Thomas offers a new voice for Habitat in SC

  • Friday, May 17, 2013

Greg Thomas of John’s Island has been named toe first executive director of the recently-formed state-wide association of South Carolina affiliates of Habitat for Humanity. PHOTO PROVIDED

The South Carolina affiliates of Habitat for Humanity are pleased to announce the incorporation of their recently-formed state-wide association, and the selection of Greg Thomas of John’s Island as its first executive director.

The South Carolina Association of Habitat Affiliates (SCAHA) was formed to enable Habitat affiliates in the state to work together more closely, function as a group to address issues on a state and national level, and provide a unified voice to speak on behalf of affiliates in South Carolina. Habitat for Humanity has had a significant positive impact on the economy of South Carolina. Its affiliates have enabled over 3000 families to become homeowners and productive members of their local communities. In addition, local economies have benefited, as affiliates focus their material purchases on local or state suppliers and employ local subcontractors.

Board members were selected from each region of the state, representing the needs of each affiliate unique to their individual area.

Thomas brings an array of business leadership experience, plus 12 years of Habitat affiliate management, to the SCAHA Director’s position. After earning his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh in 1987, he served as executive vice president of WRS in Pittsburgh, Penn., with oversight of human resources, purchasing, technology, finance and accounting.

Thomas and his wife, Susan, have two adult children: a son, Bryan; and daughter, Rebecca; and six grandsons. Having enjoyed many family vacations at Kiawah and Seabrook Islands, the family had fallen in love with South Carolina and decided on John’s Island as their retirement destination. In 1994, they bought a villa there, in anticipation of their move. In September of 1998, upon retirement from the corporate world and becoming “empty-nesters,” he and Susan moved to John’s Island.

Thomas wasted no time getting involved in his new community, and working with Habitat captured his heart. He served on the board of directors at Sea Island Habitat, and then in 2001, assumed on-the-ground construction manager responsibilities at East Cooper Habitat in Charleston, a position he held for nine years. From 2009 to the end of 2012, he served as executive director of the Sea Island Habitat affiliate. Sea Island, organized in 1978, is the third oldest Habitat affiliate in the United States, and has constructed over 300 homes since its inception.

Thomas is a strong believer in collaboration and cooperation, as evidenced in his involvement in the formation of the Trident affiliate group, composed of the five Habitat affiliates in the Charleston area; and in his assistance in organizing the SCAHA. He also helped initiate the affiliate group’s connections with the SC Housing Authority, enabling Habitat homeowners to receive aid from SC HELP, a federal program administered by the Housing Authority which provides mortgage assistance to SC homeowners suffering financial setbacks from layoffs or loss of employment. As Director of SCAHA, Thomas continues to administer the S.C. HELP program on behalf of all S.C. Habitat affiliates.

Thomas’ commitment to inspiring Habitat affiliates to work together, and to helping them achieve a higher visibility in South Carolina make him a good fit for the Executive Director position. He summarized the potential he sees with the new state Association:

“Habitat affiliates throughout the state do so much to improve the lives of so many people, but through collaboration and cooperation we can do more. Our goal for SCAHA is to provide a base for that collaboration and build awareness of our efforts and successes throughout the state. Whatever we do today, we want to do more tomorrow,” he said.

The SCAHA Board of Directors welcomes Thomas and believes his experience and passion will be a valuable asset to the organization. Monroe Free, board president and president of the Greenville Habitat for Humanity Affiliate, said:

“South Carolinians in need of affordable housing and all Habitat affiliates are fortunate that Greg Thomas is leading the Association of Habitat Affiliates. With his blend of skill, experience and passion, Habitat services will grow and prosper.”

For more information about the S.C. Association of Habitat Affiliates, or to be directed to the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in your area, contact Thomas at 843-345-8097 or greg@seaislandhabitat.org.

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