Americus, Ga. - November 8, 2001 - Habitat for Humanity International has elected five new members to its International Board of Directors (IBOD) to help lead the organization in its mission to eradicate substandard housing worldwide. The new board members were elected during IBOD's annual meeting in Americus, Ga., headquarters for the world's largest nonprofit homebuilder.
"I am excited about the new additions to our board, and I am confident that the new members will do an extraordinary job of leading Habitat in our mission to end poverty housing around the world," said Millard Fuller, founder and president of HFHI. "These distinguished individuals will bring invaluable expertise in the areas of finance, management, construction and communication to the board."
Among those chosen to lead the organization are Janet Huckabee, David Hicks, Paul Ekelschot, Carlos Garcia-Velez y Cortazar and Bob Willumstad.
Janet Huckabee, first lady of Arkansas, has been involved with HFHI for four years. Huckabee joined in HFHI's First Ladies Build and its Jimmy Carter Work Project and is an active volunteer with her local affiliate. Huckabee brings her leadership experience and communication skills to the international board. The first lady and Governor Mike Huckabee have three children: John Mark, David and Sarah.
David Hicks of Jacksonville, Florida, is very active in the HFHI Habijax affiliate and has been involved with HFHI for 10 years. Hicks donated $1 million to Habijax in 2000. Hicks is chairman of Jacksonville-based Alliance Capital Partners and also is chairman of London-based Space Maker Property Holdings. Hicks and his wife, Ann, have three children.
Paul Ekelschot of Zaanvoort, Netherlands, brings his extensive knowledge of accounting and finance to the HFHI board. Ekelschot is senior vice president of financial services for Royal Ahold NV. Ekelschot, active in his community, is co-founder of the Dutch IIA chapter, a board member of a distinguished Dutch CPA organization and a Rotary member. Ekelschot is an economics and accounting graduate of Erasmus University Rotterdam. He and his wife, Wil, have three children.
Carlos Garcia-Velez y Cortazar is CEO of Corporation GEO's Architecture and Urban Design. Garcia-Velez also is director of Habitat Union International Architects, Region III. Garcia-Velez has 25 years' experience in architecture and has designed more than 280,000 dwellings.
Robert Willumstad of New York is CEO of Consumer Group and for Citigroup and has been a cornerstone supporter of HFHI's More Than Houses campaign. Willumstad brings his finance and management skills to the board. A graduate of Adelphi University, Willumstad holds a B.A. in business.
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary year, Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 2,000 communities in 83 nations have built and sold more than 100,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.