• Leadership Jackson Alumna Named Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity

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    June 29, 2016
    Merrill Tenney McKewen Named New Executive Director
    of Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area
    (June 29,  2016) Jackson, MS -- The Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area (HFHMCA) has announced the selection of Merrill Tenney McKewen as its new executive director, effective June 1, 2016. She succeeds Cindy Griffin, who retired May 31 after 15 years of service to the non-profit organization.
    “Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area launched a national search and is fortunate to have found the very best candidate within our organization,” said Larry Ratzlaff, president of HFHMCA’s Board of Directors. “Our search committee was impressed not only with Merrill’s accomplishments, skills and experience, but also with her passion for serving others. This combination of expertise and heart make her uniquely suited for this role. The board, staff, donors and volunteers of Habitat for Humanity look forward to working with Merrill to carry on the tradition of building decent, affordable housing for families in our community.”
    Harrison Young, vice-president of HFHMCA’s board of directors, said,  “We are delighted with our decision and know that Merrill will bring the talent, energy and focus that we need to build on the tremendous progress this affiliate has made in the past 30 years. She will be an asset to our affiliate and our community.”
    McKewen is a native of Grenada, MS, and a graduate of the University of Mississippi. She has more than 30 years of experience in public relations, marketing, media production, fundraising, and community engagement through project management.
    McKewen began work in 2011 with HFHMCA as a consultant for its 25th Anniversary Gala during which time she raised an unprecedented amount for the event. She became interim development director in 2012 and six months later became resource development director in 2013. She now moves into the position of executive director.
    “The opportunity to be a part of the continued growth and development of such a successful Habitat affiliate is an honor,” McKewen said. “I feel strongly that I was led to Habitat and that all of my previous work experiences have prepared me for this leadership role. I believe in the Habitat mission that every man, woman and child should have an affordable place to live in dignity and safety.”
    McKewen looks forward to expanding the non-profit organization’s partnerships within the Mississippi Capital area. “The homes and critical home repair projects that Habitat offers are life changing events for the homeowners, as well as the volunteers and donors,” she continued. “It brings our communities together and makes us stronger. We will continue the good works of selling our safe, decent, affordable homes to hard working, partner families who simply need a hand up, not a hand out.”
    McKewen encourages community members to learn more about how they can become a HFHMCA donor, volunteer or homeowner by calling 601-353-6060 or visiting www.habitatmca.org
    About Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area:
    Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area (HFHMCA) is a nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Working in partnership with low income families and using volunteer labor and donated materials whenever possible, the organization is building basic, affordable houses that are then sold to families at cost with no profit or interest. Since its founding in 1986, HFHMCA has partnered with families to build 615 homes in the Mississippi capital area.