Patrick McKenna is stepping down as executive director for Habitat Vancouver Island North to move closer to family in Nova Scotia. Photo by Karen McKinnon

Patrick McKenna is stepping down as executive director for Habitat Vancouver Island North to move closer to family in Nova Scotia. Photo by Karen McKinnon

Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North announces plans to step down

Patrick McKenna, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (Habitat VIN), has announced his plan to step down after six years of leadership in order to relocate closer to family.

McKenna will continue supporting Habitat VIN while a search for a new executive director is launched by the Board of Directors, which ensures the stability of the organization and onboarding for a new executive director.

“I am so proud of the accomplishments of our team at Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North. Our board, staff and volunteers continue to advocate and support our families and the need for all people to have safe and decent housing. Non-profit work is so important to building stronger communities and I commend all the non-profit leaders in our community who work daily to create love and support for those who need it,” said McKenna.

“Pat has played a critical role in evolving Habitat VIN’s strategy to serve more families,” said Bill Wright, Chair of the Board of Directors. “During his time at Habitat, he made significant progress to advance affordable housing solutions.”

The news follows McKenna’s decision to move back to his hometown of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. McKenna came to Habitat VIN with a 25-year background in corporate retail with Home Depot and Target Corporations. Under his six years of leadership, Habitat VIN has rapidly increased their families served and ReStore sales, and won several awards. Out of the 39 homes Habitat VIN has built since founding in 2004, 25 were completed during McKenna’s tenure.

McKenna oversaw several large milestones for Habitat, including both the beginning and completion of their two largest projects to date: a 10-home project on 1330 Lake Trail Road in Courtenay and an 11-home project on 477 Hilchey Road in Campbell River, which were completed in December 2020 and April 2021, respectively.

During McKenna’s time as executive director, Habitat VIN has been the recipient of Campbell River Chamber of Commerce Business Awards for Non-Profit of the Year (2016 and 2018), Social Enterprise (2016 and 2018), and Diversity Leadership (2017); Comox Valley Chamber Award for Not-for-Profit of the year (2020); and Habitat for Humanity Canada Awards for Epic Engagement (2015, 2016, 2018, 2020), Social Enterprise (2015), Mobilized Leadership (2016), Sustainable Funding (2017), and Housing Innovation (2019). In 2020, McKenna received the the Community Builder Award at the Comox Valley Record Local Hero Awards.

Habitat VIN’s Board of Directors will soon launch their search for a new executive director. This will be extensive in scope with the help of a search firm, and is expected to take several months to complete.

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