Torin A. Blount is a results-driven executive with more than 20 years of success in the retail sales industry. Blount thrives in dynamically changing environments requiring strong industry and market savvy and is currently serving as the ReStore director for Habitat for Humanity Fresno County in Clovis.
He describes himself as a visionary business development leader able to provide long-range and tactical execution of strategic sales, business development, and training programs to promote change, improve overall market performance and realize double-digit revenue growth.
Aside from all of this, Blount seeks to put Christ first in his life and is an active member of his church and men’s group. He is the proud father of three who strongly supports the educational system.
Q (Sheldon Baker): For those not familiar with Habitat for Humanity ReStores, what products do you offer?
A (Torin Blount): ReStore in Clovis and Fresno, are nonprofit retail outlets owned and operated by Habitat for Humanity Fresno County. We offer the local community a unique retailing experience with an ever-changing inventory of new and gently used building materials, sold at discount prices. The proceeds from ReStore fund the construction of new Habitat homes, fulfilling our mission of providing decent, affordable housing to qualifying families in Fresno County. So, whether you’re a contractor with a surplus of two-by-fours or a budget-conscious, do-it-yourself warrior fixing up your home, ReStore is the place to visit.
Q: Do you accept donations from the Clovis community?
A: Habitat for Humanity Fresno County is committed to creating simple, affordable housing by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can live and grow. We depend on the support of individuals, businesses, community organizations and faith-based communities to help us build homes for hardworking, low-income families and eliminate substandard housing. These partnerships build so much more than a house. They build lives, health, community, stability, and a future for families in need. Our donation categories include $10 for a box of nails, $35 for roof shingles, $50 for low-flow toilets, $75 for a window, $100 for a kitchen sink, $150 for a front door, $500 for siding, $1,000 for wallboard and $2,000 for flooring.
Visit www.habitatfresno.org and give online by clicking the donate button or take it a step further and become a fundraiser by sharing how to give with friends. It’s easy, safe, and secure. And of course you can always send a check to Habitat for Humanity Fresno County, 4991 E. McKinley Ave. Ste. 123, Fresno, CA 93727.
Q: Is there a need for volunteers?
A: Investing your time in the lives of others by volunteering with Habitat Fresno is a truly rewarding experience. We have several opportunities for anyone whether it’s a group of friends, family, co-workers or just you; we welcome volunteers of all levels and interests. There are a variety of positions to fill including ReStore retail operation help; revitalization cleanup in the community; construction, where you don’t need experience to work on construction sites; and outreach, call center and ambassadors, as well as back office support or committee work.
Q: Does the retail store get involved with constructing homes?
A: Yes, the staff at the stores do work on the construction sites with the families and volunteers on designated build days. Most of the work, however, is done by the construction team.
Q: Is there still a need for Habitat housing in Clovis?
A: Yes. A new community is popping up in the City of Clovis called The Rialto Project. Habitat for Humanity partnered with the City to develop a piece of land. Andy Haussler, Clovis deputy city manager explained, “Being able to offer homes that are affordable so that everyone has an opportunity to live in great neighborhoods and be part of our community is something that we have a priority on here in the City.”
Q: What is your proudest career achievement?
A: I would say that my proudest career achievement was when I received my bachelor’s of business administration from the University of Cincinnati. Go Bear Cats.
Q: What do you like best about your job?
A: The legacy that we are creating through our partnership with the families we serve and the community we live in. There is no better feeling when we do a home dedication and the family receives the keys to their new home. Millard Fuller the founder of Habitat for Humanity once said, “This is God’s work. It makes blisters and it makes sweat, but it’s worth my time and it’s worth your time. Working together as God’s people in the world — I don’t know of anything more rewarding.”
Q: If someone gave you $100,000, what would you do with it?
A: I would settle all of my accounts and then invest into the Fresno Community Land Trust as well as set up a scholarship in my family’s name — Blount Student/Athlete — Scholarship funded by the Blount Foundation.
Sheldon C. Baker is chief executive officer for Clovis-based Baker Dillon Group and has created numerous brand marketing and public relations campaigns for companies and brands. For Q&A interview consideration e-mail Sheldon at SBaker@BakerDillon.com.