Aces of Trades: Stephanie Taylor must be good at building relationships in Habitat job

·3 min read

LANCASTER — Stephanie Taylor's work is all about building relationships in the community.

She is the director of community engagement for Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio and covers Fairfield and Hocking counties.

Stephanie Taylor, Director of Community Engagement, stands outside of her office at the Habitat for Humanity Office in Lancaster, Ohio on November 24, 2021.
Stephanie Taylor, Director of Community Engagement, stands outside of her office at the Habitat for Humanity Office in Lancaster, Ohio on November 24, 2021.

"The majority of what I do is fundraising for our builds and our other programs such as critical home repair and micro-finance," she said. "Which really just involves getting out and engaging with the community. So meeting business leaders, organizational leaders, being involved in meetings like the housing coalition, the land bank."

Taylor has held her position since April and is a graduate of Liberty Union and Ohio University.

MORE: Thanksgiving is extra special for family set to move into Habitat for Humanity house

"You definitely have to be a people-person," she said of her job qualifications. "And I think you have to have some relationship-building skills. You have to be able to build relationships with all different types of people and maintain that and enjoy it.

"If you don't enjoy it it's going to be a tough road because it's not always easy. You've got to ask people for money. So you have to have a lot of confidence and feel good about doing that and believe in the mission."

Taylor said the COVID-19 pandemic has made people want to help out more.

"Because I think it opened their eyes that especially during the lockdowns and quarantines that people matter and our communities matter," she said. "Being involved is a big deal. The pandemic really heightened our issue of people not having decent, safe places to live. People get that."

Taylor entered the retail management business after college before moving on to commercial sales at a national office supply chain for the past six years.

"It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it," she said. "Then during the pandemic they eliminated my position. So it allowed me to change what I was doing. I love this job. I always tell people I believe it's the job that I was being prepared for in all the other things that I did."

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The job also turns physical at times as Taylor said she likes to actually work on the houses Habitat for Humanity builds.

"I loved to do that and I plan to do that with every house as much as they need me," she said.

Taylor said it's a good feeling to know the community cares when it helps a family get into a new home.

"Seeing a successful family talk about the fact that this is going to change their lives, it helps me see that I have a purpose in this world that's not just making money and spending money," she said. "It's doing better for the world we live in and giving people a different life and helping them with that."

Away from work, Taylor enjoys painting in her home studio. She also enjoys spending time with her family.

"I like to work out and get involved," Taylor said. "I'm always involved in something. There's not much time that I ever sit still."

jbarron@gannett.com

740-304-9296

Twitter: @JeffDBarron

This article originally appeared on Lancaster Eagle-Gazette: Stephanie Taylor must be good at building relationships in Habitat job

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