Lake Norman & Mooresville

Executive director started as volunteer

Terry Laney believes that out of tragedy, some good must come. The Davidson resident is living validation of this concept.

If you meet Laney, you will notice that he is wearing a small gold angel pin. This is in memory of his 19-month-old grandchild who unexpectedly died.

At the time, Laney was serving as director of operations for Pizza Hut restaurants. He was asked to relocate to a different state and, considering the timing, Laney opted to remain in North Carolina and be close to his family.

Laney and his wife, M.C., were both experiencing the pain and confusion of their tragedy. One afternoon, while out on a walk, M.C. impulsively inquired about a volunteer position at Habitat for Humanity. As she broke down into tears, explaining her grief, she was comforted by all who were at the Habitat office that day, and a seed was planted.

The couple volunteered at Our Towns Habitat and had a hand in the growth of the program. Over the years, Laney had gone from a volunteer position to store manager and is now serving as Our Town Habitat for Humanity executive director. When Laney started volunteering with Habitat, there were three people on staff. He has helped the Our Town Habitat for Humanity in Cornelius grow into a current staff of 24. Among that staff is M.C. Laney, director of Our Towns Habitat ReStore.

Our Towns Habitat for Humanity services more than 30 families through building new homes, financing mortgages, and offering maintenance services through their repair program. Laney also reports that Habitat has helped more than 1,038 families globally, 57 families in Cornelius, 35 in Davidson, and 15 in Huntersville.

He said that in 2011 construction will begin on the first of 19 homes in Huntersville. A new ReStore is also slated to open soon in Mooresville.

"I certainly have struggles on a day-to-day basis, but when I come to work I am confused whether I am at work or play," said Laney. "This is one big family of high-quality people who are very neat and diverse individuals. I see their energy, and it energizes me."

Our Towns Habitat for Humanity tithes to Habitat for Humanity Guatemala. For every local home built, three homes in Guatemala are funded by Our Towns Habitat. Laney has been to Guatemala 12 times and experienced firsthand the effect he has on people's lives.

"This job is addicting, the more I see us serving more families the more I want to serve," said Laney.

Laney enjoys being with his family and likes to read fiction in his spare time and spend time on Lake Davidson in the summer. He has two children, a 13-year-old granddaughter and a 4-year-old grandson in the area.