Helen Lehman – Executive Director

Executive Director of New Development since 2001, Helen loves housing. She works with paid contractors, realtors, appraisers and volunteers to acquire, rehab and sell houses to eager homeowners. Prior to that she worked for the Creston Neighborhood Association, the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and as a consultant.
A graduate of Aquinas College, Helen hails originally from Cadillac.  She is a volunteer for Catherine’s Health Center and is on the Policy Committee for the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan.  Helen spends free time with husband James and their assorted critters – a dog, cat, grandson Harvey  and multiple chickens.

Get to know Helen:

What do you actually do all day?
No two days are alike, but I generally work with our team – contractors, grantors, neighbors – to acquire and build affordable housing.

What is the best part of your job?
Going to the closing table and handing someone keys to their first house. It gives me goosebumps every time!

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I would clone previously adored pets and people so that I could spend time with them again.

What does “Home” mean to you?
Even though I have been gone from Cadillac, Michigan for nearly 40 years now, it still means “home.” Robert Frost wrote that “Home is the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in.”

If your house could talk, what would it say to you?
“PLEASE, fill the nail holes in my trim and finish the final coat of paint”

If you could have dinner with any community activist, past or present, who would it be? What would you ask him or her?
I would want to sit down with Barack Obama, but I would invite Eleanor Roosevelt to join us. I think she would join me in asking him what he intends to do in his next chapter of leadership.