Saturday, August 20, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 19.08.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
IN PHOTOS: Orillia ReStore Hosts Ribbon Cutting & Chamber After 5

Offer expires August 31, 2016. Redeemable only at Ontario Gateway North ReStores in Midland, Orillia, Bracebridge, Huntsville and Sudbury. Cannot be combined with other offers. No cash value. One coupon per customer.
In This Issue:
* Orillia ReStore Hosts Ribbon Cutting & Chamber After 5
* From the CEO's Desk
* Two Doors Down...
* Hods & Sods
* Orillia ReStore Grand Opening
* Green Street Challenge
* Sudbury ReStore BBQ
* North Bay Amazing Race
* Health & Safety Tip
* Save the Dates
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Support our 2016 build projects across the region by donating online at
* Our Espanola Build rolls on! Stay up to date with photos and more at the Habitat for Humanity - Espanola Build Facebook Page.
* 1 in 5 Canadian families are living in unstable homes. But little by little, a brick for brick, you can help bring stability to the lives of many children from low income families. Because you're not just helping us put a roof over their head, you're helping us put the ground beneath their feet. For full details on the Brick for Brick campaign visit brickforbrick.
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Hi Habitat Gateway North Team!

We've all seen a "man on a mission", as the saying goes. Someone with a goal, chosen or assigned, who will stop at nothing to achieve it. Regardless of what obstacles may appear, someone on a mission always holds true to their purpose.

We've had a few successful missions this week. First, our Orillia ReStore hosted the Chamber After 5 for the first time in its new 220 James St. West location, which was preceded by a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the store. The hours and manpower it took to relocate the store were worth it to see a crowd of over 75 people explore the new space.

This Saturday is the Summer Sidewalk Sale, hosted by the Huntsville BIA. Over the past 2 weeks, we've been searching for helping hands to collect and help load the 7,000 square feet of sod we'll receive after the event. We've lined up a great crew for Saturday and are thrilled to have this contribution to our Huntsville Build on Irene St.

In the office, we've been looking at high-level missions. A mission-driven business is an organization for which the pursuit of growth and revenue naturally produces benefits related to the mission. As a not-for-profit, Habitat must generate growth and capacity in order to purposefully pursue our mission. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love Habitat for Humanity's mission.

To mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promote home ownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty.

It speaks of action, community and partnering. Over the last week or so, we've been looking at an HR mission map - missions for each role in Habitat, based on achieving the overall organizational mission.

It's incredible how pieces of the puzzle fall into place once a role has clarity. Similar to communicating how Habitat works, outlining the mission for every role from Board Director to Warehouse Associate clarifies the purpose of that role. The mission feeds what we do, how we do it and how we know we've reached our goal.

Research shows that the happiest employees are those who feel a sense of purpose in what they do. The next step is to develop how we deliver on these role-specific missions. It's exciting to me to see the kind of organization and people we can be when we're all "men on a mission".

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

From the CEO's Desk

Looking back over the last year, I’m taken by how our weekly newsletter has transitioned from a publication internal to the HFH Ontario Gateway North community, to one that is now reaching a broader audience.

One sign of this were the number of attendees at Wednesday’s wonderful Orillia ReStore grand opening and subsequent Chamber of Commerce “After 5” event who made mention of information they had read herein. Another sign is the declining frequency of my posting staff announcements, many of which are primarily of internal interest. This week, I’m very pleased to announce a couple of appointments that will be felt in the broader community.

Effectively immediately, Meghan Smith will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer for HFHOGN. As much as I’m thrilled and excited to see Meghan step into this role, I have to admit it’s a short step. In so many ways, this has been the role Meghan has fulfilled over the last year with dedication, commitment and rigour that I continue to find breathtaking. Meghan’s promotion to COO allows us to better define reporting lines in the organization and gives me confidence our day-to-day operations are in excellent hands while I focus on our longer-term, strategic priorities.

