Mark Van Lue

Mark Van Lue

Executive Director


San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I came from humble beginnings, and was raised to be average.
A term in the US Navy taught me that I was capable of nearly anything
I spent many years bouncing between jobs and self employment, and endured many financially difficult years
I began working for Habitat for Humanity, and found my calling, though initially I resisted a career in nonprofit
I got an opportunity to relocate to Georgia, which was scary, but put me on a path of incredible fulfillment
My job advancement included many opportunities to work internationally, which has been transformational for me
My path has culminated in deep satisfaction and success by most any measure

Education

High School
John Adams HS
Bachelor
English Language and Literature, General
Indiana University-South Bend

Career

Executive Director

I lead a team who create affordable housing opportunities in one of the highest housing cost areas of the country.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Business
Helping People

Day to Day

There really is no “typical” day in my work, which is a great thing! As is often the case in nonprofit work, I wear many hats, and lead a diverse team. We develop land, build homes, operate a large retail operation, lend mortgages, and provide social services. Each day is a unique mix of some or all of these things.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

I often say that the heart is even more important than the head in my work. When I hire someone for our construction team, for example, it’s not enough for them to know how to build a house. Technical skills are important, but I need someone who has a heart for our work. Someone who gets excited about working with unskilled volunteers. Someone who cares about others and wants to improve their lives and futures. I can teach technical skills much more easily than I can teach someone to care.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Start at the bottom, and work your way up. The things you will learn will be invaluable as you climb the ladder. No matter what, just start! Inaction or paralysis by analysis are killers.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
English Language and Literature, General

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"You can’t make a career of nonprofit work"

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation College Student