Elizabeth Bridgewater of Shelburne Falls to lead Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity
NORTHAMPTON — A new executive director is joining Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity three months after longtime leader M.J. Adams-Pullan left the organization.
Elizabeth Bridgewater of Shelburne Falls has been chosen to lead the organization.
Peter Jessop, president of the organization’s board of directors, said members are thrilled to have Bridgewater.
“She comes with an extensive background in housing development and real estate work,” he said. “She’s dynamic, communicative, passionate about the mission and enthusiastic.”
Bridgewater has several years of experience working for nonprofits. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Community Development Partnership on Cape Cod. The partnership supports local business development and advocates for increased affordable housing.
The board unanimously chose Bridgewater, according to Jessop, selecting her from a strong pool of applicants who were qualified for the position. The board received more than 30 applications and interviewed 12 candidates before selecting three finalists for a second round of interviews. Bridgewater stood out, he said.
Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity has four paid staff members. When it began more than 20 years ago, it was run entirely by volunteers. Adams-Pullan, who served as executive director for 11 years, was the organization’s first paid employee.
Adams-Pullan left in January to take over as director of community development at the Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
Since her departure, the organization has been led by and interim director, Aaron Walker.
The position of executive director is a three-quarter time position that pays close to $55,000 per year, including a contribution towards Bridgewater’s health insurance, Jessop said.
He noted that although it is a part-time position, the previous director donated many hours to the organization. “She’s not doing it for the money,” he said.
The nonprofit has built homes for 33 low-income families. The families work alongside volunteers from the community building their homes, and the nonprofit offers them no-interest loans to buy the homes.