Caleb White is a man with a mission.
In 2009 he walked into the Habitat Store in Olympia as manager, and nine years later as manager of retail operations for South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity he had a string of successes, including growing the business by over 600 percent, from one store bringing in $250,000 a year, to two stores doing $1.5 million a year.
For Caleb there’s an even more significant metric.
“We were building less than two houses a year, and last year we built almost 10 home,” he says.
January 2 was Caleb’s first day on the job as retail director for Portland Metro ReStores.
Tenacious and goal-oriented, he is turning his focus on improving the donor and shopping experience at our four locations, and he’s developing plans for delving into e-commerce, too. What’s his ultimate aim?
“To build more homes. That’s always what I’m looking at,” he says.
To do that Caleb knows he has to rely heavily on a strong team of volunteers. He has been amazed by the number of volunteers who show up each week to receive donations, cashier, stock, merchandise, make signs, and organize our stores.
“It’s pretty cool to see the commitment from the community-to have these people come every day,” he explains. “And it’s not just one store, it’s multiple people in every store. They are really passionate about ReStore!”
Last year 2,132 volunteers clocked nearly 65,000 hours at ReStores in Portland, Beaverton, Gresham and Vancouver. It takes every one!
On a personal note
Caleb was born and raised in Olympia, Washington. He received a BA in business management from Saint Martin’s University in Chehalis. He is the father of 9-year-old Christian, who, like his dad loves golf. (For son it’s a newish thing; for Dad it’s a how-fast-can-I-get-to-a-tee-after-work kind of thing.) They both also enjoy hiking.
Caleb is an avid cook. “I like to take simple things and elevate them,” he says as he describes last night’s dinner of strip steak with broccoli puree, roasted veggies and a chimichurri sauce.
He’s also into music production, specifically but not solely hip-hop and electronic music. “I’m not necessarily defined by that genre, but I enjoy that kind of stuff,” he explains.
Prior to working for Habitat, Caleb was the owner of Quake Media Group, a web design, marketing and development business.
Though he claims not to be a big traveler, Caleb and his girlfriend, Brook, just recently made their third trip to Hawaii. “She’s the traveler, I just tag along.”
“I think people should visit all our stores because you’ll get a different experience when you go to a different one,” he says. “The product mix will be different at different locations. That’s what makes us really unique. We have different donor bases and so visit all our stores and see which ones you like, and visit frequently. You can get things that you’ve never dreamed of, any old purchase at the ReStore!”
VOLUNTEER: New opportunities
EMPLOYMENT: We have jobs!
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