CHELAN –Chelan Valley Housing Trust (CVHT) announced the hiring of new Executive Director Steven Wilkinson to lead Lake Chelan’s active community housing trust. Wilkinson will succeed outgoing Executive Director and founder Mike Cooney who served the attainable housing nonprofit organization since its inception in 2018.
Cooney was at the forefront of developing the Lake Chelan Housing Trust and when hired as its executive director, Cooney stated he would commit to the job for two years. With his two years ending in October. Cooney and the board began seeking his replacement.
Steven Wilkinson was selected to take over the reins of the Housing Trust.
“I am very excited to be a part of this outstanding organization,” says Wilkinson. “Getting to know Mike Cooney and the board has shown me how absolutely passionate they are about providing housing that is affordable to families who work in the Lake Chelan valley.”
CVHT Board President Tim Hollingsworth says the hiring of Wilkinson is a function of scaling the organization for larger and more complex projects. “Steve’s background in banking, housing and fundraising is going to help our organization grow to the next level. With the potential of developing 100 homes in the next 5 to 7 years, his expertise going forward will be invaluable.”
Wilkinson was a commercial banker for many years in Whatcom County WA providing crucial capital to local businesses. Most recently Mr. Wilkinson was the Executive Director of the South Central Kansas Economic Development District (SCKEDD) a mission-oriented nonprofit established to enhance the economic vitality, community infrastructure, and housing quality in south central Kansas. “We financed new innovative business ventures, assisted local communities in attaining crucial economic development grants, renovated residential properties and provided weatherization assistance to low-income households located in 41 southern Kansas counties,” says Wilkinson.
Wilkinson will assume the Executive Director position beginning October 1, 2021.
Cooney stated that his decision to step down after two years was to spend more time with family, particularly his grand children. “I have a lot to do over the last two months,” said Cooney. He will be busy with Wilkinson’s transition and then will continue at whatever level the board sees fit when Wilkinson takes over.
“This position has been extremely gratifying. It has been great working with everyone,” said Cooney. “I don’t want to see any momentum lost.”
The Chelan Valley Housing Trust’s Mission is to develop stable and secure housing that is affordable to Manson and Chelan area residents.