The Home Depot Foundation and Wesco International Receive Chicagoland Habitat Hero Awards

Event raises over $1.3 Million to build and repair safe, affordable homes across the region

CHICAGO (June 20, 2023) — Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity honored The Home Depot Foundation and Wesco International on June 15th at its eighth annual Habitat Hero Award Dinner, recognizing decades of leadership and commitment working with Habitat in the Chicago area and beyond.

Over 300 guests gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago to toast the honorees and help celebrate the homeowners and heroes that help Habitat for Humanity build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. WGN anchor Micah Materre returned as master of ceremonies for the event. “The theme of this evening is ‘Every Hand Makes a Difference.’ And these two organizations have lent their hands to ensuring affordable, stable housing. We lift them up tonight as Habitat Heroes.”

“Habitat homeowners make the choice to change their lives by making a financial commitment to homeownership, attending financial education classes, and investing many hours in sweat equity,” said Melissa Dorko, Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “With a little hand up, their hands change their lives, and we honor them.” Melissa served as co-chair of the event along with Ted Dosch, Executive VP & Chief Transformation Officer, Wesco International (Retired), and John J. Engel, Chairman, President & CEO, Wesco International.

For nearly 40 years, Habitat for Humanity has had a local presence in the Chicago area, serving as a catalyst that mobilizes people to build homes, neighborhoods, and community. Chicagoland Habitat helps raise awareness, supports capacity building, and provides resources to empower Habitat affiliates while they are on the ground making a difference in their local communities.

Sarah Brachle Wagner, CEO of Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity, shared goals and programmatic priorities for Chicagoland Habitat in the coming year. “We have a real affordable housing problem. We don’t have enough affordable housing for all the families who need it, and we have over 400,000 homes in need of critical home repairs.”

“It’s important that Wesco International, as a global Fortune 500 company, supports the communities where we live and work. Many communities face significant challenges, including a clear need for affordable housing and for home repairs,” said John Engel. “We are proud to be working to address those needs in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.”

“The Home Depot Foundation has worked with Habitat for Humanity for more than a decade to provide home repairs for veterans, and I’m proud to work for a company that really rolls up our sleeves to support the communities where we live and work,” said Anthony Lemma, U.S. Navy Veteran and Regional Vice President, The Home Depot. He elaborated on The Home Depot Foundation’s commitment to veteran housing, saying “The Foundation has committed to invest $500M in veteran causes by 2025, and we look forward to continuing this important work with Habitat here in Chicago and beyond.”

The evening featured a video of Kate, a Habitat homeowner, and the many hands and helpers behind-the-scenes on her journey to an affordable mortgage and purchasing her home. The event was capped off by a paddle auction that raised over $115,000 to support more families in the region and generously matched by Chris and Carmela Griffin.

Sponsors include Wesco International (Presenting Sponsor); Edwardson Family Foundation (Region Builders); Ted and Ann Dosch, Chris and Carmela Griffin, USG, and Wintrust (Community Builders); Aaron and Mona Erter (Neighborhood Builders); J.C. and Nancy Anderson, Aon, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago, Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation, Clayco, Steve and Cindy Cruise, Deloitte, The Eck Family Foundation, Paul and Mary Finnegan, The Galvin Family Charitable Fund, Bill and Anne Marie Geary, The Home Depot Foundation, ITW, Chuck and Judy Murphy, Ashlee and Nathan Pforr, Scott and Angel Ramsbottom, Anthony and Leslie Scattone, True Value Company, and Zurn Elkay Water Solutions (Home Builders); and Melissa and Alex Dorko, Tony and Karin Gambell, Martina Keller and Don McLellan, Chris Kempa, Kim and George King, Kevin and Abigail Laczkowski, Nicor Gas, Asutosh Padhi, Ric and Kathleen Phillips, Srinivas and Ashwini Ramadath, Kevin and Michelle Sachs, Julie and Brian Simmons, Rod and Denise Smith Charitable Fund, Bill and Carol Standish, United Airlines, and Chris Wagner and Sarah Brachle Wagner (Family Builders).

For more information, visit #HabitatHero #EveryHand

About Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity

Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity was created as a support organization for Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the Chicagoland area, with a goal of significantly increasing the number of families served in the Chicagoland region. Habitat is committed to creating opportunities for individuals and families to thrive; to revitalizing neighborhoods and building communities; and to helping transform generations through home ownership. We do this by making housing affordable to hardworking people without access to conventional financing and offer individuals a hand up, fueled by our belief in dignity, self-sufficiency, collaboration, and hope. To learn more, visit