Chicagoland Habitat Honors McKinsey & Company and Gene Huxhold with Habitat Hero Awards

Event raises $1.25+ Million to support affordable housing in the region

2022 Habitat Hero Awards: Home Is The Key

CHICAGO (June 21, 2022) – Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity honored McKinsey & Company and Gene Huxhold, former Board Chairman, Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley, on June 15th at its seventh annual Habitat Hero Award Dinner, recognizing decades of leadership and commitment in their roles working with Habitat in the Chicago area and beyond.

After two years of virtual events, over 350 guests gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago to toast the honorees and help celebrate the homeowners and heroes that help Habitat for Humanity build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. WGN anchor Micah Materre returned as master of ceremonies for the event. “There isn’t any one obstacle to affordable homeownership…but there is one key to unlocking a brighter future: home. Home is the key.”

“The biggest myth about Habitat – the one that we are still battling after nearly 50 years of work – is that we give away homes. We do not,” said Kimberly Chase Harding, Broker Owner of KCH Team, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “Habitat homebuyers invest their own funds, help build their own homes, take education courses and then pay an affordable mortgage.” Kimberly served as co-chair of the event along with Ted Dosch, Executive VP & Chief Transformation Officer, Wesco; Chris Kempa, CEO, True Value Company; and Asutosh Padhi, Managing Partner, North America, McKinsey & Company.

“At McKinsey & Company, we believe we have a responsibility to use our resources to help address the world’s most pressing, most important challenges,” said Asutosh accepting the award on behalf of McKinsey. “We have held strongly to this belief since our founding, and it is the foundation for the work we do with Chicagoland Habitat – helping to drive economic inclusion by increasing access to safe and affordable housing.”

For 38 years, Habitat for Humanity has had a local presence in the Chicago area, serving as a catalyst that mobilizes people to build homes, neighborhoods, and community. Chicagoland Habitat provides strategic support to multiply the impact of the eight Habitat affiliates in the region to help even more people find safety and stability, in many cases for the first time in their lives.

Sarah Brachle Wagner, CEO of Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity, shared the organization’s priorities in the coming year. “Affordable housing is critically needed in Chicagoland. We will deploy the funds raised tonight to support Habitat’s local affordable housing development and home repair work.”

The evening featured a video and remarks from a Habitat homeowner moving her daughters into their new Habitat home during the pandemic, plus online and live paddle raises that raised over $230,000, with generous matching gifts from the Edwardson Family Foundation and Wesco.

The night concluded with Honoree Gene Huxhold reflecting on his long tenure as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. “When you’re on a build site and meet a family, that’s the emotional part for me – it has a big impact. I like to joke that if you go to a house closing for a Habitat family, and you have a dry eye, you don't have a heart.”

Sponsors include Edwardson Family Foundation and Wesco (Region Builders); Ted and Ann Dosch, Chris and Carmela Griffin, The Home Depot Foundation, USG and Wintrust (Community Builders); Deloitte, Elkay, Bill and Kim Galvin, Tony and Karin Gambell, John Hancock Investment Management, Ric and Kathleen Phillips, and Marta Poling-Schmitt (Neighborhood Builders); Aon, Busey Bank, CDW, Steve and Cindy Cruise, The Eck Family Foundation, EY, Paul and Mary Finnegan, Bill and Anne Marie Geary, ITW, KPMG, Asutosh Padhi, Ashlee Pforr, Scott and Angel Ramsbottom, Skender and True Value Company (Home Builders); and the Anderson Family, Venkat Atluri, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Melissa and Alex Dorko, Todd Kaplan, The KCH Team at Berkshire Hathaway Chicago, Martina Keller and Don McLellan, Chris Kempa, Kevin and Abby Laczkowski, Leo Burnett, Ozinga, Kevin and Michelle Sachs, Rod and Denise Smith, Bill and Carol Standish, and Sarah Brachle Wagner and Chris Wagner (Family Builders).