May 21-23, 2019 | Anaheim Convention Center | Anaheim, CA

Joe Connell

Joe Connell

Executive Director - Building Materials Reuse Association


There are two threads to my career: developing people and organizations, and project management. Having completed 12 years with Habitat for Humanity’s overseeing the ReStores in the Greater Portland, OR area I moved on this past year to lead the Building Materials Reuse Association.

I started my career in residential remodeling, working on everything from 200 year old homes in Maine to Brownstones in NYC. I then took a career turn managing a food co-op for a few years. I love food and I love farms so this was a really exceptional opportunity to combine them both. Life then brought me to the west coast where I returned to the building industry through the sustainability/re-use side of our industry at the ReStore; as well as committee work with the City of Portland and various other organizations. I am now back home in Maine continuing that work through the BMRA nationally.

Along the way went on to study conflict management and facilitation – which was some of the best leadership training I’ve had. Its been a tremendous help in all my non profit work. Fifteen years later I am still amazed at how this focus on people, culture and operations makes all of the difference in any business or project.

In Portland my work with ReStores led to explosive growth: We expanded our footprint from one location to four, and three employees almost 70. I’m proud that these ReStores are now in the top 10% in sales and net profit nationally and continue to be a leader in the Habitat world.

I enjoy building; helping people grow to build a truly great organization. There is nothing finer to me than seeing it all come together. And unlike a building plan or furniture design I love the surprises and the synergy that is created with people. This dynamic energy that’s created when folks work together to build something is my greatest joy, and I believe everyone feels the difference when working this way.

All presentations by Joe Connell

Historic Preservation

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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