Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity
Congratulations, Liz and Michael Board welcomes two existing members to leadership roles
Jan. 1 is a special date at Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) and signifies the start of a new leadership team on the board of directors. In December, two executive members stepped down and two general members filled their positions. This year, we introduce former Greater Springfield Habitat staffer Liz Persch as clerk and Michael Cardaropoli as vice president.
Western Massachusetts’ natives Liz and Michael joined the board in 2021 and have an active presence, participating in the recent organization retreat, annual Fall Feastival fundraiser, and monthly meetings. Both said their goal is to further the awareness of the organization in the community and help the families who depend on Habitat.
“I enjoyed working with Liz when she was a GSHFH employee and it think it speaks well of both Greater Springfield Habitat and her commitment to the mission that she wants to be on the board as clerk to support Habitat even though she had chosen new career path,” said Aimee Giroux, GSHFH executive director. “Michael joined the board after volunteering and has shown real commitment in a short amount time with stepping into the vice president role. He has a great amount of enthusiasm and I am very excited to have both Michael and Liz on the board while we work on ways to strengthen our programming to serve more families.”
Anne Eisenman, GSHFH board president, agreed.
“Even before their election to the executive committee, Michael and Liz took on leadership roles through their active participation in our recent board retreat and development of the affiliate’s strategic plan,” Anne said. “I’m looking forward to working with them for the next year.”
Prior to working at GSHFH, Liz said she worked in Boston at a corporate job. In 2015, she received an email from Greater Springfield Habitat informing her of a volunteering opportunity in Guatemala. She applied and was accepted. Liz said she enjoyed the experience so much she quit her Boston job and went to work at Habitat. In her time, Liz managed the homeownership and home preservation programs. Even though she no longer works for GSHSH, Liz said she still wants to be involved and being on the board and filling a leadership role gives her an opportunity to do just that.
As clerk, Liz will write the minutes for each meeting, including retreats, update the board roster with the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office, and sometimes sign contracts and grants.
Although she’s new to the clerk position, Liz said she already has a goal for the board. “I would like every board member to have the background information and confidence about what Habitat does so they can be a community spokesperson for the organization.”
Michael was introduced to GSHFH when he and several Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan & Blakesley colleagues participated in the “Tommy’s House” build. Formally known as Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, the project honored the Springfield native who had been killed in the Chattanooga, Tennessee, shootings in July 2015. The house had later been purchased by a soldier and his family in 2019. Through the course of the experience, Michael gained an appreciation for the Habitat mission, learned new skills, and bonded with his peers from the personal injury law firm based in Springfield.
As vice president, Michael will assume the president’s duties in her absence and serve as the chief executive officer to whom the executive director reports and will run board meetings. Additionally, as a member of the executive committee, the vice president will also help determine board meeting agendas.
“In the short time I have been with the board, I have seen firsthand all the good things Habitat for Humanity does for the community and I wanted to play a bigger part in that,” Michael said. “I grew up in Springfield so I’m familiar with the area and the problems the folks in this community face. There are so many hardworking people that are struggling everyday to make ends meet and put food on the table. These are the people who need our help the most.”
Good luck, Michael and Liz.