Fundraising is one of our top strategic priorities, so I’m also thrilled to announce the appointment of Britta Gerwin as our new Director of Development and Communications. Britta is a Huntsville girl who comes to HFHOGN from the Huntsville Hospital Foundation Development Office. Her background includes development work with organizations as diverse as the Red Cross, Sunshine Foundation of Canada, Starlight Children’s Foundation, and the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. What’s equally impressive in Britta’s background is her evident propensity to roll up her sleeves as a volunteer to meet a need, be it community or global. It’s hard to imagine a better fit for the Habitat world.

I’ll take a too-brief pause here to publicly thank fundraising guru Gord Durnan for his support over the last several months as we’ve considered the development function within HFHOGN. In the spirit of no good deed going unpunished, I know Britta and I look forward to Gord’s continued sage advice as we ramp-up major fundraising in the months and years ahead.

Over the last several months, human resources consultant Julie Farnsworth has never been more than a phone call or email away when we’ve had a specific HR question. After a series of discussions that were equal parts philosophy and business, I’ve asked Julie to take a more active role in our HR management, albeit as an external resource. What excites Julie and me – and I know it will excite our staff - is the opportunity to build a focus on competencies and quality into the DNA of HFHOGN as we pursue our goal of becoming a major contributor to Habitat’s mission.    

Over the last year, Lori Beecroft has served as our Chief Financial Officer. In addition to implementing some much-needed operating procedures, Lori continues to consolidate the financial systems of the five affiliates that merged to form HFHOGN. It’s not my place to announce the details, but Lori has been offered a wonderful opportunity that will limit her availability to us. I am immensely grateful that we’ll be able to continue counting (no pun intended) on Lori for bookkeeping services, but the balance of her role will be apportioned to Meghan, Julie and myself.

I’d like to extend a long-overdue thanks to Marg Hamelin, manager of our Midland ReStore, who stepped up through the early spring and summer not only as a resource to our other ReStore managers, but, in conjunction with Meghan Smith, as project lead on our relocation of the Orillia ReStore. There are a lot of fingerprints on the Orillia effort, including, of course, those of ReStore Manager Donna Godfrey and her amazing team. Marg will be refocusing her energies on Midland, but I’ve asked her to continue leading our ReStore management team as its Senior Manager.

A concluding note of thanks to long-time HFHOGN staffer Kevin Manley, who has left the organization. Kevin was manager of the Bracebridge and Huntsville ReStores before taking on the role of Community Development Officer last fall.

The new additions and assignments represent to me a “retooling” of HFHOGN as we look to the fall and the start of our annual planning cycle. Thoughts of serving 17 families in ’17 dance in my head, alongside our contribution to the 2017 HFH / Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. Now, it’s time to get down to the job of figuring out how to make it happen.

Have a great week,

Two Doors Down...

With the cutting of a ribbon a ReStore was born.

It’s funny how months of work and a year of preparation boils down to a moment captured in a photo, and a few hundred words in the newspaper. All “Grand Openings” are part theatre and part marketing – if there’s a difference.

Having John Burke at the ceremony was an eye-opener. Burke started Habitat for Humanity in Orillia with Eric Blough just over ten years ago. In those ten years, six families have moved into affordable Habitat Homes and two ReStores have opened their doors to the public. All the while, the Orillia Chapter had been a part of a regional group, split off on their own, and joined another regional affiliate in Ontario Gateway North. Habitat work isn’t always a straight line to the finish. There are bumps in the road, hidden obstacles, and often big U-turns are necessary. But it’s always nice to look back and see all the capital “G” Good done in the community in the wake of what can often seem like organized chaos.

Speaking of organized chaos, let’s use this space to thank Donna Godfrey, Marg Hamelin, Bill Harris, Bill Evans, Christine MacDonald, and all of the volunteers who put the Orillia ReStore on their shoulders and carried it to this one finish-line.

Working at a ReStore is a puzzle. Imagine being in a boardroom mulling over great business ideas and someone says: “What about a retail store where no one knows what the stock is going to be, we take educated guesses with the prices, and we rely completely on community members to fill the store, and community members to empty it?”

