Mike Clurman, Chair of our Board of Directors died a few weeks ago after a long struggle with cancer.  Mike was enormously enthusiastic and inquisitive about Habitat for Humanity.  I was very impressed with Mike’s long career and senior leadership responsibilities at the Washington Post.

I immediately felt that we were aligned because, like Mike, I worked for many years in the printing industry, had a long career in business, and served in the Marine Corps.  We both had the experience of attending one of Harvard Business School’s programs on Leadership.

Mike’s interest in every aspect of Habitat was fantastic.  He joined the Family Services Committee, working with our staff on family selection, financial education, and preparation for homeownership.

Mike’s enthusiasm and positive attitude was very uplifting to me and our staff.  Mike’s great sense of humor and lightheartedness is how I remember every meeting he attended.  Mike would always say “Habitat is doing real work.”  His encouraging words made us feel great.

Of course, someone with Mike’s vast business background and “people skills” does not come along every day.  I was thrilled when Mike agreed to join the Board of Directors.  Mike had a fabulous way of framing issues and making a point in a non-threatening way.  During Mike’s tenure a Board Chair, he recruited several high-level professionals to join the board, conducted a board retreat, and led the completion of a five year strategic plan.

Under Mike’s board leadership, we successfully launched the building of single family Universal Design homes and increased our repair and weatherization program to over 80 projects each year.

Mike was very enthusiastic about the success of our ReStore business and our ability to increase net proceeds that support our mission of making affordable home ownership for low to moderate income families. 

Several years ago, Mike and his brother Dan, joined me on a Global Village Trip to build homes in El Salvador.  It was a real treat to share that experience together.

The foundation for our success was laid when Mike joined the board and provided the encouragement to forge ahead.  Mike made a positive impact on the lives of all of us who know him.

To read more about Mike’s career with the Washington Post click here.