Habitat for Humanity Fresno County has a new executive director after a four-and-a-half-month national search that resulted in more than 50 applicants and six interviews before a decision was made.
Matthew Grundy, 33, fills the agency’s top position which was left vacant when Tony Miranda left in April to lead the Bakersfield affiliate. Miranda was director of the international Christian housing ministry in Fresno for 14 years. Torin Blount, manager of Habitat’s ReStore, has served as the interim director.
“I’m really looking forward to serving this community,” Grundy said on Wednesday shortly after starting his first day on the job. “A lot is always put on the leadership, to follow the leadership. I’m a servant leader. We have to be out there and helping people. I’m excited to be serving the community.”
Grundy was raised in the Inland Empire area. He was president of Rocket Learning USA, a Rancho Cucamonga-based company that provides free after-school tutoring to children from financially disadvantaged families. The program served about 300 families in the Fresno area, Grundy said.
The husband and father of four – with a fifth due in two weeks – was not looking for a new job. He said he felt a calling, with hints through passages in the Bible, that a change was coming. Then he saw the job description for the Habitat job and applied.
The new director position is a fusion of the work that Grundy has done over the last decade combined with his passion for helping the underserved. He knows their plight, Grundy said, because he was once homeless.
Before Rocket Learning USA, Grundy worked in land acquisition and residential development as a partner and founding member of BMD Investments Inc., a Los Angeles real estate company. He managed $7 million in developments a year and oversaw the day-to-day site construction and operation of subcontractors.
Grundy graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor of science degree in business administration and an emphasis in entrepreneurial studies.
The search for a director was conducted by a Sacramento firm attracting local and out-of-town applicants, said Randy Kammerer, president of Fresno Habitat’s board of directors.
“It’s an important role and you need to have somebody that has the experience managing people and in development…and has the passion,” Kammerer said.
“It was very clear that he was the one for us.”