If you’d asked ORIX USA Director of Financial Planning and Analysis Slade Ashmore three years ago about Habitat for Humanity, his response would have been limited to what he’d heard from casual conversations or what he’d seen on TV. That all changed when a co-worker asked him to take his place on the board for the Trinity Habitat for Humanity in Fort Worth as the financial resource on the audit committee.
Flash forward to present day: Slade has three years as board member under his belt and is enthusiastic about helping the 40-year-old non-profit address the issue of poverty housing in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat is a leading global nonprofit working in roughly 1,400 communities throughout the U.S. and nearly 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of housing partner with Habitat to build or improve a place they can call home. Alongside volunteers, homeowners help build their own houses and pay an affordable mortgage—usually around $450 each month, including homeowners insurance and property taxes.
The cause is one that resonates among ORIX employees-both John Haley, Associate Director for ORIX Mezzanine & Private Equity, and Database Administrator Kate Alexander have been volunteering with Habitat since college.
As an undergrad at the University of Virginia, John was introduced to Habitat at a volunteer fair. His thinking: Building houses would be a fun diversion from studying. What he didn’t realize, though, is that he’d become hooked, and soon volunteering with Habitat became a regular activity. “At first, it was just something different and fun to do, but as my exposure to the organization grew, so did my appreciation of the organization’s business model and its impact on the community.”
A four-year ORIX USA employee, John is responsible for the analysis of potential portfolio investments and ongoing oversight and analysis of existing portfolio companies. When he’s not working or volunteering, you might find him running, cheering on the Dallas Stars or playing poker.
For Kate, the opportunity to work with her hands is what drew her to Habitat. Her grandfather and great-grandfather were carpenters and taught her about building things. While studying at the University of Texas at Arlington, she learned about Habitat through the Wesley Foundation and volunteered for a day—that was 14 years, and her fondness for the nonprofit hasn’t dwindled. “At the end of the day, you can step back and say ‘I did that,’” Kate said.
Kate joined ORIX about six years ago as a Microsoft Database Administrator. A native of Irving, Kate has a 14-month-old daughter and enjoys attending auto shows, as well as ride-and-drive events, with her husband.
For these three employees, volunteering with Habitat has opened their eyes to the work that goes into building a home and the impact the organization makes on the community and the families.