meet the staff
Our team includes a diverse family of individuals of all ages and experiences. Read about our experts and contact us if you have any questions!
Chief Executive Officer
learn more about Ashley
Ashley Hedemann came to Habitat over ten years ago as a construction site volunteer. Through the course of the last ten years, she has helped build over 35 homes and has held several roles within the organization. Past roles include construction volunteer and volunteer coordinator. She enjoys her current role within the organization as it allows her to pursue her passions of adult education, construction, and community building. Although she has moved away from the Fresno area, she still calls Fresno home and continues to look for ways to serve the Central Valley!
When Ashley is not engaging with the amazing community, she enjoys hiking, baking, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and fur children.
learn more about Stacey
Stacey Simpson is the controller for Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno Area. Stacey was born and raised in Fresno, CA and graduated from California State University Fresno with a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting. Stacey began her career with a local CPA firm which performed Habitat Fresno’s annual audit of the financial statements, and quickly fell in love with the mission and principals of Habitat. She has been with us ever since!
As a non-profit, Stacey understands the unique environment in which Habitat Greater Fresno Area operates and the issues it faces. She feels blessed to be part of the vision and to know that the work she does helps families realize the dream of homeownership.
learn more about Mandy
Mandy was born in Spokane, Washington and sailed from the port of Seattle to the port of San Francisco. At 13, she moved to the Central Valley. She later graduated from Fresno City College with an associate’s degree in general studies. Mandy attended SJVC and graduated with another associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography with a plan to enter the medical field. After it became increasingly difficult to get started on her career, Mandy returned to school and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She has worked successfully as an accountant for five years!
Mandy has been married to her loving husband, Joshua, for ten years and they have two children together! In 2015, Mandy and her husband became homeowners, but they found the process incredibly difficult and stressful despite their hopes of it being an exciting adventure. Now, Mandy enjoys working for an organization that helps others reach the reality of becoming a homeowner in this difficult market.
When she isn’t making sure Habitat Greater Fresno Area’s bills are paid on time, Mandy enjoys reading, listening to music, and playing with her children.
CONSTRUCTION & NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION
learn more about Rick
Rick O’Daniel brings over 37 years of construction experience to his role as Construction Director for Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno Area. Starting as a laborer for a local commercial builder in the summer of 1978, he has worked as an apprentice carpenter, lead carpenter, superintendent, and finally as a construction manager. Rick has been employed at Habitat Greater Fresno Area since 2006 and along with his construction staff has overseen the completion of 78 new homes, 8 rehab projects, and 14 wheelchair ramps.
Rick has been married to his wife Clara since 1982 and they have six children and three grandchildren. Rick is a Born Again Christian and attends church in Clovis. Clara is a 4H leader and raises horses, goats, pigs, ducks, geese, turkeys, and chickens on her 10-acre farm.
Rick enjoys organizing the build schedule as well as teaching volunteers and Habitat homeowners construction skills. His favorite day at the job site is “Frame Day” when the walls are built and raised on a new house.
Director of Community Programs & Compliance
learn more about Marina
Marina Harutyunyan is a proud member of Habitat for Humanity with years of experience in development and relief work. Through her previous jobs in nonprofits, she contributed to youth and women empowerment in the rural areas of Armenia. Marina has a master’s degree in International Relations from University of Denver in Colorado. She also has a master’s degree in English Language and Literature from her home country. She previously worked for United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Heifer International. Prior to moving to the USA, Marina lived in Moscow, Russia, where she worked with nonprofits to advocate for social justice and human rights.
At Habitat for Humanity, her current position gives her an anticipated platform to continue helping people and addressing the needs of struggling communities in Fresno and Madera. Marina is familiar with Habitat’s work from back home as she witnessed how their projects changed human lives in a developing country. She is dedicated to Neighborhood Revitalization efforts and holds a deep belief that with the joint efforts of Habitat’s team, there will be only sustainable, diverse, and vibrant communities in Fresno and Madera.
Born and raised in Armenia, Marina is proud to embrace her diversity and ethnic heritage in connecting with people around the world and locally! Marina is happily married with one son and daughter.
learn more about Justin
Justin Burd began his construction journey when he fell in love with carpentry and woodworking at a young age. He loved the creative process where he’d watch something transform through his hard work. He has worked for local builders in the Fresno area and held the construction instructor position at Fresno City College. After volunteering with Habitat for Humanity over the course of two years, Justin decide to join the team permanently.
He’s been married to his wife Erin since 2007 and they have two daughters, Bella and Peyton. When Justin isn’t working on projects, he loves spending time with his family, cooking, deep sea fishing, traveling, and going on adventures.
Justin loves being a part of the team at Habitat for Humanity and seeing the positive impact made in our community!
learn more about Jorge
Jorge Vargas has worked at Habitat Greater Fresno Area for twelve years. After two years of consistent volunteering, he joined the staff! Over time, he has learned the tricks of the construction trade and earned his contractor’s license. He also holds certificates from the Fresno City College and Central Unified trade programs.
When Jorge isn’t swinging a hammer, he enjoys cooking, watching movies, and spending time with his wife and four children. He is dedicated to his job at Habitat and loves working with volunteers.
Assistant Site Supervisor
learn more about Ramiro
Ramiro Lara, a skilled carpenter, joined our team in 2020 as a construction site worker! He has lived in the Fresno area for the past 22 years and brings with him seven years of construction experience. Our construction crew will tell you he’s already making a big impact at our job sites. He’s so excited to be at Habitat for Humanity where he can share our vision of making homeownership possible.
