpose. It’s a blessing to now be able to help others find those same things working with Habitat for Humanity Choptank.”
Ms. Hansen’s passion for serving people and communities is evident throughout her professional endeavors. “We are excited about what JoAnn can achieve for our affiliate and our work in Dorchester and Talbot counties,” says Mr. Bohn.
Her career has included public policy and program development in refugee resettlement and immigrant services along with fundraising and marketing to support special needs children. In working with Summit Area YMCA and then Dorchester YMCA, she focused on strategic planning and budgeting to advance the organization’s mission of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
Ms. Hansen holds a BA in Communications with a minor in Public Relations. She completed a Masters in Counseling and Human Resource Development from Roosevelt University in Chicago and later received a Masters in Public Administration from New York University.
Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made homeownership possible for 75 families and currently partners with 12 local homebuyers. Income-qualifying individuals and families are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s project inventory of durable and energy efficient houses. After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these buyers will purchase homes they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of homeownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years.
In 2015, the nonprofit expanded its housing services with the implementation of a Neighborhood Revitalization program. Neighborhood revitalization focuses on listening to residents’ challenges and aspirations and then creating partnerships to make changes that are important to those residents.
Based on that input and identified gaps in community services, Habitat Choptank’s inaugural neighborhood revitalization program has focused on providing weatherization services and critical home repairs to income-qualifying households, many of them seniors, in and around the neighborhoods where Habitat builds. To date, more than 100 households have partnered with Habitat for these services.
To learn more about Habitat Choptank’s programs, to donate or volunteer, call 410-476-3204 or visit habitatchoptank.org.