2016 Habby Award Winners
Habitat NYC's Habby Awards recognize outstanding volunteers and their exceptional service. Each year, thousands of individuals contribute their time and energy to support Habitat’s mission - and each year, we are fortunate to have a number of standouts that go above and beyond in their efforts to build homes and hope.
This year, we are privileged to honor the following individuals and their contributions to Habitat for Humanity NYC.
Outstanding Queens Volunteer - Paul Manson
Paul is a Habitat NYC Crew Leader whose dedication to volunteering has impacted countless lives. He began his volunteer work after witnessing the massive levels of destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. Jumping straight into action, Paul first volunteered in Breezy Point and has since spent time doing repair work in the Rockaways, Staten Island, Coney Island, and his current site of choice, Queens.
As a retired school teacher, Paul has the patience and skills necessary to work with volunteers, AmeriCorps, and site staff from all walks of life. He has completed work on over a dozen houses with Habitat NYC and we cannot thank him enough for all he’s contributed.
Outstanding Staten Island Volunteer - Christine Francis
Christine was not avilable to come to the Habbys this year, so her sister Marian accepted the award in her honor.
Christine started volunteering in Staten Island in January and has been a superstar volunteer ever since. The journey to Staten Island is not a short one but that never deterred her from volunteering multiple days per week. As a regular on site, Christine had no problem staying late to finish up a task or assisting with prep days. She could be relied on and was known for always going above and beyond. Christine was a vital part of the Staten Island team and we thank her for all she’s done and will do in future.
Outstanding Brooklyn Volunteer - Victoria Trentacoste
Victoria began her journey with Habitat as a way to learn about construction and meet new people. As she continued to volunteer, however, she found deeper meaning in her work. In addition to learning tactile skills such as how to lay floor tile and hang drywall, she also now knows the power of giving back and all the good that can come out of it. Her dedication to improving the lives of homeowners keeps her coming back again and again. In the short time she has been volunteering with us, Victoria has already contributed so much. Not only in terms of construction work, but in the energy and positivity she brings to site.
Outstanding Brush with Kindness Volunteer - Jonathan Kong
Jonathan has been volunteering since January 2015. One of BWK's most dedicated volunteers, he comes out every week and is always armed with snacks for everyone and lots of energy. He engages everyone on site with fun questions or riddles that help pass the time when painting becomes a bit tedious and most importantly, he will do anything that is needed to get the job done. He is a delight to have on site.
Outstanding Cornerstone Volunteer - Blair Lichter
Blair started off volunteering with Habitat at our Queens construction site and at Brush with Kindness last year. Blair had previous experience in Real Estate Law and wanted to put her skills to better use so she started volunteering in the office with the Real Estate and Construction Department. Blair was instrumental in planning, executing, and closing the construction of Queens Phase I. Blair’s passion for helping others and tireless work ethic helped house one family on Staten Island and twelve families in southeast Queens.
Outstanding Habitat NYC ReStore Volunteer - Diego Mora
Diego started volunteering at the ReStore in December of 2015 and has volunteered close to 150 hours since. Diego had just moved to New York after getting married and was looking for a way to keep busy while he was on the job search. He decided he would spend a few days out of the week volunteering for the ReStore in the meantime. Right away, everybody loved Diego, as his positive attitude was contagious to not only the staff, but to our volunteers and customers as well. The Restore team will miss him deeply, as he’s recently found employment for which we are so happy for him. We are pleased to present Diego Mora with the Outstanding ReStore Volunteer for the amazing time he gave to the ReStore.
Beyond Sweat Equity - Shaun Featherstone
Shaun Featherstone became a Family Partner along with his mother, Yolanda, sister, Sidney and brother Skylar in early September 2014. The whole family continued to volunteer their time on the construction site of their future home on Staten Island as well as Habitat’s other build sites while after they completed the required 500 hours of Sweat Equity in March of 2015. They were all also very generous with their time whenever they were asked to participate in any development, outreach our media event. They took part in the Beyond the Dream MLK Build event in February 2015 and they were the central family during our Homes for the Holidays event this past December.
