www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-habitat-for-humanity-chesapeake-executive-20111101,0,6005037.story

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Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake CEO to step down

After almost 9 years, Mike Mitchell says he wants to try something new

By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun

4:50 PM EDT, November 1, 2011

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Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake's chief executive plans to step down mid-month after almost nine years at the helm of the nonprofit.

Mike Mitchell said Tuesday that the Baltimore-based provider of affordable housing was in a strong position and that he wanted to try something new. He said he wasn't sure yet whether that would be at another nonprofit, at a business or in politics. Mitchell sits on the Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee.

Mike Brennan, chairman of the Habitat chapter, said Mitchell "has really put a lot into the organization" and oversaw big changes.

During Mitchell's tenure, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake increased its annual budget from about $2.5 million to nearly $19 million, changed its name — from Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity — and expanded by merging with Habitat chapters in Anne Arundel and Howard counties.

The group said it would begin searching for Mitchell's replacement shortly. Officials already have heard from interested candidates since Mitchell informed the board Friday that he would be leaving, Brennan said.

Like Habitat chapters across the world, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake relies on volunteer labor and donations to sell newly constructed or rehabbed homes to lower-income workers at prices they can afford. Habitat also offers no-interest mortgages.

"Baltimore is a city that has thousands of vacant houses, and it has thousands of people in need of decent housing," Mitchell said. "I hope people look at Habitat as being one of the important links between those things."

jhopkins@baltsun.com

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