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Habitat names new CEO (Monterey Herald)

Updated: Feb 6, 2020

Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay names new CEO

Satish Rishi will helm the nonprofit which builds affordable homes and provides home ownership opportunities

Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay’s volunteers and families together have built 54 homes with more planned. (Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay)

By JAMES HERRERA | | Monterey Herald

PUBLISHED: January 27, 2020 at 2:56 pm | UPDATED: January 27, 2020 at 2:57 pm

MONTEREY – Eyeing a goal to expand capacity by increasing the number of affordable homes Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay builds in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, the nonprofit’s new CEO is ready to lead it into 2020.

“Our communities deserve safe, decent, affordable housing, and they need it today, not ten years from now,” said Satish Rishi, recently selected to helm the nonprofit. “I’m excited to lead Habitat Monterey Bay into a new phase of growth and increased housing production.”

Rishi joined the Habitat for Humanity team in early December 2019 after finishing a career working in finance for technology companies throughout the United States.

“I’ve lived in the (San Francisco) Bay Area for about three decades and moved to the Santa Cruz area about three years ago,” said Rishi. “Before becoming the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay, I volunteered with several nonprofits, both as a volunteer and also as a board member.”

Rishi last worked as the chief financial officer for Rambus and Toppan Photomasks and also held senior management positions at Dell Inc. and Intel Corporation. Rishi also served as a board member for various technology companies and non-profit organizations.

Rishi retired from Rambus in August, 2016 after serving as senior vice president of finance and CFO of the multi-million dollar company for 10 years, and supervised a 50-person global staff. He was named “CFO of the Year” by Silicon Valley Business Journal later that year.

“Having executive-level finance leadership roles gave me a good foundation for nonprofit management, since many nonprofits work hard to make big impacts with small budgets,” said the new CEO. “I was lucky to inherit a great team of people who are experts in building affordable housing and have been hard at work for many years in the Monterey Bay region.”

Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay is an independent locally operated and funded affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Its mission is to build decent, affordable homes and provide home ownership opportunities to qualified families who live and work in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

Rishi said this region is fortunate to have so many compassionate and giving people, and in addition to the generous donors who support the nonprofit’s mission, it also relies on partnerships with local cities and counties.

“Habitat for Humanity is one of the few nonprofit developers building for-sale affordable homes in our region,” said David Foster, former Habitat CEO and current Seaside housing program manager. “Whether it’s traditional single family homes or accessory dwelling units, Habitat is truly an asset for the entire Monterey Bay region.”

Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay serves both Monterey and Santa Cruz counties building homes sold to families earning no more than 80% of the area median income, well below market price, through volunteer labor, homebuyer sweat equity, charitable gifts, grants, and donations.

The nonprofit will soon finish building the last of seven homes on Los Esteros Court in Live Oak, with plans to build 11 more elsewhere in Live Oak in early 2020. Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay is currently working with the city of Watsonville on an upcoming project with eleven homes there as well. In Monterey County, Habitat has partnered with the city of Salinas to become a Community Housing Development Organization and with the city of Seaside to build accessory dwelling units.

“In Salinas, our (Community Housing Development Organization) designation makes us eligible to access special grant funds the city receives, and the city’s vision for the Alisal Vibrancy Plan is really exciting,” said Rishi. “We are in discussions with the city of Seaside to work together on building some accessory dwelling units.”

Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay’s volunteers and families together have built 54 homes with more planned.

According to the Habitat for Humanity International 2018 annual report, 22 million people have secured new or improved housing through the organization since it was founded in 1976.

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