How did you end up in Columbus?
I moved to Americus to work at Habitat International in 2007 and my position had me traveling regularly to affiliates across the country. While I loved the travel, as I visited the many Habitat offices, I realized that that's where I belonged.
I began my love for Habitat at an affiliate in Michigan in 1998 and wanted to get back to where all the action was. This new position brought me here.
You have a lot of experience with Habitat for Humanity. How will that help you in your role in Columbus?
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Habitat for Humanity has its basic core of beliefs and practices that I have seen in action firsthand throughout the world. We continue to grow and evolve and sometimes change is welcome, but it can also be challenging to keep grounded with our mission. I feel I can offer guidance with acceptance of new practices, while teaching and reminding those involved of what our purpose really is.
What is your vision for the Columbus Habitat for Humanity affiliate?
As Columbus Area Habitat approaches its 30th year, I look forward to celebrating this milestone with revitalization of our existing role in the community.
A favorite aspect of mine about Habitat is the diversity of those involved. It's not every day that our volunteers, donors or partner families would ordinarily interact and work together. I would like to grow the involvement of those in the Columbus area and create new relationships so that we can increase our ability to provide better housing for those in need.
What have you found most interesting about Columbus in your first few months here?
I find it interesting that so many neighborhoods have names to them. I grew up in a diverse ethnic area and nationalities determined many neighborhoods. Then I lived in small, rural cities, so you either were country folk or city folk. I like the names in Columbus.
What is the best-kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?
It could be the river, I have truly enjoyed whitewater rafting and dragon boat racing on the Chattahoochee.
Louise Linenfelser Hurless
Job: Executive Director, Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity
Hometown: Wyandotte, Mich.
Current home: Leslie, Ga.
Family: Son, Justin; daughter, Hilary, and future (this month!) son-in-law, Scott.
Education: B.S. Human Services, Lake Superior State University
Favorite book: Oh, I have too many, but the most recent is "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford about the love and friendship between Henry Lee, a Chinese American boy, and Keiko Okabe, a Japanese American girl, during the internment in World War II.
Favorite movie: "Lilies of the Field"
Favorite restaurant: The Majestic Café in Porto, Portugal
Favorite quote: "The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be of one's appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship." -- Amelia Earhart
Best concert attended: An outdoor concert with Harry Chapin, and when it was done, four of us sat at a picnic table and talked with him.