Welcome to our new Executive Director!

We are pleased to announce that Kathy Fernandez has joined the Schenectady Habitat team as our new Executive Director, replacing Madelyn Thorne, who retired at the end of November.

Kathy has over 25 years of experience in various senior management roles, primarily in the nonprofit sector. From overseeing program development and dozens of volunteers with the Rochester Alzheimer’s Association to managing assisted living facilities in both Rochester and Schenectady, she brings a thorough background in people management and organizational efficiency. In recent years, as the HR Director/COO for YWCA NorthEastern NY, Kathy provided ongoing management guidance and support. She holds a B.A. in Gerontology from Alfred University and a Master of Jurisprudence from Tulane University School of Law.

A resident of Schenectady County for nearly 18 years, Kathy is actively involved in several non-profits in the area, including the Schenectady Rotary Club, Brightside Up, and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady.

Kathy believes the work of Habitat for Humanity is essential for creating stronger communities by helping families build and improve places to call home. She agrees with Wendell Pierce’s sentiment when he said, “That is the heart and soul of the American dream, homeownership. The idea of being able to buy a house and start to build a family.” She hopes to continue the excellent work of Habitat’s Board, staff, and volunteers to make those dreams come true for families in Schenectady County.