The Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert Hughes as the new Executive Director, following the retirement of Dirk Holkeboer who had headed the local nonprofit organization for the past seven years.  Mr. Hughes brings a wealth of experience in the business and nonprofit world to the job.  He worked in the financial and credit union industry for over 30 years, starting his career in Ohio where he was President/CEO of several credit union and savings institutions, and then moved to California in 2007 to become the President/CEO of Finance and Thrift in Porterville.  It was in this position, the Mr. Hughes maintained profitable operations throughout the economic downtown and earned a Community Development Financial Institution designation and Minority Deposit Institution Certification from the US Treasury.  He adapted a business model to effectively serve low income and Spanish speaking communities, hired and developed an outstanding management team and staff, modernized the Branch Network, remodeling eight facilities ahead of schedule and under budget, and successfully completed a series of mergers.

After leaving the banking world, Mr. Hughes turned to a new career in the nonprofit world. In 2018, he was a Leader for the AmeriCorps Statewide Volunteer Infrastructure Project through the Napa County Office of Education.  He earned a certificate in non-profit leadership from OneOC and graduated from Excellence in Leadership Program from the Center for Nonprofit and Volunteer Leadership. He also volunteered for over 80 hours at Valley of the Moon Children’s Center in direct service and exceeded fund raising goals by more than double.

Mr. Hughes became the Executive Director of Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action in 2019 where he recruited and trained several hundred volunteers where historically there were no volunteers, trained the entire management team in fundraising, collected over 80,000 pounds in donated food for the food bank, obtained grants for infrastructure improvements, and earned Pathways to Excellence Implementer Certification.

During the last several years, Mr. Hughes has also been a bank consultant, developing business plans, policies and procedures for three startup financial organizations.

Mr. Hughes will be beginning his new position with Habitat for Humanity on September 16, 2021.  He resides in Springville with his wife, Kathy.

The Board of Directors is also pleased to announce the appointment of Deanna Saldana to the position of Associate Executive Director. Ms. Saldana is currently the Resource Development Director for Habitat and for the last two months has been serving as the Acting Executive Director during the recruitment and selection process.  She has been a member of the organization’s staff for fourteen years and is certainly a well-known face of Habitat for Humanity in the community.

Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live and the mission of the local Habitat affiliate seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. For more information about volunteer and donation opportunities, please call 559- 734-4040.



The Visalia HomeExpo is back and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore booth will present some of the great items we have for sale at the Visalia and Hanford ReStores. The booth will showcase a “Studio” apartment furnished with new and used, donated items. The ReStore is a great resource for first-time homebuyers on a budget looking to furnish a home, or for customers who want to find special items to repurpose or upcycle. The ReStore should be the first stop on your remodeling journey and remember to donate leftover building materials when the project is finished.

The ReStore is a building materials thrift store, that sells new and used, donated items for home, office, outdoors and remodeling. Items are donated by local businesses and individuals and sold to the general public at drastically reduced prices. The proceeds from ReStore sales support Habitat for Humanity and help us continue our mission of building homes, communities and hope.

Our partners at Showcase Events continue to support Habitat’s vision and we are excited to join many other businesses on Sept 25 & 26, at the Visalia Convention Center. This year’s HomeExpo will feature home remodeling, outdoor living, home improvement and interior design. Tickets are available at the door or you can get your tickets early. CLICK HERE. Find out more about the ReStore at

In accordance with state guidelines, announced June 15th, all individual entering this event agree to self-attest (no proof required) that they are fully vaccinated, or agree to wear a mask upon entry. By notifying all individuals they are responsible to ensure their own compliance and personal safety, Show Management is to be held harmless.


Our friends and long-time partners at the Porterville Breakfast Rotary Club are holding a Tiny House Raffle to support Habitat for Humanity’s affordable housing program in Porterville. House is a 20′ cabin themed tiny house. Tickets are just $20 each and the drawing will be held November 11th, 2021 at 8:00pm. For more information visit

  • DMV paperwork is required

  • must be 18 years of age or older to enter

  • free delivery up to 100 miles from Porterville

  • Tiny home must be picket up within 30 days

  • need not be present to win.

Tickets are $20 each or 6 tickets for $100. Proceeds from the raffle will support Habitat for Humanity’s work in Porterville.
Tickets for the Tiny House Raffle are available at the Habitat for Humanity office at 637 S Lovers Lane, Visalia.

Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties

Job Description – Warehouse Assistant

Position Objective

The ReStore Driver/Warehouse Assistant represents the Habitat brand through courteous interactions with potential donors and customers to support our mission and support ReStore operations. Pickup and unload donations for the ReStore in a timely, efficient and courteous manner. Work with ReStore Manager to ensure donations are placed and ready for processing. Maintain our trucks and equipment to optimum condition.

To Apply

  • Please send resume, cover letter, and application to
  • Application Link

Specific Duties:

  • Ensure timely and efficient movement of donations to deliver fast and quality service.
  • Communicate status of pickups to customers, dispatcher, and warehouse supervisor as needed to ensure great customer service.
  • Record and maintain donation receipt pick-up slips
  • Load and unload merchandise routinely at multiple sites.
  • Stack, pad, and secure items in position on the truck to prevent damage during shipment.
  • Maintain a clean and safe work area.
  • Keeping the warehouse neat and orderly when unloading.
  • Putting incoming donations from receiving area in the proper location.
  • Moving priced items to the showroom floor.
  • Adhering to the ReStore’s recycling efforts.
  • Assisting customers and donors in loading and unloading merchandise.
  • Cleaning around the dumpster or backyard of debris.
  • Utilizing and storing of dollies or carts for the safe transport of donations.
  • Complete truck and forklift inspections: Check fluids, tires, for all vehicles and report to Store Manager.
  • Clean/wash truck and forklift as needed.
  • Communicate with Management, Drivers, and Customers clearly.
  • Maintain health and safety compliance in accordance with company policy.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Education, Experience, Knowledge & Skills:

  • Understand the Habitat for Humanity mission.
  • Must be professional in appearance and a good ambassador of the Habitat brand.
  • Demonstrates problem-solving skills and ability to work under pressure.
  • Ability to work well and communicate effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to establish, foster and maintain effective working relationships with staff, volunteers and the public.
  • Ability to work weekends when needed.
  • Able to arrive at work as scheduled
  • Able to do heavy lifting up to 75 pounds
  • No vehicle infractions in the previous 3 years
  • Must always demonstrate safety awareness in vehicles and use of equipment.
  • Team Player able to help in warehouse and sales floor as needed.
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Criminal Background Check and New Hire Drug test




One June 30th, the day of Dirk’s retirement, more than 70 friends, family & co-workers, present and past, met at the Wyndham Hotel to celebrate a 33-year career in support of affordable housing. Check out Dirk’s timeline below.

  • Left an 8-year career as a lawyer in a 200-staff law firm, making good money, to join Habitat as a volunteer for $25 weekly gift cards to the Piggly Wiggly.
  • Lived in Kalamazoo Michigan and in 1986, joined a volunteer team installing drywall on the ceiling where he spent 3+ days sanding drywall joints. During that time he was gifted a book by Millard Fuller (the founder of Habitat for Humanity) “Love in the mortar joints”. Reading this book was one of the reasons Dirk chose to work for Habitat for Humanity.
  • He landed in Americus, Georgia in 1988 where he took a job as volunteer public relations manager for the “House Raising Walk” from Portland Maine to Atlanta Georgia. Being the 12th Anniversary of Habitat the walk was 1200 miles to raise $1.2 million to build 120 houses in 12 weeks.
  • He joined the Habitat US Office where he was responsible for 4 out of 8 regions.
  • In 1989, he met Jimmy and Rosalind Carter in Plains Georgia prior to working on the Milwaukee Jimmy Carter Work Project. Dirk worked on 3 other Jimmy Carter Work Projects including the week-long 1990 Tijuana/San Diego project where they build 100 houses in Tijuana and 8 houses in San Diego. Part of Dirk’s job description was doing “Advance Work” with the Secret Service.
  • Miami Habitat hired Dirk as their 1st Executive Director in 1990 where he helped plan the Miami Jimmy Carter Work Project and build 14 houses.
  • A date that will always remain in Dirk’s memory…August 24th, 1992, Category 5 Hurricane Andrew arrived in Miami, creating massive devastation, including sheering off half of the roof on Dirk’s house. At the time Habitat Miami had 16 Habitat homes…and they all survived the hurricane.
  • The Habitat Miami staff went from 3 to 13 overnight and they spent 3 years rebuilding and expanding.
  • Dirk returned to his home state of Michigan in 1995 and visited the Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity. He was later hired as their 1st Executive Director, moving back to Holland Michigan where he worked for 7 years.
  • As part of HFHI, Dirk helped start the Executive Directors Advisory Council for leaders to meet and discuss affordable housing needs. Dirk remembers standing in the lobby of the hotel during the Habitat conference in Indianapolis, surrounded by Habitat staff from around the world, on September 11th, 2001.
  • In October 2001, during another Executive Directors Advisory Council in Americus Georgia, Dirk met a certain brunette Executive Director from Habitat for Humanity Visalia. Dirk and Betsy had a long-distance romance until Dirk left Holland Michigan in 2002.
  • He joined Habitat for Humanity International’s Affiliate Support Center where he worked for 3 years, traveling the United States western region.
  • He met Peter Carey from Self-Help Enterprises and joined the staff in December 2005, where he ran the Home-Ownership Program for 8.5 years.
  • Dirk came back to Habitat in 2014 as Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties.


With heartfelt gratitude, Habitat for Humanity of Tulare and Kings Counties announces the retirement of its Executive Director, Dirk Holkeboer, effective June 30, 2021.  Dirk has served as Habitat’s Executive Director for the past 7 years, leading a team that has significantly expanded Habitat’s operations in Tulare and Kings Counties during that time in order to implement Habitat’s effort “to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope.”

Dirk started his work with Habitat for Humanity International in 1988. Since then, he has served as executive director for local Habitat chapters in Miami, Florida and Holland, Michigan, as well as the Associate Director of Habitat’s Jimmy Carter Work Projects. Dirk also worked with Self-Help Enterprises in Visalia for eight years. In reflecting on 33 years working to develop affordable homeownership opportunities with Habitat and Self-Help, Dirk says that the greatest satisfaction was experiencing the transformational impact on the lives of families from owning a home that they helped to build. “Habitat builds more than houses,” he noted.

Most recently, Dirk and the Habitat team responded to the current public health challenges by finding creative ways to assist the communities it serves.  Despite adverse conditions, Habitat has continued to offer valuable home improvement resources via its ReStore locations in Visalia and Hanford, to provide home repair services to low-income homeowners, and to build homes with families working to improve their lives.

Habitat’s growth and perseverance amidst these challenges speaks to the care and dedication of its entire team.  Habitat is proud to announce that, effective July 1, 2021, Deanna Saldana, Habitat’s Resource Development Director for 14 years, will serve as Habitat’s Acting Executive Director while the organization considers applications for the permanent position

Habitat’s vision is that everyone in the world should have a decent and affordable place to live.  Inquiries concerning Habitat’s Executive Director position may be submitted to  Applications will be accepted through June 30.


The start of every Habitat build project is special, and the morning of April 20th was very special. More than 40 members of the RE/MAX Visalia team joined Habitat staff and board members to break ground on a new project at 320 N.W. 1st street.

“RE/MAX Visalia is proud to have served the Tulare County real estate marketplace for 25 years. In celebration of this milestone, RE/MAX Visalia is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build a home in Visalia alongside a low-income family. The home will be completed with the sweat of the agents of RE/MAX on site working with the selected homeowner. Additionally, contractors and industry businesses are encouraged to JOIN IN with contributions of money, materials and labor,” said Ed Evans.

RE/MAX is donating the lot at NW 1st Avenue and Pearl Street and raising CASH and contractor support to fund the project. Donation levels include: Craftsman Sponsor ($550), Foundation Builder ($1,500), Wall Raiser ($2,500), Roof Raiser ($5,000), Community Builder ($10,000), Master Home Builder ($25,000).

“Building homes is just part of our mission here at Habitat”, said Resource Development Director Deanna Saldana. “Building community is a key component to Habitat’s homeownership program and the families we serve. Working with the team at RE/MAX Visalia and other businesses in Tulare County brings people together to raise walls while helping a family build strength, stability and self-reliance. Affordable housing is so important to our community, and this effort gives us all an opportunity to make a real difference.” Work-bee days will be organized through the year as this home is built for a special Visalia family.

Ed Evans, Broker and Owner of RE/MAX Visalia added that “this is our way to give back to the community. We have been blessed with so much business and this is just a token of our appreciation.”

Special thank you to Rob Smith at Smith Promotions for sponsoring the t-shirts. Check out all the great pictures from the groundbreaking. 

Wall Raiser Sponsors $2500: The Discover Team, Rock ‘n’ Real Estate, Primary Residential Mortgage, D.R. Horton, Alisa Saterlee & Associates.

Foundation Builders $1500: Maria Helm

Craftsman Sponsors $550: Josephy Nguyen, Property ID, Hagin Realty.


