Habitat taps market lead as CEO

The leader of Ohio’s oldest continuously operating public market and one of Cincinnati’s most cherished institutions will become the new president and CEO of one of the key local nonprofits working to create and preserve affordable housing.

Joe Hansbauer

Joe Hansbauer has been named president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati, a nonprofit Christian housing ministry. Since 1986, Habitat has built, renovated, or repaired more than 680 homes throughout a nine-county region. The local operation has also contributed to building more than 1,000 homes globally in Cambodia, El Salvador, Kenya, and Nepal. 

Hansbauer brings more than 14 years of experience as an executive nonprofit leader, most recently as president and CEO of Findlay Market. 

During his nearly 10 years at Findlay, Hansbauer helped triple the organization’s operating budget by introducing new programs, partnerships and revenue streams.  

“After considering a strong pool of qualified candidates, our diverse hiring committee unanimously agreed that Joe was the clear choice,” said Amanda Hill, Habitat’s board chair. “With his demonstrated visionary leadership, connection to the Habitat mission, and commitment to the local community, Habitat Greater Cincinnati is well positioned to achieve its strategic goals and excel in the future.” 

Hansbauer began his career at Accenture as a consultant specializing in change and systems management. As a young professional, he helped to organize a Give Back Cincinnati trip to Habitat for Humanity of New Orleans in response to Hurricane Katrina. Hansbauer described the trip as a pivotal moment when he realized the opportunity for a “profession with meaning.”

This experience was the impetus for Hansbauer to leave Accenture and jumpstart a career in the social sector with the founding of ugive.org, an online platform with a mission to catalyze, excite, and empower the next generation of volunteers.

“I am thrilled that my path is coming full circle through this opportunity to once again further the Habitat mission of a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to live,” Hansbauer said.

At Findlay Market, Hansbauer developed Findlay Kitchen, an 8,000-square-foot incubator kitchen, from concept to operational. Today the project generates a net profit of $75,000 annually and supports more than 80 food businesses – 80% women, immigrant or minority owned.  

Hansbauer will succeed Ed Lee, who led the organization for over 12 years during which the local Habitat organization grew in its service to local families, building an organizational infrastructure that is more innovative and sustainable.

Lee led the merger of Cincinnati’s Habitat with TriState Habitat for Humanity to create one of the country’s largest among Habitat’s 84 affiliates. Earlier this year, Habitat learned it would receive $7.5 million from billionaire American author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Habitat is one of seven local nonprofits sharing in nearly $60 million from Scott.

Lee will continue his legacy as a champion for affordable homeownership in a new role as vice president of resource development transformation at Habitat for Humanity International. 

“Through Ed’s leadership, the organization is one of the healthiest and most respected Habitat affiliates in the country,” Hansbauer said. “I look forward to engaging in Habitat Cincinnati’s vision to serve a family a day by 2027 and leveraging the MacKenzie Scott gift to accelerate affordable homeownership in the region.”

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