100,000 Homes Director Honored by the White House

Posted April 1, 2013

Becky Kanis, Community Solutions’ director of the 100,000 Homes Campaign, was named a Champion of Change by the White House this week. Kanis was one of 14 female veterans honored for providing “exemplary leadership in many areas at the local, state, regional and national level after honorably serving the country.” First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki were on hand to salute these remarkable women.

The event consisted of a panel discussion with all 14 women as well as speeches from Shinseki and Obama. During her panel participation, Kanis told stories of her time in the military and the incredible leadership training she received there. She also discussed her early career in the world of housing and homeless services, relaying her decision to shift her work hours from 9-5 to 3am-11am to spend more time on the streets understanding the homeless people she was trying to house.

When asked what advice she’d give to people working to create change, Becky said to commit. “Commit to the outcome, not to the process. Be willing to try anything to get to your end state. And make sure you have some good friends who will join with you in the adventure.”

Jake Maguire, the Campaign’s Communications Director, who nominated Becky for the accolade, called Becky “the best kind of leader.”

“She digs deep into the strengths of her team and allows those things to empower her. If you love something and do it well, she wants you doing it all the time. She gets the most out of us because it’s so clear that she wants the best for us.”

Read Becky’s account of the work that led her to becoming a Champion of Change on the White House blog.