Arnie has been involved with RTS for many years and has been a huge asset to the organization. Not only is Arnie on the Board of Directors, but he also serves on the RTS Finance Committee, and is the project manager for the Gonzaga Seattle Alumni every April for Spring Rebuilding Day. Thank you for your continued dedication to RTS, Arnie!
Arnie (right) with fellow RTS Board Member, Brooke Sullivan, on Spring Rebuilding Day 2011
“Arnie has been an asset to our Board, Finance Committee, and the Rebuilding Together Seattle volunteer network for many years, " RTS Director, Margie Thirlby, said. " Arnie has managed the Gonzaga University (Seattle Alumni Chapter’s) Spring Rebuilding Day project for a number of years. This year, Arnie went above and beyond, taking on one of our ultimate “monster” projects of the year. In addition to planning for an 80+ person volunteer project for over a month, Arnie ended up making numerous trips to the house after the rebuilding day, and has been relentless in his efforts to provide his team’s client with a safe and healthy living environment. Arnie’s passion for the Rebuilding Together Seattle mission can be demonstrated by the 83+ hours he dedicated to Rebuilding Together Seattle through the months of October through May alone! We are truly grateful for Arnie’s dedication and look forward to his continued leadership on the Board next year.”
Let's hear from Arnie!
1. How did you first get involved with RTS?
I was introduced to RTS through the Gonzaga University Alumni Association about 5 years ago, when they announced their first ever community outreach project. I had done some volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity previously, which was really rewarding, so this project really appealed to me. We were assigned to the home of 94 year old woman who was living in a house with a lot of maintenance issues with her mentally disabled son. At the morning meeting, the project manager asked if anyone had experience with spackling, and I raised my hand to help. Little did I know that this little assignment would turn out to be much more involved and would require several days of follow up to finish – but that allowed me to get to know the homeowner a bit more and she was the sweetest, most grateful person I had ever met! She followed up with a personal thank you note that really touched me and that I cherish and have kept to this day. After that experience, I was hooked and wanted to help RTS in any way that I could. Since that first year, I’ve co-lead the annual Gonzaga sponsored project as Project Manager and I was asked to join the Board of RTS almost 2 years ago.
2. What do you enjoy most about being a board member for RTS?
You just couldn’t ask for a more dedicated and energetic board than the one we have! We come from all different backgrounds and experiences and the combination allows for active participation and good, healthy, respectful conversations about the direction of the organization. This is not one of those passive boards that meets to be informed by the staff – this is the most active and involved board that I’ve ever been a part of; everyone rolls up their sleeves and “gets the their hands dirty” – just as it should be!
3. What are your hopes for RTS in the years to come?
The organization today operates on a shoe-string budget; the amount we can get done with the funding we have available is really quite amazing! While I like the fact that so much of our annual operating budget goes right back to the homeowners through our projects, we need to continue to tell our story and look for opportunities to promote our mission both to potential sponsors as well as to deserving homeowners. As a board member, keeping the organization in good shape financially is of paramount importance to be able to continue to fulfill our mission.
I am also very excited about the potential of the year-round program, which should encourage homeowners in need to contact us before their homes get in the desperate conditions that we’ve seen on our big build days. This is definitely the case of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure” and I would think it would benefit us all if we could get in earlier to resolve issues before they cause other, more serious issues. I hope we can continue to build out the year round program with resources and funding to expand the reach of this important aspect of RTS.
A small peek into Arnie's Spring Rebuilding Day project! Before and After: