After a four-month national search that attracted more than 200 applicants, Our Towns Habitat for Humanity has named Chris Ahearn as its new chief executive officer. Ahearn, a longtime Habitat supporter and volunteer, brings more than 20 years of communication and corporate leadership experience to the organization.
Ahearn worked for Lowe’s Companies for more than 17 years in corporate communications and community relations, and served most recently as vice president of public affairs. Prior to her work with Lowe’s, Ahearn served as the director of corporate communications and public affairs for Food Lion in Salisbury. Early in her career, she worked in broadcast journalism, as a reporter and anchor for KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City and WLUK-TV in Green Bay.
Ahearn has a deep familiarity with Habitat for Humanity and its mission to build decent, affordable housing. She helped encourage and facilitate a partnership between Lowe’s and Habitat during her tenure with the company. She is particularly passionate about the Women Build initiative, which Lowe’s undertook as underwriter of the program. Ahearn has also personally been volunteering on Habitat builds for nearly 20 years, with Our Towns Habitat and on various builds across the country.
“Chris’ resume is extensive, but it is her decades of volunteer work with Habitat, her church and other philanthropic groups that speaks volumes about what fulfills and aligns with her greater purpose,” said Scottt Lagueux, president of Our Towns Habitat’s board of directors. “I know she will bring great energy and enthusiasm to her new role at Our Towns Habitat.”
After swinging hammers for Habitat for two decades, Ahearn is excited to put a different set of skills to work building affordable homes.
“I look forward to taking my volunteer experience and longtime passion for Habitat’s mission to a new level as leader of the Our Towns Habitat team,” Ahearn said.
In appointing Ahearn as the new CEO, the board also voted to elevate Director of Operations Denise Copeland to senior affiliate director. Copeland has served as interim director since September, when former Executive Director Jeff Porter resigned to accept a position with Samaritan’s Purse.
“Denise has done an extraordinary job over the past two years keeping the many working parts of the affiliate running in good order,” Lagueux said.