By: HRRC Staff, 2018
Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1971 to support and empower residents of Cleveland Heights to maintain their homes. For a community-based agency to remain effective and relevant for more than four decades, the leadership must be strong and the agency has to possess the flexibility to meet the ever-changing needs of the community which it serves. HRRC’s leadership has always been strong, changing only three times in its more than 40 years prior to becoming an SVP Investee. It was under the leadership of the agency’s third executive director, Ben Faller, that HRRC sought to become an SVP Investee and was selected in 2015.
Ben and SVP Lead Partner, Evan Ishida, got to work right away setting forth “sprints” or goals they hoped to achieve during the partnership. The first project—accomplished through several meetings with Ben, Evan, HRRC Board Members, a host of SVP Partners, and hundreds of post-it notes—resulted in a new pricing structure necessary to keep certain programs which had been at risk due to financial uncertainty. As a result of those working sessions, HRRC saw a 300% increase in revenue in our Project Repair and Tool Library programs—the ones previously in danger of being phased out. Through this process, we not only managed to save them, but also watched them thrive more than they ever had.
The next sprint was to help HRRC reimagine the potential of our board members by digging deep within to restore our culture. Members of the HRRC board and SVP worked to enable a functional, hands-on board—consisting of individuals from various backgrounds who are invested in HRRC, actively participate to help us fully understand our value, and, most importantly, help us realize our potential.
In 2016, Ben handed over the reins of HRRC to new executive director, Keesha Allen. Our leadership changed, but our organizational goals remained the same. However, the priorities in our engagement with SVP now shifted. In his role as Lead Partner, Evan saw the opportunity to assist the newly-appointed executive director, Keesha, with coaching in her new role. This was a crucial time for the agency as well as Keesha professionally. According to Keesha, “It’s pretty hard to put into words everything Evan has done to help me learn the executive director role and coach me through the growing pains of being a new/young executive director. Sometimes it was a late afternoon coffee break or an early morning breakfast, but it really made a difference in the way I approached my new role. When things got really difficult, I felt so comfortable to turn to Evan and question and doubt, only to get nothing but supportive feedback and tips about how to stay sane.” While working diligently to accomplish the goals set forth earlier in the SVP engagement with Ben, both the agency and Keesha benefitted from monthly coaching sessions with Evan and brainstorming sessions with SVP partners. These sessions provided Keesha, the staff, and the board with the tools needed to realize our full potential and grow as one of the county’s experts in home-repair related issues.
Home Repair Resource Center continues to thrive—now equipped with the tools and strategies propelling us to grow and capitalize on our value within the community and beyond. We are excited about our possibilities and are forever thankful to SVP for providing the agency with the support and resources needed to be successful for decades to come.