Habitat's Executive Director Announces Retirement

Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland’s Executive Director, Chip Willis, will move into retirement after two years with the organization in order to continue caring for Tricia, a stroke survivor.


“We appreciate Chip and what he has done for Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland over the last two years,” said Keith Barrett, President of the Board of Directors. “We are sad to see Chip step down but we always have to put our family ahead of our work and we understand his need to step into retirement and to put his family’s needs at the forefront.”

Willis has been involved with Habitat for Humanity for two years. Willis previously held the position of Executive Director for Lighthouse of Manasota, a nonprofit agency serving blind and visually impaired people of all ages in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, DeSota and Highland counties. After years of working for many for-profit businesses, Willis decided to take his experience in strategic planning, budgeting and financial management to an organization that transforms people’s lives.

During his time with Habitat of Cleveland, Willis worked closely with Verrill Norwood, Jeff Morelock and other board members to continue Habitat’s connection with the Bradley County community. Willis also brought in grants from Wacker to purchase a new truck, Home Depot to repair a home for a local veteran and the Johnson Family Foundation for the completion of the Stafford family home. He also carried on the fundraising efforts of the Women Build and Hard Hats and Heels fundraising initiatives. Habitat of Cleveland also received a United Way grant for the financial literacy program, Be Smart about Money, which will begin a second set of classes in August. Through Willis’s hard work and the community’s involvement, seven new builds were completed and 12 homes were repaired during Willis’s tenure at Habitat.

“It is with mixed emotions that I am retiring from Habitat,” said Willis. “I have been honored to serve as executive director for the last two years and I am proud of the growth the affiliate has experienced over that time. Working with the staff, volunteers and the Bradley County community has been the highlight of my career. However, I am finding it increasingly difficult to properly care for Tricia and devote the time needed to continue growing Habitat of Cleveland. The affiliate has excellent momentum and the next Executive Director will have the opportunity to continue the good work being done in the community,” he said.

Willis will begin his retirement at the end of September. The Board of Directors is in the process of choosing a new executive director.

Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build and repair homes, communities and hope.