Habitat started building their fifth home in the City of Hanford, on Friday July 29th, 2020 and 10 months later, more than 40 community members joined new homeowners Victor Gray, Danielle Solorio and their son Evan as they celebrated the completion of their forever home. Among the guests were Hanford City Mayor Francisco Ramirez, Kristine Lee from the Kings County Assessor’s office, Muni Sukhu representing the Hanford Rotary Community Foundation, house architect Thom Black, Matt Quinn from Valley Electrical Suppliers & Jared Bailey from Grocery Outlet, who gifted the new homeowners by filling the pantry with food and other necessities. A special thank you to Bucky Weeks from Adventist Health, for facilitating the house dedication for the family.

“The project was our ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ during the pandemic”, said Resource Development Director Deanna Saldana. “With Covid-19 protocols in place, we had volunteers work on the house along side the new homeowners, and continued our mission of building homes, communities and hope.”

The need for affordable housing has not changed-if anything, it’s become even more pronounced. Today, one in six families pay half or more of their income on rent or mortgage, often having to choose between paying for housing or nutritious food, reliable transportation or healthcare needs. Your home shouldn’t cost half your paycheck. Home shouldn’t cost you your health or your children’s education. When the cost of home is your family’s future, the cost is too high. There is a positive effect when everyone can afford a decent place to live reaches out and touches the entire community.

Habitat for Humanity is working with the City of Hanford and other local businesses to build more affordable housing, and the plan is to start the next project in 2022.

The Cameron Street project was possible because of the support from local businesses, congregations and individuals. Thank you so much for supporting Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties.

Home Builder Sponsors: Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank

Wall Raiser Sponsors: Union Bank, Pacific Western Bank, Visalia County Center Rotary.

Foundation Builder Sponsors: The Southern California Gas Company, Bank of the Sierra, First Baptist Church Hanford, Walmart D.C. Hanford, First United Methodist Church Hanford, Kahn Soars & Conway, Hanford Church of Christ, The Wonderful Company, Adventist Health, Griswold, LaSalle, Cobb, Dows & Gin LLP, Kings County Board of Realtors, Family Health Care Network, G.J. Gardner Homes, JH Tackett Inc., Kings United Way, Hanford Rotary Community Foundation & Hanford Church of Christ

In-Kind Sponsors: Crain’s Air Conditioning, Smith’s Roofing, Matt Quinn-Valley Electrical Suppliers, Grocery Outlet & Architect Thom Black

Thank you to the City of Hanford , the County of Kings and all the volunteers for being our partners in the pursuit of affordable housing for families in our community


In February, one of the founding forces behind the local Habitat for Humanity chapter passed away. Bob Marshall filled his 96+ years with a commitment to his community and its most vulnerable members fueled by a Quaker-infused sense of justice. From redeveloping a block of old houses in Philadelphia, to leading Self-Help Enterprises through its emergence as a leading community development organization in the Central Valley, to making the dream of a Habitat for Humanity chapter in Visalia a reality.

Bob always “walked his talk”. He was part of the Habitat board that hired Betsy Murphy, the organization’s first executive director. She reflected that Bob’s persistence and leadership was a key driver to those first years of building homes with an all-volunteer team. He, together with Mary Lou Burbery, Bill Decker and many others, brought this crazy idea of “no profit/no interest” affordable homeownership to Visalia. As the organization grew to encompass all of Tulare County and Kings County, Bob and Joy were always there to encourage subsequent generations of leaders.

Recognized by the Visalia Chamber of Commerce as “Man of the Year” in 1993, those of us who knew Bob can only hope to have a fraction of the influence that he had on the lives of so many. He was a leader to be emulated by all.

Malcolm Dutch


In Memoriam – Malcolm Dutch

The last 12 months have been an extremely difficult time for many of us and the community that we share. As Habitat deals with the uncertainties of our current health and economic challenges, we rely on the guidance of thoughtful leaders, particularly the Habitat Board of Directors. Earlier this month, we lost one of those guides when our friend Malcolm Dutch passed away following a heart attack. Malcolm was a hard-working man who was often the last person to arrive at the board meetings after putting in another long day as owner of GJ Gardner Homes in Visalia. Yet, he showed up prepared to contribute insightful questions and practical suggestions. He was always ready to literally roll up his sleeves and make a difference to our organization and the families we serve. He was committed to Habitat’s mission of a “hand up” to those needing a decent place to live.

I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that Malcolm will not be at the next meeting of the Board of Directors. While we celebrate everything Malcolm was to each of us, I will miss his infectious laugh and distinctive New Zealand accent. Most of all, I will miss his friendship.

Dirk Holkeboer, Executive Director