For Immediate Release
Media Inquiries: Roger van Oosten
August 31, 2012
Kirk Utzinger Named CEO of New Habitat for Humanity King
Will Oversee All Habitat for Humanity Operations in King County
SEATTLE – The boards of directors of Habitat for Humanity of Seattle/South King County and East King County announced today that Kirk Utzinger, former executive director of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, PA, has been unanimously selected to become chief executive officer when the two affiliates finalize their merger.
In June 2012, the Habitat for Humanity affiliates of Seattle/South King County and East King County agreed to move forward with a merger plan to create a single affiliate serving all of King County. The merger will be finalized within the next 90 days.
“I am honored to become the CEO of the new Habitat for Humanity affiliate serving all of King County,” said Utzinger. “King County is the 14th most populous county in the nation, with a great diversity of businesses, geography and people. As the county continues to grow, the need for affordable housing and workforce housing for low-income families is critical to maintain a healthy, successful lifestyle for all the county’s citizens. I believe a single King County affiliate will be the leader in providing affordable housing and safe, sustainable neighborhoods throughout the county. I can’t wait to get started.”
Utzinger will begin his new position on September 17, 2012. Immediately, he will be overseeing existing Habitat for Humanity programs, including planning new projects. He also will be working with staff, volunteers, donors, government agencies, and leading non-profits in the housing sector to further develop more effective ways to increase affordable housing opportunities throughout King County.
“With more than two decades of philanthropic executive experience leading both national and regional organizations, Kirk is the right person to be CEO of, what will be, one of the largest Habitat affiliates in the country,” said Frank Perry, chairman of the board’s search committee. “This is an exciting time for Habitat’s critical operations in King County and the boards look forward to working with Kirk.”
Most recently, Utzinger served as executive director of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he served in executive positions with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Oregon; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Arizona; Boys Hope Girls Hope of Arizona; The Christmas House, an inner city applied music program for at-risk children; and The Mesa Symphony Orchestra.
Utzinger also has diverse for-profit management experience, having worked with The Pillsbury Company and Merrill Lynch. He holds an M. S. degree in Public Programs – Non-profit Management, a Graduate Certificate of Non-profit Leadership and Management from Arizona State University, and undergraduate degrees in Music - Violin Performance from Arizona State University and Recreation Administration from Montana State University. Utzinger, and his wife Kellie have two sons, Kole, 13 and Karson, 11.
Habitat for Humanity of Seattle was founded in 1986 and merged with the South King County affiliate in 2003. The East King County affiliate was founded in 1988.