By MAGGIE GEBHARDT
Leslie Goodspeed, 30, Hays, has been appointed executive director at Habitat for Humanity of Ellis County.
Goodspeed graduated from Fort Hays State University, earning a bachelor's degree in art studio in 2012 and a bachelor's in sociology in 2014 with a certificate in grant-proposal writing.
"I believe that FHSU was one of the best choices I made for my future," Goodspeed said. "Not only did FHSU teach me the professional skills that I required for this job, but I learned how to amplify the knowledge and passions that I possessed so that I could locate a career where I could benefit others."
As executive director, Goodspeed will create and attend community events to raise awareness for HFHEC. Her duties also include giving direction and leadership in projects and working with the board to develop and implement policies.
"I am excited to make connections within the community between HFHEC, gracious donors and volunteers, and those most in need of our resources," Goodspeed said. "I love to encourage motivation and enthusiasm in others."
The vision of HFHEC is "a world where everyone has a decent place to live." The organization offers home ownership to families that are unable to obtain conventional housing financing. HFHEC supports the global community's commitment to housing as a basic human right, Goodspeed said.
"I love our board members' commitment," she said. "Their devotion to helping those in need is one of the many reasons that I am proud to be a part of HFHEC."
HFHEC anticipates an upcoming partnership with Home Depot.
"They will be donating otherwise discarded inventory for the benefit of low-income families," Goodspeed said. "Through the Framing Hope Program, we will be able to maximize our efforts as a non-profit organization."
Goodspeed said having a passion for helping others is the key to success. However, she has passion in many other aspects of her life, as well.
"I love helping my children grow, helping others, learning something new every day and watching kindness spread," she said. "All of my passions seem to coincide with and strengthen other passions in my life. I feel very fortunate."
Anxious to pursue her new career with HFHEC, Goodspeed said the upcoming project, a Brush with Kindness, is something she greatly looks forward to. The program is designed to repair exterior home issues, such as painting or window replacement, in a way that does not put the homeowner further into financial hardship.
"It is a very unique program that we are glad we can offer to our community," Goodspeed said.
Information for upcoming events and projects, including a Brush with Kindness, can be found at www.facebook.com/HFHEC.
Outside of work, Goodspeed said her life is "busy, but fantastic."
"I have three wonderful children: LJ, Jocelyn and Aurora. I also have a loving fiance, Andrew," she said.
Goodspeed, a native of Victoria, said she and her family love being a part of this community.
"We have a pride in Hays that can be heard when you talk to those that live here. It is an ideal place to receive an education, raise a family or pursue a career," she said. "Residents help neighbors and strangers alike in Hays. I think it is important as a community that we take care of one another."