Outgoing Director Mike Cooney to stay involved

by Dennis Rahm

Chelan Valley Housing Trust (CVHT) announced the hiring of new Executive Director Steven Wilkinson (pictured above) to lead Lake Chelan’s community housing trust. Wilkinson will succeed outgoing Executive Director and founder Mike Cooney who served the attainable housing nonprofit organization since its inception in 2018.

“I am very excited to be a part of this outstanding organization,” says Wilkinson. “Getting to know Mike Cooney and the board has shown me how absolutely passionate they are about providing housing that is affordable to families who work in the Lake Chelan Valley.”

Cooney told LakeChelanNow that he took the job with the Housing Trust after agreeing to a two year commitment.

He indicated “the organization is in a good place and they have made a good hire in the new Director”.

Cooney said it’s time to turn the page on a new chapter of his life, but noted he intends to stay involved with and supportive of the Housing Trust.

CVHT Board President Tim Hollingsworth says the hiring of Wilkinson is a function of scaling the organization for larger and more complex projects. “Steve’s background in banking, housing and fundraising is going to help our organization grow to the next level. With the potential of developing 100 homes in the next 5 to 7 years, his expertise going forward will be invaluable.”

Wilkinson was a commercial banker for many years in Whatcom County WA providing crucial capital to local businesses. Most recently Mr. Wilkinson was the Executive Director of the South Central Kansas Economic Development District (SCKEDD) a mission-oriented nonprofit established to enhance the economic vitality, community infrastructure, and housing quality in south central Kansas. “We financed new innovative business ventures, assisted local communities in attaining crucial economic development grants, renovated residential properties and provided weatherization assistance to low-income households located in 41 southern Kansas counties,” says Wilkinson.

Wilkinson will assume the Executive Director position beginning October 1, 2021.