Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota Hires Cristen Incitti as Executive Director
State Habitat for Humanity support organization looks to the future of Habitat across Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN – Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota is pleased to announce that Cristen Incitti has been selected as the organization’s new Executive Director. In this role, Cristen will lead the Habitat Minnesota team toward achieving their mission of serving, advocating for, and advancing the work of Minnesota’s Habitat affiliates in order to create and preserve more affordable homeownership opportunities for families and communities. Cristen comes to the position with a wealth of housing and nonprofit experience.
Prior to joining Habitat Minnesota, Cristen spent more than a decade working in the fields of nonprofit management and higher education. She held leadership positions with the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin–Badgerland Council as Chief Operating Officer and as the Senior Director of Programs and Services at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, the local Habitat affiliate that builds and repairs homes in the metro area. During her eight years at Twin Cities Habitat, she played a key role in developing new programs designed to help families access homeownership and build assets. Her work included developing and implementing a new affordable mortgage product, growing strategic partnerships in the Twin Cities to reach new demographics and communities, and launching an internal effort to create a more culturally competent and equitable organization. “Cristen brings an unbeatable combination of passion, strategic thinking, and on-the-ground experience to her new role as Executive Director of Habitat Minnesota,” said Chris Coleman, President and CEO of Twin Cities Habitat. “She played an integral role in developing and expanding our affiliate’s programs with a focus on racial equity.” Cristen also spent several years leading community service and student leadership development at The Ohio State University and new student orientation programs at Northern Kentucky University.
In addition to her work, Cristen has served on various nonprofit and community boards, including serving as a Board member with Minnesota Housing Partnership and the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District Education Foundation, and participated in leadership development programs, completing Leadership Greater Madison, Leadership Twin Cities, and the YWCA Racial Justice Training & Certificate Program. Cristen holds a Master of Arts in Higher Education from The Ohio State University and has led Habitat Global Village trips to Ethiopia, Costa Rica, and Mozambique.
“I am honored to become the next Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota and look forward to building upon the strong foundation Habitat Minnesota has in serving and supporting affiliates throughout the state,” said Cristen. “With the statewide momentum in affordable housing and the incredible leadership throughout the twenty-eight Habitat affiliates, the future is bright, and I am excited to see what we are going to do together so more families can buy a home affordably in their community.”
Cristen’s official start date is January 6, 2020. After that date, she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nichol Beckstrand, chair of Habitat Minnesota’s Board of Directors, shared her enthusiasm for the hire. “I am very excited for Cristen Incitti to join Habitat Minnesota as the new executive director. This means coming back to her roots and love for Habitat and Minnesota. Habitat Minnesota seeks to serve the twenty-eight affiliates across Minnesota, and Cristen has the mindset and capabilities to make this happen.”
The search for Habitat Minnesota’s executive director was extensive and took the hard work of many people. Habitat Minnesota’s board formed a search committee, comprised of board members Julie Gugin (chair), Cathy Lawrence, Mike Haley, Deb Flannery, Pat Heydon, and Kevin Pelkey. Said Nichol, “I’d also like to thank the Habitat Minnesota search committee who did an outstanding job in performing the search and selecting such a valuable candidate.”
Along with his position on the board and search committee, Kevin Pelkey has led Lakes Area Habitat (Brainerd, MN) for over twenty-five years. “Among the many things I’m excited that Cristen brings to the table, the fact that she is motivated by the mission and has a long history with the mission rises to the top,” said Kevin. “She also brings a sharp focus on building sustainability and a drive to expand statewide advocacy efforts. I believe Cristen will fit the culture of the current Habitat Minnesota staff and provide the supportive leadership to allow staff to grow into their full potential. Habitat Minnesota is very lucky to find a candidate like Cristen to lead long into the future.”
Habitat Minnesota was created in October 1997 by the Minnesota Habitat offices it serves for the initial purpose of applying for funding and providing funders with a single contact for distributing resources. At the time Habitat Minnesota was created, Minnesota’s Habitat affiliates were building homes at the rate of 70 per year. Since that time, Habitat Minnesota has added a range of programs to support these affiliates. Habitat Minnesota has helped Habitat affiliates by providing funding, financing, and resources totaling over $90 million, enabling Habitat affiliates in Minnesota to now serve hundreds of families each year. In addition to funding, Habitat Minnesota provides training and technical assistance in a full range of areas where affiliates need support.
About Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota
Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota, Inc., is a statewide resource development and support organization that serves, advocates for, and advances the work of Minnesota’s twenty-eight Habitat for Humanity affiliates to build simple, decent, affordable housing in partnership with people in need. Habitat Minnesota provides a full range of support to Minnesota affiliates in creating affordable housing solutions with hundreds of families yearly through new home construction, A Brush with Kindness, and critical repair programs. For more information, visit hfhmn.org.