Local News

Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County Hires a Director of Operations, Prepares to Start Construction on the Fourth Home of the Year


ALEXANDRIA, MN (Oct 3, 2022) –  Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County is pleased to welcome Heather Smith-Ahrens as Director of Operations.

The Director of Operations is responsible for implementing the strategic goals, managing day-to-day business operations, and increasing organizational capacity to serve more families. The position manages and supports construction, Homeowner Services, volunteer coordination, and the ReStore efforts.

“We are excited to welcome Heather to the Habitat family,” shared Lori Anderson, Executive Director. “Heather will bring a keen understanding of the real estate market. Her lending background will be an asset for our homeownership program. Our work over the past 25 years has helped make homeownership affordable to more than 80 families and is far from finished.”

Smith-Ahrens most recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Alexandria Area Association of Realtors®, and previously, she worked in the banking industry. She began her position with Habitat on September 29, 2022.

“It is an honor to be given the opportunity to be a part of a team that consistently exemplifies the mission and values of their organization each and every day. I look forward to collaborating to continue moving the mission forward by serving more families in our community as my greatest joy and fulfillment comes from giving back,” commented Smith Ahrens

Habitat will soon begin construction on the fourth home of the year.  Known as the Cardinal Build, students from the Alexandria Area High School EMTNR CAPS class help build the home during their class time alongside Habitat construction staff and volunteers.  In addition, students in the DECA organization will help raise funds to meet a matching grant.  Funds from their campaign, known as “Give Home for the Holidays,” will immediately be used to help fund the construction of this home.

Habitat is now accepting applications for homes to be built in 2023. If you or someone you know needs stable, affordable housing, apply today.  To obtain an application contact Denise, the Homeowner Services Coordinator, at 320-762-4255 or visit the website at hfhdouglascounty.org.

Since 1997, Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County has served 135 families by building or improving 80 homes and completing 55 Aging in Place projects.  Habitat builds strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter and is an equal housing opportunity.