Meeting Tomorrow’s Housing Challenges; Rebuilding Together’s 2013 National Conference


US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan Opened the Conference as a Session Speaker on Thursday, November 14

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 19, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit that repairs and rehabs the homes of low-income homeowners, held its National Conference in our nation’s capital at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel. This three-day high-impact event brought together hundreds of affiliate leaders from across the nation to attend focused workshops, plenary sessions, and facilitated networking.

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During the conference, Rebuilding Together team members were joined by U.S. Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, President and CEO of the National Housing Conference Chris Estes, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legislative Affairs at NeighborWorks America Kirsten Johnson-Obey, Executive Director of the National Center for Healthy Housing Rebecca Morley, CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Sandy Markwood, Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies Director Kermit Baker, Bill Basl, Director of AmeriCorps, Corporation for National and Community Service, and other field experts to discuss this year’s theme, “Meeting Tomorrow’s Housing Challenges.”

Rebuilding Together was also joined by Congressman Mike Turner of Ohio and Congressman Al Green of Texas.

This year marks the organization’s 25th anniversary, a national celebration of the organization’s history, and an important look forward from President and CEO Charley Shimanski along with representatives from affiliates nationwide, the Rebuilding Together national board of directors, sponsors, staff and volunteers.

“This year’s National Conference marks an important moment in defining how we will continue to serve low-income homeowners by meeting tomorrow’s housing challenges together,” said Shimanski. “The demand for Rebuilding Together’s work is growing as many families in dire financial conditions are left unable to make critical home repairs to stay safe and healthy in their homes. This year’s Conference connected members of our network, policymakers and other key partners with one another in the strategic conversations that will shape the future of our organization.”

Of the Year Awards

To celebrate the good work being done by affiliates across the nation, Rebuilding Together awarded five team members with “Of the Year Awards.” Each year, the Of the Year awards are presented to select members of Rebuilding Together’s affiliate network for exceptional leadership in their affiliate and their communities. These leaders are nominated by members of their affiliate’s staff and board. This year’s winners are:

  • AmeriCorps Member of the Year: Margot Ferster, Rebuilding Together New Orleans
  • Volunteer of the Year: Jerry Pauzus, Rebuilding Together Detroit
  • Board Member of the Year: Cassie Bowen, Rebuilding Together Oklahoma City
  • Staff Member of the Year: David Grantham, Rebuilding Together Sacramento
  • Executive Director of the Year: Carrie Grip, Rebuilding Together Sacramento

Legacy Award

In addition, Rebuilding Together’s Legacy Award was presented to Honeywell. The Legacy Award is presented to an individual or organization that has shown long-term extraordinary and sustained commitment to Rebuilding Together and especially the affiliate network. This year, Rebuilding Together recognized Honeywell with The Legacy Award in honor of their unwavering commitment to Rebuilding Together over the last 10 years. Honeywell has been a partner of Rebuilding Together since 2003. In addition to their generous support of rebuilding projects across the county, they have provided funding to help launch six new Rebuilding Together affiliates. Over the course of the partnership, Honeywell has generously donated over $2.2 million in funding, and together our work has added $6.3 million in market value to communities across the country.

Community Builder Award

Rebuilding Together also presented The Patty R. Johnson Community Builder Award, named after founding President Patty Johnson, to Choice Hotels International. The award is presented to an individual or corporation which best exemplifies dedicated service and leadership to communities in need. This year, the award went to Choice Hotels International for their overwhelming support of Rebuilding Together. Choice Hotels has been a partner of Rebuilding Together since 2009, and has contributed $1.75 million to making homes and communities safer and healthier. The partnership – named “Room to Rebuild” – is part of the ongoing commitment by Choice Hotels to strengthen the local communities in which their associates and franchisees live, work and provide hospitality. Since 2009, 69 Room to Rebuild projects have been completed, impacting the lives of 86,214 individuals.


To see captioned photos from the Rebuilding Together’s 2013 Conference, please visit our Flickr page:

About Rebuilding Together
Rebuilding Together is a Safe and Healthy Housing organization that believes community starts at home. Our focus provides critical repairs, accessibility modifications and energy efficient upgrades to low-income homes and community centers at no cost to service recipients. Our impact extends beyond the individuals served to revitalize and stabilize vulnerable neighborhoods and communities across the country. Our 187 local affiliates completed 10,400 rebuild projects in 2012 thanks to the efforts of 100,000 volunteers from corporate partners, skilled trades professionals and everyday good citizens. Join us – visit

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