LAURINBURG — For Habitat for Humanity of Scotland County’s new executive director, discovering his calling in the nonprofit world came as an accident.
A native of Hamlet, Chris Carpenter started in 2009 with Habitat for Humanity of the N.C. Sandhills, which covers Richmond and Moore counties, after a 10-year career in the insurance business. Working as operations manager for that Habitat branch was a glove-perfect fit, but that didn’t surprise him.
“I’ve always felt like I’m pretty good with people,” said Carpenter. “I enjoyed the public and getting out and doing things and meeting people.”
Several years earlier, Carpenter had his first experience in fundraising when he organized a golf tournament to raise money for a client whose son was diagnosed with cancer.
“I came home one night and thought, I’d really like to do something for him,” Carpenter said.
“From that moment I fell in love with charity work. Finally the Habitat opportunity came along and I went for it.”
Carpenter will come to Scotland County’s Habitat branch from the executive director’s position with Chesterfield County Habitat for Humanity in South Carolina. He started there in 2012 as the new affiliate’s first director.
Under his tenure, the Chesterfield County Habitat constructed eight homes and completed several repair projects.
Carpenter succeeds Susan Covington, Habitat’s director of 10 years, who initially joined the organization as a short-term interim director. Covington announced her resignation in October, but will remain involved on a volunteer basis when she leaves at the end of the year.
Habitat for Humanity of Scotland County president Jim Hunt said that, in a pool of less than 10 applicants, Carpenter was a tailor-made candidate.
“We’re excited about Chris because he has a wealth of Habitat experience, he has ReStore experience, he had all the requisite experience,” Hunt said.
“We’re pleased with the job that Susan has done and we hate to see her go, but we’re excited about the future with Chris as well. We want to grow and we think we have some capacity to grow with the ReStore down there.”
Outside of work, Carpenter has served as president of the Hamlet Parks and Recreation Booster Club and coaches travel baseball. His hobbies include golf and running.
Carpenter’s start date is Jan. 4, and he is excited about the potential of the Scotland County Habitat branch.
“It is a very good, established affiliate already — Susan Covington has done a wonderful job over the last 10 years,” he said. “All we have to do is grow it, and I’m looking forward to that.”
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.