An Interview with Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, John Habat

by | Aug 14, 2014

JohnHabat2Right now we’re in the middle of our annual Tool Drive supporting the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity. Since our efforts started in 2010, we’ve found amazing support from our clients, partners, friends and community members.

We talked with John Habat, executive director of the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity to find out more about him, Habitat for Humanity and their efforts. Here’s the conversation:

Q. What is your position at Habitat for Humanity?

A. I’m the executive director.

Q. How long have you been there?

A. 3 years

Q. What are your responsibilities at Habitat for Humanity?

A. Everything imaginable and some things I never imagined!

Q. What’s your most memorable moment working for Habitat for Humanity?

A. There are many. But I think if you consider the dedications of our finished houses – these are really special. Happy kids running through their new home, selecting bedrooms, etc. Also, it’s the energy in the air – such a spirit of gratitude permeates and there are tears of joys amongst the family, the volunteers and staff. These are truly special moments.

Q. What does Habitat for Humanity need most from the community and businesses that wish to help?

A. Volunteers make Habitat happen, and money helps too. We always need volunteers, particularly in the ReStore.



Q. Tell us something that people might not know about Habitat for Humanity.

A. It is the fastest growing volunteer movement ever! In under 40 years, 100 million people across the planet have come together to make affordable housing a reality for more than 3 million families.

Q. How do tool drives like the Sonnhalter 5th Annual Tool Drive benefit Habitat for Humanity? 

A. Our ReStore is a go-to used and new retail store for construction items, and tools top the list of desired products. New ReStore revenues are dedicated to Habitat’s affordable housing program; last year, the ReStore generated enough funding to fully rehab 8 houses.

Q. What’s your favorite part of your position with Habitat for Humanity? 

A. The diversity of issues is incredible. I have a lawyer, lobbyist, CAO, CFO and marketing and journalism background (I am not as old as that collectively may seem!), and all of these skills are used in running Habitat.

Q. The Sonnhalter tagline is “Not Afraid to Get Our Hands Dirty.” What is your favorite way to get your hands dirty at Habitat for Humanity?

A. I love seeing the donations that come in the ReStore trucks as they are being unloaded on the dock… and I can’t resist getting involved. I also thoroughly enjoy working the sales floor in the ReStore.

Q. What’s your favorite way to get your hands dirty outside of work?

A. Gardening

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A. The annual Sonnhalter Tool Drive is a highlight of our ReStore donation year. It is amazing how many tools you folks collect.

If you’re interested in participating in the Sonnhalter Tool Drive, visit or contact us to find out more. Click here to read last year’s interview with Frank from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

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