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CEOs help build Habitat homes in St. Paul

matt haugen
Posted by matt haugen on 8:57 AM on October 28, 2020

The importance of addressing our housing affordability crisis is driven home each year when so many corporate leaders volunteer to be part of Twin Cities Habitat’s annual CEO Build. The 2020 CEO Build (our 19th annual) brought 24 top executives together, socially distanced, to build at four separate construction sites at two locations in St. Paul.

Doug Baker, CEO of Ecolab, and Joan Gabel, President of the University of Minnesota, served as Co-Chairs for the event. Joan spoke about the impact stable housing has in terms of improving educational outcomes. Doug welcomed everyone to site by saying how a day volunteering to build homes is far better than a day sitting through Zoom meetings. He also expressed how important affordable housing is for the Twin Cities in sustaining its economic vitality.

Chris Coleman, President and CEO of Twin Cities Habitat, explained how the organization is responding to the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and a reckoning over racial justice. “We’ve created a new At Home Fund to stabilize low-income families now and continue to create opportunities for the those who have historically been denied access to homeownership.”

The CEOs helped raise walls and hang drywall. When the homes are finished, families who have completed the Homeownership Program will buy them with affordable mortgages.

Check out a few highlights from the event:

Chris Coleman, CEO of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, speaking to a crowd, arms raised to emphasize his point, in front of an in-progress house, wearing a light blue TC Habitat sweatshirt, a white name tag, and a white mask with a black print on it. Chris welcomed the CEOs and thanked them for their commitment to our mission.

Joan Gabel, President of the University of Minnesota, wearing a maroon and gold UMN sweatshirt, an orange mask, and glasses, reaching above her head to install ceiling drywall with a power screwdriver.Joan Gabel, President of the University of Minnesota, helped install ceiling drywall (which is a great shoulder workout). She served as Co-Chair for CEO Build 2020. 

Doug Baker, CEO of Ecolab and Co-Chair for CEO Build 2020, in a gray sweater, jeans, glasses, hard hat, tool pouch, gloves, and a surgical mask, as well as a name tag. He's leaning down to use a power tool on the joint of two wood pieces.Doug Baker, CEO of Ecolab and the other Co-Chair for CEO Build 2020, helped make and raise stud walls.

Jeanne Crain, CEO of Bremer Bank, in a gray shirt and vest, jeans, a hard hat, name tag, tool pouch, and gloves. She's outdoors, kneeling down to hammer the joint of two wooden pieces.Jeanne Crain, CEO of Bremer Bank, is handy with a hammer. She was instrumental in creating the largest mortgage partnership in Habitat history between Bremer and Twin Cities Habitat in 2017 - helping double the number of families we can support in becoming first-time homeowners.

Matt Majka, President and Alternate Governor of the Minnesota Wild, in a blue Minnesota Wild sweatshirt, green hard hat, name tag, black mask, and gloves, carries a sheet of drywall outside.Matt Majka, President and Alternate Governor of the Minnesota Wild, shows he knows drywall sheets as well as ice and balance sheets. 

Anne Behrendt, CEO and President of Doran Companies, in a gray EXPO t-shirt with a name tag, gloves, a white hard hat, and a black mask while carrying wooden beams in the sunlight.Anne Behrendt, CEO and President of Doran Companies, shows off her board experience.

Paul Delahunt, President of Renewal by Andersen & Twin Cities Habitat Board Member, in an orange t-shirt, TC Habitat zip-up sweater, name tag, an orange hard hat, safety goggles, a black mask, and gloves, moving wooden beams outside in the sunlight.Paul Delahunt, President of Renewal by Andersen, is a Twin Cities Habitat Board Member and valuable volunteer on any worksite. 

Thank you to all the groups represented at the 2020 CEO Build!

Bremer Bank

CHS, Inc.

Doran Companies


Greater MSP

Lund Food Holdings

Lyman Companies

M.A. Mortenson Company

Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce

Minnesota Wild


PCL Construction


Ready Credit Corporation

Renewal by Andersen

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Ryan Companies

Securian Financial


University of Minnesota


Wells Fargo

Tags: Volunteer Spotlight, 2020

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