Chris Hune is the Major Accounts Manager in the Technologies Division of Team Fishel, a national utility contractor providing Engineering, Construction, Network Installation and Maintenance services in 32 states. Chris has worked for the company since 1995. Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Organizational Communication from Otterbein College. She is a long time civic activist and has held board positions for many organizations including Junior League of Columbus, Women’s Board of the Columbus Museum of Art, Women’s Board and Directors Council of the Franklin Park Conservatory, LeaderSpark, The German Village Society and The German Village Garten Club. Other membership/activities include Leadership Columbus, Women’s Fund of Central Ohio. On Jan. 1 she became the Board chair of Homeport.
You take over as Homeport Board Chair simultaneous with the organization’s first search in 16 years for a Chief Executive Officer. Please share your thoughts about outgoing President/CEO Amy Klaben, and what will be your guiding principle in finding her successor?
For the past 16 years Amy has championed the topic of affordable housing and made huge strides advocating in our community to create awareness for this very important issue. As we search to find her successor, we will be looking for the same passion and vision that Amy has brought to Homeport during her tenure.
You joined the Homeport Board in 2013. What attracted you to the organization, and why are you passionate about the Homeport mission?
It was during a discussion with my friend and past board president Lynn Elliott that I discovered Homeport and its mission. I was completely aligned from the beginning of our initial conversation.
It is my belief that every person is entitled to live with dignity in a safe environment. Families should have the ability to thrive not just survive. Homeport has been very successful in providing the services that not only provide a roof and four walls but the tools that will help them out of the path of poverty and into opportunity.
What would you tell a friend who was considering getting involved with Homeport as a donor or volunteer?
Take a tour of our communities, see firsthand what Homeport provides, and you’ll be hooked. I have personally witnessed the impact these tours have on those who have taken the time to see what we do and what we provide. No one walks away without a profound understanding of the need and the challenges faced by our residents and a strong urge to become involved.
What do you feel is the most critical aspect of affordable housing in Columbus and Central Ohio?
As with any important social issue it’s always funding. The need for affordable housing is significant in our community and around the nation. While at present Homeport is serving approximately 5,700 Central Ohio residents, the need is nearly 10 times as great for safe, sustainable housing and services. Lower income residents can spend up to 50 per cent of their monthly income on rent, leaving little for food, healthcare, transportation and childcare. The cycle of poverty for those not currently served sees no end until they can receive the proper resources.
The newly formed Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio has a goal of adding 27,000 affordable homes in the next 10 years. Homeport is proud to be a part of this collective and impassioned group of non-profit organizations committed to raising awareness and working with our public and private partners to achieve that goal.