The fact that ReStores across the country are working so well is a testament to seeing the world glass-half-full. The boardroom guy in the paragraph above would have been laughed out of the room, but the same business model framed in a positive light seems ingenious.

“Over 775,000 square feet of retail space is occupied by high-quality building supplies, home furnishing, appliances, and décor at Habitat for Humanity's 97 Canadian ReStore locations. Shopping at a ReStore is a socially conscious decision, as funds generated are used to fund Habitat home-building projects. As well, shopping at a ReStore is an environmentally conscious decision, as much of what is sold is product that is new, gently used or customer returns that would otherwise end up in a landfill.”


Here’s another note about ReStores of which you newsletter readers may not be aware. In my old gig this would have been called “burying the lede.” We have demolition crews. These crews will come to your home or cottage and pull out your kitchen – for free! These kitchens are then sold at the ReStore, and are often the biggest sellers. So tell your friends, family, strangers, and neighbours. Here’s some more theatre as to how this scenario could play out.

Sam: “Kitchen is looking a little dated Mary, ever thought of switching it up? Stepping into 2016?”

Mary: “Seems like a lot of work and money.”

Sam: “I’ll call the ReStore and they’ll rip it out and clean it up for free and then I’ll help you install updated cabinetry this weekend. Also, you can feel good because you’ve helped build local affordable homes right here for hardworking families in this community.”

A perfectly natural conversation.  I should have been a playwright.

Espanola (159 & 163 Adelaide St.; semi-detached; underway): Our Espanola project is waiting for duct work for the furnace to be completed inside before finishing flooring and trim. The exterior of the homes are coming along nicely. The siding is about 50 per cent complete, and the decking around the homes is nearing completion. Jeff Lapierre will share a photo of the exterior in next week’s newsletter.

Huntsville (11 Irene St.; semi-detached; underway): This week Randy’s crew was hard at work back-filling and leveling. The lot leveling is completed and the crew is making preparations for the next step: flooring. The steel floor framing is to be delivered and installed next week and the prefabricated walls and roof package on September 6th.

Orillia (499 Bay St.; semi-detached; permitting): Still in the early phase of permitting, we're excited to get back to building in Orillia. With a mid-August target for excavation, stay tuned for our official ground breaking ceremony announcement.
This week’s safety tip is more of a safety dispatch. All work safety, from being aware of hazards down to wearing proper safety equipment, is all about instilling the right culture in the work place. And here’s the truth: all the standards, committees, safeguards and signage in the world won’t help keep us safe without a proper culture of work safety.

It starts at the top and trickles down. Employees need to know that their safety is the top priority of that day – everyday. Not the bottom line, not sales targets, not how much stuff was lifted and moved or produced, but getting home safe. Period. From there it’s about accountability.  Taking ownership of your safety, and everyone’s well-being. It’s about changing the way we think if we think safety is an expense of wasted time, effort, or money. It’s about never being complacent and never letting your workplace and co-workers feel satisfied with unsafe environments or actions.

After that, a culture of workplace safety is about collaboration. Employees and superiors working together with clear communication about how to improve current working conditions.

Only after organizations make a culture of safety their number one priority; employees make themselves and each other accountable; and an environment of collaboration and communication is established, can processes and practices help keep us safe.

- Brian Ingram, Health & Safety Coordinator
Save the Dates

We have several events already scheduled for this year, run by our Chapter Committees and third party groups. So mark your calendars or contact us to get involved!

August 20th - Orillia ReStore Grand Opening Celebration

August 20th - Huntsville Summer Sidewalk Sale including the Green Street Challenge

August 25th - Huntsville ReStore hosts the Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber After Hours

August 26th - Habitat for Humanity BBQ at the Sudbury ReStore

September 12th - Parry Sound Chapter Golf Tournament at Rocky Crest Golf Club

October 1st - Amazing Race, North Bay and Blue Sky Region Chapter
Quote of the Week

"Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated." - Russell Warren
Wonder Women

Ginger Barkey
Lori Beecroft
Tanya Blain
Marian Burdsall
Kelly Haywood
Carol MacLellan

Super Men

Brian Ternoway

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