Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County's Newsroom has the latest information about our involvement in the community. Visit often to stay up to date on the latest news from our Affiliate!



Baking and pastry students donate to annual Gingerbread Build

PEWAUKEE — There were a lot of houses being built this week at Waukesha County Technical College — gingerbread houses to be exact.


WCTC Baking and Pastry Management students were able to practice their production skills while donating to the community as they assembled 20 plain, undecorated gingerbread houses to donate to Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County. The houses will be used for the organization’s annual Gingerbread Build competition and fundraising event.


Companies, individuals or organizations can purchase pre-assembled, blank slate houses from Habitat for Humanity (or make their own), decorate them and submit them to the contest.


The decorated gingerbread houses, nearly 30 in total including some WCTC student entries, will be on display at restaurants and merchants throughout The Corners of Brookfield on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as part of the Home for the Holidays event.


Voting tickets ($1 per ticket, $5 for seven tickets or $10 for 20 tickets) can be purchased at Von Maur the day of the event, and all the funds raised will be used in Waukesha County to help build affordable housing.
“The service learning projects we do in our program, like the gingerbread houses, are a win-win,” said Michelle Gasparek, WCTC Baking and Pastry Management instructor. “It gives our students the chance to practice technical skills and high-volume production, which they need to become successful in the field, and it also gives them a great feeling of giving back to the community.”


Beyond the gingerbread build project, Gasparek said her students are active in community service projects throughout the year, including creating decorated cookies, cakes and pastries for events including the Ronald McDonald Christmas Fantasy House, Lifestriders Therapeutic Riding Center Boots and Bling Gala and Flight to the North Pole Milwaukee, among others.


To read more... http://waukeshafreeman.wi.newsmemory.com/?publink=0460255bd



Not Your Average Homemakers

WAUKESHA — Mothers and daughters, donning hard hats and wielding hammers, helped construct a Habitat for Humanity home on Eales Avenue in Waukesha for a single mother Wednesday morning.


It is Habitat for Humanity Waukesha's 5th annual Women Build and on the 7th day of the build, a group of volunteers worked on a ranch-style home for Dawn Lhuillier and her 9-year-old daughter Myah, who has special needs.


The home's layout is customized to include ADA accessibility as well as other features that will make life a little easier for Dawn Lhuillier. This means a more open concept interior layout so she and her daughter, who uses a wheelchair, can navigate the home with ease.


Dawn Lhuillier said she is used to having her daughter sleep in another bed nearby her own so she can keep an eye on her, but now their bedrooms will be combined, allowing for a little more space and privacy.


Habitat for Humanity Waukesha's new CEO Mike Crowley said even though the home is on Eales Avenue, it's still part of the Habitat for Humanity neighborhood of homes on White Rock Avenue.


"We're creating a gateway into the Waukesha community and Dawn will be a part of that," Crowley said.


While Habitat for Humanity volunteers are helping build the home, Dawn Lhuillier is also paying off the home with sweat equity hours, the physical labor she's dedicated toward constructing her new house.


It was hard for Dawn Lhuillier to find words to describe just how thankful she was for Habitat for Humanity Waukesha and the volunteers who have spent hours building her home.


"To see all of these people rain or shine is the best feeling I could ever have," Dawn Lhuillier said. "It means so much to me and my family that you guys are partaking in this."


From the Waukesha Freeman



Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County Names Michael A. Crowley as New CEO, Diane McGeen Retiring to Focus on Real Estate and Family  

The Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County has named Michael A. Crowley as its new CEO, effective April 1, 2019, replacing Executive Director Diane McGeen who is retiring from the organization. Additionally, Benjamin Sheehan has been promoted to COO from his previous position as Operations Manager.


Aaron Melnarik, President of the Board for Habitat Waukesha said, "We are delighted to welcome Mike Crowley to lead our organization into the future and continue the great progress that Diane McGeen has made in growing the organization and creating affordable homes for working people in the community. Mike has a substantial resume in business, government and nonprofit leadership that will benefit our organization, and he has tremendous insight into the housing ecosystem and infrastructure in Waukesha County."


Crowley is the Waukesha County Board Supervisor for District 16 since 2012, and he will continue this role in addition to leading Habitat Waukesha. His 32-year career in manufacturing includes over 23 years at Midland Plastics, Inc., where he served as Vice President from 2006 – 2018. In the community, Crowley continues to serve as the Vice Chairman for the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) since 2011, Chairman of the City of Waukesha Community Development Block Grant Committee since 1999 and Chairman of the Waukesha County Airport Operations Commission since 2004. He previously served as a commissioner for the City of Waukesha Plan Commission from 2002-2007, as President of the Board of Directors of JDRF Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter from 2000-2002 and 2008-2010, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Wisconsin State Leader – Government Relations from 2002 - 2007.


"I am thrilled to be joining Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County to continue my service to my community and to leverage my business and infrastructure knowledge to build affordable homes and neighborhoods for very deserving, working families," said Michael Crowley, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County. "Diane has built a lasting foundation at Habitat Waukesha that we will strive to build upon to make an even greater impact in the future. We are planning a thank you event to celebrate her achievements, so watch for an announcement soon."


Diane McGeen served as Executive Director of Habitat Waukesha since July 2013 and took the organization from building one home per year before her arrival, to building or rehabilitating 20 homes in 6 years, while revitalizing three neighborhoods and becoming a key voice of advocacy for affordable home ownership. She is retiring from Habitat Waukesha, but will continue to operate her real estate business, Summit Realty, which she has owned since 1991.


"I am leaving with pride in our accomplishments and faith in the great future of the organization," said McGeen. "My reason for leaving is entirely personal. My first love, my family, is now in the exponential growth stage as I will welcome my 12th grandchild this summer. It's time for me to simplify my life by going back to my real estate company so, from this point forward, I'm all about real estate and rocking chairs. It's time for someone else to take Habitat Waukesha to the next level and I'm delighted they chose Mike Crowley to lead this stellar team."


Benjamin Sheehan began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity while in college and met his wife on a Habitat service trip in 2012. He began working with Habitat Waukesha as an AmeriCorp VISTA member, helping to recruit volunteers for the Waukesha ReStore and the expanding home building program. In 2014, he became the Volunteer Coordinator and in 2015 he was promoted to Operations Manager.


Sheehan said, "I've gotten to serve in and learn almost every wing of the organization over the last five years and to watch us grow from building homes to building neighborhoods. I'm excited by the opportunity to have an expanded role as Chief Operating Officer and help more families to find the strength and stability from homeownership that I was so fortunate to experience growing up."