Habitat Canada national board chair to oversee Operation Home Delivery
Kenneth J. Meinert to manage nonprofit’s hurricane-rebuilding program
AMERICUS, Ga. (Sept. 27, 2005) – Habitat for Humanity International today named Kenneth J. Meinert, chair of the national Habitat board of Canada, as senior vice president responsible for Operation Home Delivery, the global homebuilding ministry’s rebuilding efforts in hurricanes Katrina- and Rita-impacted areas along the Gulf Coast.
In directing Operation Home Delivery, Meinert and his team will engage more than 1,700 Habitat affiliates and various strategic partner organizations across North America to plan and execute this important initiative. He will work alongside William Collins, who Habitat last week named as senior vice president, collaborative alliances. Collins is building strategic partnerships to support Operation Home Delivery.
Accomplished in the construction industry, Meinert has more than 25 years of operations, marketing and general management experience for large multinationals in Canada, the United States and Europe. He owns production and construction companies, and recently served as president and chief operating officer of KML Engineered Homes Inc., a private design, manufacturing and construction company.
Meinert’s first task upon joining the ministry, said Jonathan Reckford, Habitat’s chief executive officer, will be to help rebuild infrastructure for Habitat affiliates hit hard by hurricanes Katrina and Rita and, using Habitat’s time-tested homeownership program, to support their ongoing work with families in need. Meinert and his team will also reach out to other builders, NGOs and partner organizations to utilize innovative approaches to building within this troubled region.
These approaches will include Habitat’s “house in a box” program, which will leverage the skills of Habitat’s huge corps of volunteers across North America who are already working to eradicate substandard housing in their own communities. Pre-built housing components – walls, etc. – will be built in a number of communities around the country and shipped to areas impacted by Katrina or Rita to be rebuilt.
“Habitat is so fortunate and I am so grateful that such senior executives as Kenneth and Bill are willing to drop everything to come and lead our recovery efforts so that Habitat and its affiliates can respond to Katrina and Rita without harming our existing efforts to serve families in need around the world,” said Reckford. “Kenneth has demonstrated the passionate leadership and ability to deliver innovative solutions that is required for Operation Home Delivery to succeed.”
An eight-year member of the national board for Habitat for Humanity Canada, Meinert recently was named chair, a role he will continue to serve in even as he provides leadership in the rebuilding. He began his association with Habitat in 1997 when he volunteered with and donated building materials for a blitz home build in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Meinert has also served as president and CEO of CGC Inc, a leading manufacturer of ceiling and gypsum construction materials, and vice president of marketing of U.S. Gypsum Co. in Chicago.
Meinert is overseeing an assessment team that is working in the impacted region and assembling a project management office that will direct implementation of the home delivery program. The work will parallel the existing Habitat infrastructure.
For more information about Habitat for Humanity and Operation Home Delivery, visit www.habitat.org .
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org .