“Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat him as what he could be, and he will become what he should be.”- Coach Jimmy Johnson
Jamie Caperton has significantly impacted Teller County and I believe there is no one more deserving of praise. She lives Jimmy Johnson’s quote to the fullest, each and every day.
Jamie was hired 2 years ago when Habitat for Humanity of Teller County (HFHTC) was failing and in need of some guidance. Originally, she had a traveling business in which she advised companies and created plans for success. When she informed the board of what they would need to do to fix the mess they were in, literally all but one decided they weren’t interested in putting the effort in to go any further with HFHTC. She was hired as Executive Director and implemented a “committed to excellence” plan that all of her recruited board members and staff have risen to. She has empowered us to excellence. We have weekly staff meetings, monthly board meetings and tons of accomplishments to show for her commitment to this mission. Not only is the affiliate out of the red, we have created so many new partnerships in the past 2 years and even 6 months since I’ve been here. HFHTC only continues to grow; with 2 full time staff members, 2 part time and myself we have been granted more AmeriCorps positions this upcoming year as well as the Builder’s Blitz in June. USDA was so impressed with our ability to make things happen at this tiny affiliate that they reached out to Jamie and asked if we would be interested in a 40 unit community project. Jamie works tirelessly to create very popular fundraisers which have raised a great deal of money for us in the past: Tees for Keys, Stilettos and Studs, Vino and Notes are the biggest events that she spearheads. It truly is amazing to watch her succeed and bring everyone around her along for the ride. She forces us to rise to her standards, which has been gaining community recognition as excellent. Jamie has high expectations for each of her staff, board, and even volunteers and she lets us know in the most respectful and professional ways.
Jamie maintains a beautiful family, her faith in God and somehow puts extra hours in for HFHTC. When I mean extra, she spends parts of her weekends meeting with community members for funds or to create partnerships, crafting gold items for the Stilettos and Studs event and even comes into paint our little basement office. These are just a few instances of when she goes above and beyond for this affiliate and it truly motivates the rest of the staff to strive to be like her.
Speaking with other AmeriCorps volunteers at other affiliates, they do not have the freedom or ability to create the impact that I have in just a few short months. Jamie has trained me extensively; this includes organizational skills, leadership skills, high team performance, and on personal levels. I was solely responsible for our HFHTC Christmas Party and silent auction to raise money, celebrate the NCCC groups that were helping us, and congratulate the families for completing their homeowner classes. I hosted a volunteer fair in January and am hosting another in June. Moreover, she empowers me every day – though work days are sometimes long and less than rewarding she keeps all of us laughing and smiling. She has a fantastic sense of humor, the ability to create out of the box ideas that have worked every time I’ve seen her implement them so far, and just an all-around impressionable and wonderful human being.
I’ve been fortunate enough to witness two closings so far and her compassion cannot go unnoticed. She always has stern and positive words of encouragement for the families and ends in tears. I am more than lucky, I am blessed to be able to work for Jamie and though it’s not always easy to meet her expectations her aura motivates me to be the best I can be – the best I can be at all times of the day, even when no one is watching because I know Jamie is doing the same thing. Personally, I couldn’t have had a better experience directly after college with the work I am expected to do and the impact it creates. Jamie Caperton is my boss, my friend and my hero. I hope I can be half the person that she has grown to be someday and inspire others around me in the ways that she does. I recommend anyone to be a fly on the wall in our office for just one day to see this woman at work. It is truly a sight to behold.
Jamie is so extremely engaged, passionate and purposeful when it comes to the mission of Habitat for Humanity. She deserves recognition for her hard work as she never seeks it.