Meet our Board
Seven years ago when Mark Baldwin moved to Sunriver he was finally looking at retirement and a sunny place to live after leaving Portland. He had been with the Lennox Corporation in sales and marketing and considered himself a people person. His full time retirement was short-lived when he started to become a part of his new home in the Sunriver area. It was not too long before the friends he was making introduced him to an organization that he would come to take very seriously.
As Baldwin learned more and more about the Habitat organization, his feelings about Habitat for Humanity- the motto of ‘offering a hand up, not a hand-out’, made perfect sense to Baldwin and he decided to get involved. Five years ago he joined the board of Directors with Newberry Habitat. He has been involved with all of the events, activities and the builds for those years and it has made him think about the possibility of building a habitat home for veterans. Baldwin believes there is a real need to create housing for local vets. “It is my dream to build a permanent home for these men and women who served to protect us,” Baldwin explained. But this is not all of what Baldwin has been up to since coming on board!
When he first started, Baldwin was on a Committee with local United Way chairman, John Salzer, (Note: Salzer’s wife is part of the Habitat Board, as well,) to establish a ReStore in south Deschutes County. When they found a location the board moved forward under Salzer’s committee recommendations and leadership and it resulted in the retail location in North La Pine. The ReStore is a place to shop, to donate and to volunteer and it has been increasingly successful over the past few years, so much so, that the Newberry Habitat has just kicked off a capital campaign to pay off the mortgage on the ReStore that would free up additional funds to be used to pay for a new house every year for a Habitat family- maybe a Habitat Veteran!
Baldwin has been a busy contributor to the Board for these past five years. He was recently at the groundbreaking for the latest Habitat home in Terry Park. He and his friend John Salzer both were excited about the newest addition to the Habitat families in La Pine.
“My wife and I do shop at the ReStore and we enjoy our kitchen additions,” Baldwin continued. “I find it very gratifying to be part of the Newberry Habitat for Humanity and have made many wonderful- and involved- friends.”
Mr. Baldwin and his wife will continue to work towards the goal of building community by building homes with the local affiliate, Newberry Habitat for Humanity. Mark invites you to make donations to the ReStore and volunteer at the store or at one of the builds to gain a better perspective about what Habitat can do for the local community. “Just call the main office in Sunriver 541-593-5005 to get information on how to make a big difference!”
Gloria Byrd Comes to Oregon and ends up serving as Secretary on Newberry Habitat Board
Driving across country to start a new life was the beginning of Gloria Byrd becoming part of the Newberry Habitat Board of Directors. It isn’t quite that straightforward, but after Gloria decided that the Sunriver area was where she wanted to be, everything started to fall into place like she was destined to be here! Here is her story:
Gloria moved to the area seven years ago from the Annapolis area. She settled herself in the woods she had grown to love over the years and made a home for herself. Five years ago, one of her close new friends asked her to think about being part of Newberry Habitat. She showed up at an appointment to get information about the Habitat organization and ended up being interviewed by past President, Barbara Wade, and former Executive Director, Randy Heiss. She was in!
Gloria and her friend Dorae Simon spent some quality time together selling tickets for a Habitat fundraiser: a quilt raffle. She was able to see events everywhere in La Pine and Sunriver and she saw many wonderful organizations and met lots of great people. After a year of serving on the Board of Directors, she became the Board Secretary. Although Gloria admits that she is no fundraiser and she is not a builder and she isn’t even one of those People Persons with a capital P, she is instead, a detail oriented person who gets the administrative side of everything and how organizations should flow more easily- for the Executive Director and the organization itself. And she has become a treasured part of the NHFH office and Board, winning a special award for service at this year’s Award Luncheon held at the Senior Center.
Gloria is ‘The organizer’ in the organization. She put together the recent Women Build event in May, and she is always ready with a clip board or to put together a meal to help out the volunteers who show up to help Habitat at their events. Her favorite part of being at Habitat is watching the keys to a new home be turned over to the new homeowners. “They are so proud to own their own home and you see it in their faces.”
Since she spends her time thinking about the community, she has some interesting opinions about how great it would be to introduce kids to a Youth Program that ties into local builders. It could teach them about community and how important it is to have knowledge about what it takes to have a great town, be a homeowner, and be a real part of building a community from the ground up. She has even considered an ex officio student member to serve on the board- like the City Council has done in La Pine!
One of her dreams is to have a satellite office in La Pine, and she believes that now is the time to highlight the strong relationships that are growing because of Habitat for Humanity.
Gloria shops at the ReStore, like most people in the area, and she has scored some real bargains.
She stays in the organization because she loves the talented and thoughtful people she works with at Habitat.
In closing, a short note about why of all places she should come to the Newberry Country area and settle here with us. Gloria would come to visit and share the outdoors over and over again. She traveled all over the west, but was drawn to this area more than any other. After she moved here, she discovered a picture from her past. In the photo was a landscape of mountains, a lake and beautiful trees. It was located right here in the area. The picture had called to her through time. It seems that it was always meant to be: Gloria Byrd was supposed to land in our midst and she is not wasting any time paying it forward!
Mayor Ken Mulenex
Newberry Habitat Board Member Mayor Ken Mulenex joined the board in the January of 2013. Like most members on the Newberry Habitat Board of Directors, Ken brings years of experience with him while he represents the City of La Pine- for real!
Ken and his wife Vicki moved to La Pine after finding their retirement wonderland in 1994 when they came up to go fishing and fell in love with the trees, the environment and the way the outdoors weaves in and out of everyone’s life in South County: Their love of Dutch Ovens cooking fits right in with all of the places to fish, hunt, camp, swim, and boat with their friends and family who gather around to enjoy being in such a great place!
After a 20 year stint in the Air Force, Ken retired and went back to college on the GI Bill. He studied Marine Biology and Chemistry. In the late 70’s while attending the World Mammalogy Convention at OSU he participated in the scientific efforts to resolve the problems associated with a pod of 43 sperm whales who beached themselves at Florence, OR. After graduation, unable to find a job in his chosen field he returned to computer electronics with Digital Equipment Corp.
His wife, Vicki, owned an Administrative Services business and, as the business grew convinced Ken to help her with the computer services side of the business. However with the fishing trip to Oregon and the desire to retire and a house now in La Pine it wasn’t long before Vicki sold her business and they made the move. With retirement not providing the level of activity they needed they opened La Pine’s first computer services business. After six years they gave into full retirement, They dabbled in land development and got involved in the local organizations. Politics was the natural progression to what happened next.
After a short period as a La Pine City Councilor, in 2010 he stepped back to deal with a health issue. In 2010 he ran again with two friends. They were elected and Ken was appointed Mayor. In 2012 he became La Pine’s 1st elected Mayor. Ken serves on a number of local, Central Oregon, state boards and other organizations that focus on issues like transportation, city government, economic development, regional solutions, health services, and veteran’s affairs, all in support of his big love: La Pine!
Ken brings a South County perspective to the Habitat board and he will strive to see that La Pine helps to grow the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the future. With his personal contacts and his energy, he hopes to help find more La Pine volunteers for the Habitat board, help with the build projects and, of course, work in the retail ReStore. Mayor. Mulenex wants to remind residents of the importance of building the family Habitat homes and what they contribute to the entire community in terms of the family involvement and making the city they live in a more vibrant community. Ken has seen several homes built in the past few years and notes that the owners are part of the organizations that helps others because they got the help building their own lives and they want to pay it forward. He continuously reaches out to the La Pine community leaders for their greater participation in this effort of building Habitat homes for the La Pine community.
As the capital campaign to pay off the mortgage at the ReStore goes forward, Ken explained how important these capital donations will be for La Pine and the goal to build more homes for qualified families to live here.
Mayor Mulenex is always available for questions and ideas from interested people who would like to get involved. He invites you to call or contact him with your questions or suggestions. 541-306-0159 / email@example.com