What’s On My Desk: Habitat For Humanity CEO Erin Rank

Erin Rank's desk
Erin Rank’s desk

As the CEO and President of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, it’s safe to say that Erin Rank is a woman who knows about giving back.  Rank began her service with Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that seeks to eliminate substandard housing through advocacy, education and partnership with families and individuals in need to build decent, sustainable and affordable housing, in 1995 and later became the affiliate’s first employee in 1998.  For the past 17 years, Erin has grown the organization from building 10 homes in its first 8 years to building over 1,000 homes for families in need locally and internationally.   She has served on HFHI’s US Council and recently as the Chair of the Board for Housing California.  She, alongside celebrity friends of the brand including Allison Holker, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, David Arquette, Victor Ortiz, Kristen Bell, Angela Bassett and Mario Lopez, have helped to rehabilitate and repair more than 1,000 homes locally and worldwide, transforming the lives of thousands of individuals. Here, this mega-philanthropist shares a peek at where she strategizes even more ways to give back: her desk.

  • The desk: This treadmill desk was donated to our Habitat LA ReStore and I just couldn’t resist. When working long hours it can be tough to fit in daily exercise. This is the ultimate in multitasking! Now I work out while checking emails or participating in long conference calls!
  • Photo of a shack in the Philippines: Since its founding in 1990, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) has built and renovated more than 1,000 homes locally and worldwide. While we have photos around the office to celebrate all of the homes we have built, I keep this photo front and center to remind me there are still too many people living in deplorable conditions and struggling to afford decent housing here locally and around the world. It motivates me to achieve more every day.
  • Photo of the dirt lot: This is a photo of an empty lot in San Pedro, CA., which was taken four months before we hosted the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in 2007. In just a week, former President Carter and thousands of volunteers helped to build 16 homes on this site. This photo serves as a daily reminder of the great things that are possible when people from all walks of life come together to build homes, communities and hope with Habitat for Humanity.
  • Pencil holder: My pencil holder serves a practical and sentimental purpose. It was something my Dad always kept on his desk and now I keep it on my desk to remind me of him each day. He loved serving his community in many ways. My work is a tribute to him.
  • Pink hardhat: Every year we bring out high profile women from diverse industries for our Power Women, Power Tools® build. We started this event to encourage female executives throughout Los Angeles to support our mission and break the stereotype that the construction and building trades are a field for men only.  I find it incredibly inspiring to see “Power Women” making a tangible impact in the community and on the lives of the families we partner with, especially since so many of our homeowners are strong single-moms.
  • Phone/iPad/Notepad: As a busy CEO, I am always reachable on my cell phone and email. I also have a daily morning ritual of reading news on my iPad from around the world as well as the building and real estate industries.