Cassie Fernandez

BAKERSFIELD — Cassie Fernandez, a Kern County native with a background in the nonprofit sector, has been named the new executive director of Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire.

Habitat’s local board of directors hired Fernandez after a national search; she began her new position in May.

“I am proud to begin the work of building homes and restoring lives,” said Fernandez, who credits her faith and focus on family for guiding her to Habitat for Humanity.

She said she looks forward to helping grow Habitat at such a critical time, adding: “Affordable housing is even more important today as many local working families are struggling to make ends meet. The home-ownership opportunities that Habitat for Humanity affords not only provides stability for families, it improves neighborhoods and benefits Kern County as a whole.”

Jon-Lee Hawarden, president of Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire’s board of directors, said Fernandez’s nonprofit experience have helped her to hit the ground running.

“We are extremely fortunate to have found a new executive director who understands the important mission of Habitat and the valuable role the organization plays in our community,” said Hawarden.

Fernandez is the prior director of the Kern County Sherriff’s Activities League, a program dedicated to helping improve the lives of children in undeserved areas. She also has mortgage-lending expertise and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and Master’s in Business Administration. She and her husband have four children, three dogs and a cat and live in Bakersfield. As executive director, Fernandez is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Habitat for Humanity’s Bakersfield-based affiliate, its employees and volunteers, as well as two ReStore retail locations. She will work closely with the organization’s local board of directors. Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide.

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