HBF Selects New Executive Director

Brenda Ketah, HBF Project Manager, has been tapped to replace current Executive Director Ken Cowdery who is retiring in early January. “Brenda possess the skills and passion to be a strong leader. We are excited to see where she takes the HBF and the board looks forward to supporting Brenda in her new role.” explains HBF Board President Jason Behunin.

The HBF board took considerable time making this choice because they wanted the best person to assume leadership of an important and growing organization. “Brenda survived a six week search process that included many strong, outside candidates.” says HBA CEO Dave Nielsen. “She proved she was the right fit to take over the as the Executive Director.”

Brenda started with the HBF as a part-time Executive Assistant in 2011 and advanced to Project Manager five years ago. She is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Foundation’s shelter development projects, organizing volunteer opportunities for HBA members, and managing the HBF scholarship program. “I’m glad we not only found a great person to take over for Ken upon his retirement, but also that it came from within our current staff team,” said Dave Nielsen.

“We have grown tremendously over the past six years.” explains Ken Cowdery. “Brenda did a remarkable job managing increasingly larger and more complex construction and renovation projects.” As Dave Nielsen also notes “She understands the connections and need for a higher profile between our Foundation’s mission and the HBA’s overall strategic goals related to housing.” The HBF has been successful in highlighting how rising system development charges and other fees effect the cost of not only shelter construction but all types of housing. The Foundation has also generated goodwill for the HBA among area elected officials who are grateful for the volunteer efforts of local builders to create safe, dignified shelter for those most in need in their communities.

Next year promises to be an exciting and productive year for HBF as it completes two of its largest construction projects, including the new Clackamas Women’s Services domestic violence shelter, and the Dorothy Lemelson House and New Meadows Program transitional living house for youth at-risk of homelessness leaving Oregon’s foster care system. Other projects in the planning stages are in Tigard, Beaverton, and Hillsboro. It is hoped that the shelter project in Hillsboro would coincide with the 2018 Street of Dreams, also in Hillsboro, to showcase to a broad audience how the residential building industry gives back to the community.