Shaun would regularly come into the office to help out the Family Services department while completing Sweat Equity. After I informed the Featherstone family that they had completed their requirement, Shaun continued to come into the office. Shaun was a tireless worker, rarely taking breaks. He would say yes to anything and everything we asked him to do. When I told Ms. Featherstone that Shaun shouldn’t feel obligated to continue helping us out, she responded “Shaun says there is a lot more work to do!” Aside from this work ethic, Shaun is an all-around great guy and has been a pleasure to work with.
Campus Chapter – City College New York
The City College of New York Campus Chapter is receiving the Outstanding Campus Chapter Award. The CCNY Campus Chapter has been an outstanding youth partner of ours in the past several years. In the past 2 years, the chapter has donated over $9,000 to support our mission, provided us with over 60 volunteers, educated their student body on our mission and engaged hundreds of students in our advocacy initiatives. The student leaders of the CCNY Campus Chapter have proven to be exceptional youth individuals in Habitat NYC’s Emerging Leader Program. Thank you to Lisa, Saahil, Boeun and Mohammad for leading the CCNY Campus Chapter through such a successful year!
Outstanding Faith Partner - Grace Church
Grace Church in New York City is both an old and new partner. The church helped Habitat NYC over thirty years ago when we were just starting our work and has recently rejoined us to propel us to a new level of service to our city. As we seek to build more homes than ever before, Grace Church has committed to providing much of the volunteer and financial resources needed to fully gut and transform a home in St. Albans, Queens. Grace Church's generosity and commitment to Habitat has inspired great faith in other partners of ours who would like to follow in Grace church's generous footsteps. It is with great honor that we give Grace Church the 2016 Faith Partner Award. Accepting the award for Grace Church in New York is Outreach Comittee Chair Jason Slibeck.
Outstanding Veterans Group - Team Rubicon
Our Veterans Group award winner is Team Rubicon Region II. Team Rubicon is a nonprofit organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to deploy emergency response teams all over the world. Because of the work they do, our TR Region II volunteers are always enthusiastic and knowledgeable on site. Through their 300 hours of service this year, they have helped us build single family homes and repair homes damaged by Super Storm Sandy. We always look forward to hearing their stories and becoming a part of their comradery. We appreciate their hard work and dedication, and look forward to a continued partnership. Accepting the award are Paul and Todd from Team Rubicon.
Outstanding Corporate Partner - Tradeweb
Tradeweb has been a partner with us since 2011, as both a Legacy ($100,000) and Keystone ($75,000) sponsor. They have also sponsored our Gala’s since the start of their partnership. Tradeweb volunteers have worked across all of our sites; this past year they volunteered at the Jacob Riis Community Center with BWK, 99th Avenue in Queens, and 3 Maple Terrace in Staten Island. It’s always an enjoyable experience to have Tradweb on site, as their employees are eager to work and always get the job done efficiently and with a great attitude. It is my pleasure to present the Outstanding Corporate Partner Award to Tradeweb.
Service Award - Luca Bertani
Luca Bertani is receiving the Service Award for volunteering over 230 hours on our Brooklyn construction site. Luca was a tremendous asset to the Brooklyn team, as he volunteered 3 days a week and was always eager to take on any task given to him. We appreciate Luca’s choice to spend his free time to give back to his community and make such a positive difference in the lives of not only the homeowners but with that of the Habitat staff.
Outstanding Community Partner - Hope for New York
Hope for New York brings people together from multiple churches, communities and locations across the city to transforms lives and communities with Habitat NYC. Since 2001, Hope for New York has invested thousands of hours in Habitat home building and community revitalization work across all five boroughs. It is said that we become the people with whom we keep company. This certainly applies to Habitat NYC--we have served more lives, repaired more homes and restored more communities thanks to your partnership with us. We are humbled and honored to give Hope for New York the 2016 Community Partner Award.
Lifetime Achievement Award - Alex Liberatore
A dedicated volunteer in our Habitat office for over 10 years, Alex Liberatore is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. Alex has been of tremendous support to our development team, helping to collect donor data and correspond with contributors. We will miss Alex’s humor and sunny disposition, as Alex and his wife are planning on moving to New Jersey in the upcoming months.
Habitat for Humanity New York City transforms lives by building quality homes with families in need and by uniting all New Yorkers around the cause of affordable housing.