BLI Graduation Year: 2014
Habitat for Humanity of New York State
Chief Executive Officer
Tell us briefly about yourself and please update your classmates on your personal/professional experiences since graduating from BLI:
I recently started in my new position as CEO of Habitat for Humanity of New York State. I’m looking forward to leading this organization and advocating at the state and national level for affordable housing.
Since BLI, I’ve spent most of my free time with my husband and daughter, who was born during my BLI year – now almost 4 years old! I’m thrilled that she now plays on the playground that our BLI class helped build in Rec Park.
Favorite movie: JAWS
Favorite book: A Farewell to Arms
Current and Past Notable Civic Activities:
Current: member of Visions Federal Credit Union’s Supervisory Committee, President of Volunteer Administrators of the Southern Tier, member of Broome County Family Violence Prevention Council’s Community Education Committee, member of the Binghamton Rotary Club and their Charities Foundation Board of Directors
Past: Board member and secretary of Life Is Washable (aka Magic Paintbrush Project)
On weekends, we love to try out different local breakfast spots. Our current favorite place is the Kickstart Café, just over the border in Pennsylvania. We don’t travel much, but we try to visit family in Florida and Michigan every year.
How did your BLI experience change your perception of the community?
Since I am not originally from Binghamton, almost every BLI activity introduced me to some aspect of Broome County that I was not aware of. Now I think I’m one of the biggest cheerleaders for the Greater Binghamton area. We have great schools, engaged nonprofits, thriving businesses, and almost no traffic. I’m grateful that I’ve ended up here and will get to raise my daughter in this community.
How did your BLI experience motivate you to become more involved in the community?
Broome County is full of wonderful people dedicated to making our community better. There are so many avenues through which we can all contribute to that goal. BLI inspired me to find the opportunities where I could make the biggest contribution.
What was your most memorable BLI activity/moment?
The most memorable day was the farm day. I can’t remember the exact figure, but one of the speakers told us how many cows reside in Broome County. Previously, I hadn’t really spent much time outside of the urban core of the area, and that really opened my eyes to the importance of farming businesses in our county.
What was the most valuable benefit to you from your BLI experience?
All the connections I made. I’d only lived in Binghamton for 2 years when I did BLI, and I barely knew anyone. Now, I can’t go anywhere without seeing someone I know.
What “nugget of wisdom” do you have for your fellow BLI alum?
Do what you can, but don’t feel like you have to do it all. There are so many opportunities and needs in our area. It’s easy to get exhausted trying to solve all the problems.