PHOTO: Fred Lopez
PASSION FOR THE JOB: I was raised to believe that to whom much has been given, much is required. My motivation is centered around a bible verse that has marked my life for well over three decades. Psalm 107:23 says, “They that go down to the sea in ships, which do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.” So many of us live our lives beneath our privilege because we are afraid to be people of faith. Mediocrity is defined by those who live their lives in the rowboat, in the safety of the harbor. If your boat tips over you can make it to shore on your own. Sure, your life is safe and predictable, but you rarely catch many fish and the ones you do catch tend to be small. Launching out into the deep water is risky and it takes faith, but that is where you catch the big fish.
I WAS LED HERE FOR: An opportunity to “finish well.” My role before Habitat was that of a minister; that vocation intersected my Habitat occupation in 2005, the year of Hurricane Katrina.
MOST SIGNIFICANT HABITAT PROJECT: Working on the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. When confronted with 65,000 houses totally destroyed and an additional 250,000 rendered uninhabitable, you recognize the trauma not having a place to call home can bring. My parents were among those whose home was totally destroyed—that made it personal.
CURRENT PROJECT: The most exciting project I am invested in now is providing housing access and opportunity to three vulnerable population groups: elderly, disabled, and veterans.
GREATEST CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Working with some great staff/board members, sponsors/donors, homeowners, and volunteers to help provide “a place to call home” for hundreds of families who need a safe and decent housing solution.
MY HERO: My dad and mom modeled what it was like to serve the needs of others. As parents they exposed me to work camps with our church and it was there I was moved to use what I had to help those who were not as fortunate. It is all about stewardship of what you have been given.
PET PEEVE: Those who approach life in a passive-aggressive manner. These are people who have typically been so stifled and oppressed by life that insecurity rules them and prevents them from being honest and real. When they look in the mirror—they really know deep down that they are wounded and that adds to the shame and dysfunction they feel. In many ways they sabotage their own success. It only serves to remind me that “hurt people hurt people.”
IF I COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANYONE, IT WOULD BE: Paul David Hewson. Most people know him by the Irish born stage name of Bono, the lead vocalist from the rock Band U2, who was named Person of the Year in 2005 along with Bill and Melinda Gates. He has been active in humanitarian efforts and espouses a uniquely spiritual world view that challenges each of us to measure our words and actions in a manner that brings dignity and value to all people, especially to those who are oppressed.
FAVORITE WAY TO UNWIND: Spending time with my love and best friend—my wife. I think I am more possessive now than when we first met.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” – M.K Clinton