Construction Site Worker
learn more about Alfredo
FUND DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING
learn more about Cary
Born and raised in Fresno County, Cary Catalano’s passion is providing families with the tools they need to be successful. And, it is this passion that has made up the fabric of all of his community involvement and daily work. Cary has served as Habitat’s Director of Development since 2004 and has used his talents in communications, public and government affairs to increase the visibility of Habitat’s mission of seeking to put God’s love into action, and to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope.
Through his work, Cary has been called upon by several mayors to lead major city-wide initiatives designed to revitalize neighborhoods and redirect needed resources back to those initiatives, including his service as the co-founder of Fresno First Steps Home, which is a local 501 (c)3 designed to raise private sector funds to address Fresno’s chronic homelessness and give individuals and families hit by hard times the help they need to get a new start. Cary’s passion, coupled with his experience and leadership, have given Habitat a prominent place at local decision-making tables and many unique opportunities to serve families and meet greater needs.
Director of Strategic Giving
learn more about Brad
Brad Stevens joins Habitat Greater Fresno Area with over 20 years of experience in development, fundraising, public relations, corporate relationships, and special events. While working for 35 years as a police officer for the Fresno Police Department, Brad was the law enforcement coordinator for the nonprofit program, Valley Crime Stoppers. Following his police service, Brad worked as the director of development for the Marjaree Mason Center before joining Habitat Greater Fresno Area’s development team. Brad continues to serve on several boards and committees in the Fresno community.
The foundation of his life and work is comprised of his faith in Jesus Christ and commitment to serve Him. Brad has been married to his wife, Robin, for 32 years. He is the proud father of three daughters and the grandfather of a little girl.
He’s excited to work with Habitat for Humanity and be a part of helping people who are in need of safe and affordable housing in our local community. He considers it an honor to work for an organization that puts Christ at the center of their mission.
Digital Engagement & Fundraising Manager
learn more about Megan
Megan Scholl is a Fresno native with 13 years of experience in the nonprofit industry. Her excitement and passion led her into the role of Digital Engagement & Fundraising Manager with Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno Area. Connecting with people has been, and always will be, a fundamental part of her life. Making a difference in the world is something that Megan constantly strives to accomplish. At Habitat, outside of development duties, she manages social media, data, and the website.
As someone who struggled to purchase her first house, Megan understands the importance of living under a secure roof. Having a safe place to call “home” can make or break personal hope and future goals.
Outside of the office, Megan has a pack of tiny children who run her life! These demanding little furballs sport four legs, wagging tails (though some of them are stubby), and wet noses. She spends her weekends and evenings hanging out on the couch with these fuzzbuckets where she reads, writes, and partakes in an expansive list of other nerdy activities.
For all ReStore donations, pickups, and scheduling questions or issues, please contact the Clovis ReStore directly at (559) 237-7867.
Homebuyer Services Coordinator
learn more about Mary
Mary Ayala, Homebuyer Services Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity Fresno County. Born and raised in the Central Valley, a graduate of Madera High School. Mary has worked in the mortgage industry for more than a decade now, and believes the most rewarding part of her job is the feeling of great accomplishment when helping a family achieve the American Dream of homeownership. Helping families improve their living conditions is her driving passion.
Her profession has led her from working with a Federal Credit Union to loan processing for non-profit organization of low-income housing program Self-Help Enterprises, professional loan officer for private developers in affordable housing and for USDA Rural Housing Development, which led to Habitat for Humanity. Providing housing for over 15 years has help her understand the need and the unique environment of non-profit organizations like that of Habitat.
Mary feels truly blessed to be a part of this organization, knowing she can help families realize the American Dream of homeownership and make a difference in our communities all through the work and love of Jesus Christ.
Mary is blessed with a wonderful husband, three children, and eight beautiful grandchildren, she loves spending time with family, cooking, reading and sharing the love of God!
Homebuyer Services Specialist
learn more about Sophia
learn more about Torin
Torin A. Blount is a results-driven executive with a twenty-plus-year track record of success in the retail sales industry. Visionary business development leader able to provide long-range and tactical execution of strategic sales, business development, and training programs to promote change, improve overall market performance and realize double-digit revenue growth. Thrives in dynamically changing environments requiring strong industry and market savvy. Is currently serving as the ReStore director for Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno.
Aside from all of this, Mr. Blount seeks to put Christ first in his life and is an active member of his church and men’s group. He is the proud father of three who strongly supports the educational system. “Go Bears” .
Torin shares why he enjoys working at Habitat by saying, “ I only had to leave the country once, to understand that this is God’s work.”
learn more about Chris
Back Office Lead
learn more about Nou
Nou J. Thao is a preserving worker who truly believes that all of her potentials have come by the abilities she gains through daily life lessons. With English as her second language, Ms. Thao grew up learning both cultures. Adjustments aren’t easy, but she made every effort to get to where she is today. She currently holds the position as the ReStore Back Office Lead for Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno Area.
Ms. Thao continues her life learning new things every day. She is a proud mother and strives for success.
Nou shares why she enjoys working at Habitat in saying: “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
learn more about David
Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
learn more about Celena
Coming to work for Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno Area is full-circle and incredibly meaningful for Celena Genest. Celena was raised in Spokane, Washington in a Habitat home. She wasn’t exactly swinging a hammer for her sweat-equity, since the house was finished before she entered kindergarten, but she knew the mission of Habitat from a young age. Celena moved to California in 2010 to attend college, and found her passion in the hospitality industry. She worked in catering sales for private country clubs until moving to Fresno in 2020. Celena is most excited to connect the community with Habitat’s mission through volunteer work.
In her spare time she loves to travel, hike with her black lab, and go wine tasting.