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Rebuild Upstate honors its volunteers

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Rebuild Upstate, the region’s leading affordable housing and home repair advocate, honored its key volunteers for 2022.

The Golden Hammer Award went to Kevin Risden. The Golden Hammer is awarded to an outstanding individual volunteer who has volunteered their time on the build site. This individual goes above and beyond to help our operations team complete home repair projects. A search relevance Engineer with Apache Software Foundation, Risden is always ready to lead groups, learn new skills, and serve the community with his fun spirit.

The Home Base Helper Award was given to Don Davis, who began volunteering with office work in 2020. Whether he enters data for program applications, calls homeowners, or takes program surveys, he embodies joyful service and always lends a helping hand. The Home Base Helper Award is awarded to a single volunteer whose work at home or office was pivotal to the success of our operations.

Chip Reaves earned the Founder’s Award, which goes to a person or entity whose contributions are pivotal and vital to the organization’s success. Reaves’ leadership has been unparalleled. He guided the agency through COVID and stepped up to serve twice as much time as the Board chair. His dedication has been integral to Rebuild Upstate’s growth in Anderson. Reaves also championed the search for a new, full-time CEO.

The Outstanding Volunteer Awards went to Bob Hannah, Stephan and Karen Hamel, Stacy Sargent, Paul Wodecki. This award goes to diligent volunteers who show leadership skills and stand out among their peers.

Shawn Potwardowski was named Young Professional of the Year, which is is awarded to an outstanding young professional who significantly contributes time and talent. Potwardowski brings energy and heart to Rebuild Upstate’s Greenville Advisory Council. Beyond participation in meetings, he showed up early to Wake Up with Rebuild to help set up and ensure guests felt welcome.

The RSVP-Anderson County Volunteer Award went to Mark Hyndman. The RSVP-Anderson County Award is given to an individual who advocates for Rebuild Upstate’s mission and engages older adult volunteers in Anderson County.

The Foundational Supporters Award went to Megan Finnern and John Boyanoski. The Foundational Supporters Award recognizes individuals who use their time, talents, voice, and/or resources in an “above and beyond” and multi-year effort to advance the agency’s mission. This is Rebuild Upstate’s “Hall of Fame.”

Finnern is the immediate Past Chair of the Board, served two full terms and is currently in a bonus year on the board ,and she’s been actively supporting Rebuild Upstate for even longer than that. She was instrumental in the rebranding as Rebuild Upstate and chaired the board through the first ever CEO transition. Boyanoski is a past Board Chair as well as a two-term board member for Rebuild Upstate. For even longer than that, Boyanoski has provided public relations guidance and services through his company Complete PR.

The Home Repair Warriors are those volunteers that may serve in the office, on-site, or as an advocate in the community who have completed more than 50 hours of community service in 2022.

The Ambassador Award was presented to Prime Realty. The Ambassador Award is awarded to an advocate who shares our mission with others. Their effort builds new relationships and opportunities critical to our mission. Utilizing its own platform to broadcast the Rebuild Upstate story, Prime Realty has helped Rebuild Upstate engage with more community members and facilitate more support for our mission.

The Home Repair Champion is presented to a team whose significant financial contributions continue to impact affordable housing in the Upstate. This honor was awarded to Greenville Women Giving; the group generously granted Rebuild Upstate $50k in 2017 and $100k in 2022 to repair more homes across the Upstate – a truly transformative gift.

Along with the awards, Rebuild Upstate celebrated some impressive volunteer statistics. In 2022, 986 volunteers provided a $408,009 value of volunteer labor, helping leverage material costs.

300+ Hours:

Paul Wodecki, 421 | Stephan Hamel, 311 | Jesse Trout, 305

150 – 299 Hours:

Forest Britt, 293 | Doug Greenwell, 250 | Walt Laiewski, 236 | Jay Valachovic, 236 | Michael Mathers, 234 | Karen Hamel, 226 | Ron Beaudoin, 211

100 – 149 Hours

Tom Caudill, 191 | Tom Lappin, 186 | Kenneth Sargent, 177 | Chip Reaves, 163 | Doug Stephens, 146 | Stacy Sargent, 145 | Donald Davis, 141 | Dottie Kimbrell, 137 | Bill Schmidt, 136 | Megan Finnern, 130 | Gordon Bell, 128 | Bob Hannah, 107 | Don Shaw, 101

50 – 99 Hours

Preston Oglesby, 99 | Mark Hyndman, 92 | Alan Hydrick, 81 | John Geck, 79 | Skip Redman, 75 | Justin Felker, 72 | Graham Proffitt, 67 | Nicole Kulick, 60 | Johnathan Hill, 58 | Joe Medlock, 58 | Anna Spangler,57 | Kathleen Hodges, 55 | Ray Tinkler, 54 | Betty Beaudoin, 51 | Tom Fruhwirth, 50 | Kevin Risden, 50 | Tom Carlsen, 50

“Rebuild Upstate thrives because of the work of its volunteers,” said Jake Beaty, CEO. “Their dedication and service helps make the Upstate stronger.

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