It is our sad duty to report that Jerry Franitza, previously Habitat’s Construction Director, is moving into retirement. The staff and regular volunteers at Habitat for Humanity are very sad he is moving out of a staff role, however, we are happy to report that he has agreed to return as a volunteer! Jerry first became involved with Habitat for Humanity in 1996. He was employed at Eaton Corporation at the time and volunteered to take on a project supervising volunteers installing siding on a Habitat home. During his time volunteering, he secured a $25,000 grant to build a Habitat home and led employees in building the home in Fitzgerald Village. He continued volunteering until when he accepted the position as Construction Director in 2002. During this time, Jerry worked closely with the late Bob Sain and the late Jim Tucker to build two homes per year.
“Wow, it’s hard to imagine it has been 14 years since becoming the Construction Director,” said Jerry. “They say time flies if you are having fun.” During those 14 years and with the support of so many volunteers, Jerry has been involved in building about 100 homes. “I’ve been a part of building homes in Fitzgerald Village, homes on Howard Circle, Crestview Drive, 6th Street, 8th Street, Century Village, Victory Cove and now Southgate Hills. Habitat’s supporters, employees and relentless volunteers can proudly say that we are family and have made and will continue to make a difference in Bradley County,” he said.
Jerry’s wife, Carolyn, is also involved with Habitat as the Secretary on the Board of Directors, serves on the Family Selection Committee, the Leadership Planning Team of Habitat and has also volunteered on Women Build teams. “I can remember one day she was on-site and I handed her a pneumatic nail gun to do some framing,” said Jerry. “When she pulled the trigger I thought she was going to jump out of her shoes. Scared the heck out of her and I will never forget that day!”
“I’m happy to be working with Jerry during this transition phase of his retirement,” said Tyler Bramlett, incoming Construction Director for Habitat. “He has done many great things for Habitat, and I look forward to building on the foundation that he has laid.” From Habitat’s staff, volunteers, donors and supporters: we are so grateful for your devotion, wisdom, leadership, and so thankful you have given of your life and talents to fulfill the mission of Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland.