Recognition and Celebration: Building for a Stronger Future

From the Desk of Hazzem Koudsi, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward-Hastings.

Hazzem Koudsi CEO, and Kathryn Brown Past Board Chair show off the award received from Habitat for Humanity Canada.

Hazzem Koudsi – CEO, and Kathryn Brown – Past Board Chair show off the award received from Habitat for Humanity Canada.

May was a busy month for us at Habitat PEH. We had our annual national conference where affiliates from across Canada unite to discuss home construction progress, success stories, learn various new skill sets and conduct the national Annual General Meeting (AGM). It’s also when we at the local level conduct our AGM, where we appoint new board members and present our audited financials for approval. Our local AGM is open to the pubic and several trusted key figures from our community were invited.   

The national conference was also a time for celebration. Habitat PEH received a national award for the first time. The “One Habitat” award recognizes the exceptional integration of all that Habitat for Humanity does – communications, operations, governance – with the goal of serving more families in our community, our country and around the world. I was honored to accept the award for the work we did supporting our family affiliate in Greater Ottawa. They were going through a transition period and asked Habitat PEH to assist them. This award reflects the hard work and dedication of my staff who committed to do more to help give Habitat Greater Ottawa a hand up. Many trips back and forth to Ottawa to help them while they hired new staff and reinvented themselves paid off as they are back on track and stronger than ever. As Habitat PEH CEO, it’s hard to show the value of a high functioning team where our success is primarily measured by the number of houses built. In this case, the camaraderie and commitment to community demonstrated by our fabulous staff was off the charts. It’s truly the dream team here at Habitat PEH and I couldn’t be prouder of them as individuals and collectively as a team.

As for our local AGM, it was what I would expect. AGMs are a place for charities to share information in an open and transparent manner. This builds trust that allows donors and supporters to be part of our affiliate with a high level of confidence knowing our integrity and values are driving our decision-making process.  That in turn inspires continued future support. We also had a presentation by an architect who shared leading edge construction techniques that inspired creative thought on our 66-unit construction project at 93 Dundas. Modular building can offer price savings and a modern look and feel that will stand the test of time while being net zero from an energy perspective. Very exciting! And of course, we went through our audited financials, which we approved and posted on our website for the world to see. We also confirmed our new Board of Directors and said goodbye to Jill Raycroft as past Chair and Karen Baker as past Treasurer who are moving on to new opportunities in their lives. Their past contributions were immeasurable when we consider our COVID shutdown and how we continued to operate with their leadership.

So, May was a very rewarding month to say the least! And I thank my fantastic staff for a job well done. I also thank our Board of Directors for a productive 2023 reporting period and look forward to more success as this year moves on!