Habitat for Humanity Construction Leader Wins Governor’s Award

Contributed by Ann Kilkuskie-Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity

(*Note: To nominate someone for 2018, see information at the end of this story.) 

KALAMAZOO (MICH.)- Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity Director of Construction Operations Tom Tishler won the 2017 Governor’s Energy Excellence Award for Best Residential Project, presented October 19, in Detroit. Tishler was nominated by Consumers Energy for Habitat’s first Zero Energy Ready Home on Glendale Boulevard. Governor Snyder presented Tishler with the award.

The post on the program’s website, mienergyexcellence.org, noted that the energy efficiency of this Habitat home enhances the affordability for the homeowners:

“Part of Habitat for Humanity’s mission is building high-performance homes with a focus on lowering the cost of ownership for the families who live in them. Tom Tishler, however, raised the bar when he constructed a high-performance Habitat for Humanity home in Kalamazoo, where yearly energy costs are expected to be less than $800, saving more than $20,000 over the lifetime of the mortgage,” the post reads.

Habitat accomplished this, in part, by applying green building practices to design and build the modest 1,100 square foot, 3 bedroom home, the third Zero Energy Ready Home® (ZERH) built in Michigan. A Zero Energy Ready Home® is built to U.S. Department of Energy high performance standards. The home is built to be ready, with the installation of a small renewable energy system like solar panels, to offset all or most of its annual energy consumption.

Habitat installed high-efficiency appliances, a state-of-the-art HVAC system, 100 percent LED lighting, high-quality insulation, and energy-efficient windows. The home also protects the health of its occupants by employing moisture management and air quality measures that meet the highest industry standards.

Eight individuals and organizations from across Michigan were recognized for their outstanding efforts to reduce energy waste. Two more Kalamazoo area firms also won awards and two others were recognized. Better World Builders, LLC., Kalamazoo, won as Builder of the Year and Hollander Development, Portage, won Best Commercial Project honors. Kalamazoo Institute of Arts was a finalist for Best Public Project and Nash Greenhouses, LLC., received honorable mention for best Agriculture Project.

“Reducing energy waste, along with ensuring energy reliability and advancing clean energy, is a key component of Michigan’s energy policy,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “We’re proud of the steps taken by the individuals and organizations we’re honoring because, collectively, they illustrate what can be done to reduce energy waste and save money, both of which strengthen Michigan’s economy.”

For more information, visit mienergyexcellence.org.

For more technical information and photos, visit Habitat’s Zero Energy Ready Home® blog: https://kalamazoozerh.wordpress.com.

Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity builds, rehabilitates, and repairs homes in Kalamazoo County, the cities of Otsego and Plainwell, and Gun Plain and Otsego townships. Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity began in 1983 and is 1 of more than 1,500 U.S. and 550 international affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International that coordinate Habitat house-building projects in over 3,000 communities around the world. Contact the Habitat office at (269) 344-2443 or visit habitatkalamazoo.org.

Nominations Sought for 2018 Governor’s Service Awards

mcsc-banner-mid_originalThe 2018 Governor’s Service Awards Nomination is an online application available at www.michigan.gov/governorsserviceawards.Nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. Jan. 31.

“These awards serve as a unique opportunity to highlight Michiganders helping Michiganders,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “We want to hold up Michigan’s best volunteers and show them off as role models for others. I hope you will help recognize the outstanding individuals, organizations and businesses in Michigan by nominating them for the Governor’s Service Awards.”

In 2018, awards will be presented in 10 categories which reflect the diverse nature of volunteers throughout the state. The categories are:

  • Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award: honors an individual who has shown a lifelong commitment to community involvement and volunteerism.
  • Lifetime Humanitarian Award: honors individuals or families that have demonstrated a lifetime of outstanding civic and charitable responsibility to a community or organization.
  • Senior Volunteer of the Year Award: honors individuals age 65 and older who have taken action to make their community a better place to live through service.
  • Volunteer of the Year Award: honors an individual who strives to improve the lives of neighbors, friends, community or congregation through volunteerism.
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year Award: honors individuals who are age 25 or younger who have already begun making a significant difference in their community through service.
  • Mentor of the Year Award: honors an individual who provides youth (ages 25 and under) with the confidence and assets to be successful.
  • Outstanding Volunteer Organization Award: honors service clubs, nonprofit, faith-based, veteran, disaster preparedness and other organizations that make a demonstrated difference in their community.
  • Education Service Leader Award: honors schools, colleges, universities and other organizations that support youth making a difference in their communities.
  • Outstanding National Service Program Award: honors organizations that provide a high-quality national service program that yields a significant impact in a Michigan community.
  • Corporate and Small Business Community Leader Award: honors corporations and businesses that excel in community involvement and demonstrate excellent corporate citizenship by giving back to their community in a variety of ways.

This will be Gov. Snyder’s eighth year of involvement in the Governor’s Service Awards, which were launched by Gov. John Engler in 1992 and maintained by Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm during her terms in office.

For additional information or questions, please contact the MCSC at 517-335-4295 or gsa@michigan.gov.

Background  The Michigan Community Service Commission utilizes service as a strategy to address the state’s most pressing issues and empowers volunteers to strengthen communities. In 2017-2018, the MCSC is granting more than $9 million in federal funds to local communities for volunteer programs and activities. Michigan’s AmeriCorps, Volunteer Michigan and Mentor Michigan are also premier programs of the MCSC. Visit www.michigan.gov/volunteer for more information.