Habby Awards 2019

Each year, Habitat for Humanity New York City engages thousands of New Yorkers to build and preserve safe, decent and affordable housing for our neighbors. Our volunteers are not professionals – that’s not why they are there. Habitat volunteers are simply citizens of our city who care enough about the people in it to give their time, their sweat and their heart to make sure that we all have the chance to afford a home. Habitat NYC thinks that each one of these passionate, caring individuals is a superhero, and each year, we take a moment to recognize the most exemplary volunteers at our Habby Awards.

Volunteer of the Year

The Dalton Schools Habitat for Humanity Chapter

This years Habby for exceeding all expectations goes to the The Dalton Schools Habitat for Humanity Chapter, which went above and beyond to create a more affordable New York City. Since 2010, The Dalton Schools Habitat for Humanity Chapter has been a leader of the campus chapter program within Habitat NYC. Dalton’s dedication has led them to advocating to their state legislators, building homes in our city, and traveling to other states help build where needed. For nearly a decade, The Dalton Schools Habitat for Humanity Chapter has stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park.

Leadership Volunteer

Erica F. Buckley

Erica F. Buckley is a partner at Nixon Peabody and leads their Cooperatives & Condominium practice and is part of Habitat NYC’s Leadership Council. Erica focuses primarily on the Martin Act—New York’s blue-sky law, which governs real estate securities, including cooperative interests in realty and syndications. Erica is the former chief of the Real Estate Finance Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s office and draws on this experience to advise clients on how to meet regulatory requirements effectively while minimizing risks relating to their properties.


Site Volunteer 

James Dooley

Jim spent a couple winters volunteering regularly with the Critical Home Repair efforts in Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy, and for the past two years, he has done the majority of his work with Habitat NYC in Queens, his home borough. He feels enriched working side-by-side with a diverse group of volunteers — skilled, core volunteers; the families who will call the house we’re restoring “home”; faith-based groups; a bike-to-build chapter; college students; a LI team honoring a lost father who loved President Jimmy Carter—all pulling together to get families into affordable housing.



Sondra Roach Community Partnership Award

Akbar Rizvi, Spring Bank

Akbar joined the Spring Bank team in 2011 to manage its Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program. He began his career with Habib American Bank as a credit analyst. He serves on the board of BICNY, which is associated with the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation. Akbar and Spring Bank are committed to maintaining affordable housing for low- to moderate-income New Yorkers.

Beyond Sweat Equity

Elaine Williams & Karen Jones

Elaine (right) has worked in hospital nutrition and food service for 31 years – working her way up from an aid to a management position. Elaine wanted to own her home “instead of paying a landlord.” Her friend Karen (left) told her about Habitat NYC’s Home Purchase Program, suggested she apply, and even helped Elaine, who is vision-impaired, fill out and mail in her application! From there, Elaine started saving and eliminating her debts in order to qualify for the program. Now she’s a Habitat Homebuyer, working to purchase a co-op in the SEED development.

Cornerstone Volunteer 

Lorie Nicholas

Lorie’s parents instilled a sense of community in their children, a calling to give back and help others. It came as no surprise that Lorie pursued a career in counseling and teaching. Lorie started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Westchester in 2009 and came to Habitat NYC in 2010. She was worked on builds, in the office, and more. Lorie feels passionately that everyone should have a place to call home that is decent and affordable.



ReStore Volunteer 

Barry Stone

Barry Stone retired from American Express after 18 years in managerial finance and then attained a master’s degree in Construction Administration from Columbia University. Two areas of Barry’s interest include sustainability and construction safety and he furthered his credentials by becoming a LEED Green Associate and OSHA 10 & 30 certified. It is not uncommon to hear Barry say, “let’s keep it out of the landfill” and he is delighted to volunteer at Habitat NYC’s ReStore, where so many items find a new home.

Photo of a family of four inside their new home in the Bronx

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