Helping Out: Building industry executive brings his expertise to Habitat for Humanity projects
President of Craftmark Group, a private builder based in McLean.
Charitable giving highlights: Gives personal and corporate financial contributions to and does pro bono projects for Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, the local affiliate of the organization that builds affordable housing.
Personal: Lives in Bethesda with wife, Nancy. They have three grown children.
I'm a builder. I've been in the industry since I was 16. I was raised to always be kind and give something back to the community.
Habitat for Humanity was the natural fit for me. Of course, I can help folks by writing checks, but with Habitat, I can be more helpful because we are both builders. In addition to helping to fund their activities, I can help them find projects to build, design those projects and let them use my plans to build. It makes it easier and safer for Habitat to look at a new community and figure out what they can pay for and the cost of the product they're going to build. That's where I can step in.
My first significant contribution was a financial donation along with a donation of our four townhouse building lots in Montgomery County. I also gave them the plans to build it.
Now I'm very involved in helping them figure out what they are going to build, where in Montgomery County they are going to build it and how they're going to get it done.
Besides the fact that I know where all my efforts are going all the way to the end, if you talk to some of the folks that move into these homes, you realize what a positive life-changing experience it is for them. The kids of these families get to grow up in a safe environment and attend schools where they can get a decent education compared to where they were living before where they probably received none of those things. It's a big deal for these folks and life-changing for their children.
I remember one time we had a breakfast and one of the families spoke about the difference it made for the children. One of the children had just graduated from Harvard because the new home gave them a pathway to go to better schools.
-- Interview with Vanessa Mizell