Volunteers help at a Habitat for Humanity home


Habitat’s Special Events Manager Embraces Mission That Changes Lives

The familiar scene of keys being presented to an emotional first-time homebuyer never gets old to Mark Hennaman.

“Watching a family receive the keys for a home they may have dreamed about but never imagined would actually happen is just an amazing thing to see unfold,” says Hennaman, Special Events Manager at Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg. “It’s amazing to know you are part of making that happen.”

Hennaman took a circuitous route to the local affiliate of the international nonprofit after spending the early part of his career in banking and later politics. He was 15 years old when he asked the assistant manager of a local bank, “Is there such a thing as a male bank teller because I’ve never seen one?”

Turns out the bank needed part-time help, so Hennaman went to work after his day ended at New Kent High School, a job he continued during breaks at Radford University, where he was a finance major.

Hennaman went on to work at Citizens and Farmers Bank for the next 13 years, advancing to assistant loan officer and later to a marketing role.

He was 29 when he made a run to be on the New Kent Board of Supervisors.

“That interested me a lot. I’ve always felt a sense of community and wanted to be in a position to help people,” he says. “I ran for the Board in a three-way race and won with about 60% of the vote.”

The work was rewarding. The Board was responsible for building the first county-owned fire station and hiring the first full-time, paid first responders. The first commercial water and sewer lines became part of the county under the Board — additions that benefitted the New Kent economy.

Hennaman served as chairman of the Board for a term and a half. A second-place finish in another run for county treasurer ended his political career, so he returned to banking and joined BB&T in Williamsburg.

He left BB&T as an assistant vice president before transitioning to the Williamsburg and Denbigh offices of Old Point National Bank. That came with an added responsibility: In 2014, he was appointed to Board of Directors at Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg.

Hennaman had heard of Habitat but held many of the misconceptions others share. While former President Jimmy Carter worked tirelessly on behalf of the mission, he is not the founder of the nonprofit nor are homes ever given away. They are sold to qualifying families who pay back the no-interest mortgages to the affiliate, funds that are put back in the community so more homes can be built.

“The more I learned about the mission, the more compelling it was to me,” Hennaman said. “I reconnected with that sense of service and helping people.”

Invited by CEO Janet V. Green to join the staff, Hennaman initially came aboard at the Habitat ReStores where he sought donations of items from businesses to be sold in the stores, raising funds to build more Habitat homes.

Hennaman later streamlined the donation process — leading to more than double the donations to the Newport News and Williamsburg ReStores.

Today his role has shifted into managing Development and Events alongside Virginia Staley, the affiliate’s Director of Development. Hennaman handles logistics for the various fundraisers that support the mission of building homes, communities and hope. He also assists with donor relations.

“I love being part of a mission that’s helping people achieve something that they might not otherwise achieve,” he said. In his free time, Hennaman and his spouse, BJ, enjoy their four dogs: two English Setters, Remington and Winchester, and two Maltese Poodle mixes, a mother named Macy and her daughter, Willow. The couple is active in Boxer rescue and enjoys antiquing and day trips without an agenda.


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We help as many families as we can, but the lack of decent and affordable housing remains a critical problem in our area. By donating, you will provide upfront funding for building materials and services that makes interest-free loans to Habitat partner families possible. Habitat partner families help to build their own homes - alongside volunteers - and pay an affordable mortgage. Your monetary donations enable us to continue building strength, stability and independence for future local families.