This month, Habitat Texas is proud to highlight Veteran Ken Cates, the Executive Director of Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity.

Ken entered his journey with Fort Hood Area Habitat after the President of the Board asked him to consider applying for an interesting challenge as the Executive Director. At the time, Ken was transitioning out of the military and was looking for full time employment that wouldn’t uproot his family from Texas. He decided to apply for the position with Habitat with the word ‘challenge’ being a key word in the decision. After being invited to interview among the top candidates he was offered the position later that night!

After retiring from 27 years of military service, Ken understands the importance of strength and stability to build an organization that has the potential to more than quadruple the number of Texans and Veterans served. He lives by a simple code: honor God, love your family, and defend and serve your country and community. Since taking over as Executive Director, the affiliate has gone from building one home per year to currently completing one home, remodeling another and getting ready to break ground on a home in Temple and Killeen. They anticipate being able to fund 12 homes in the next two years from the proceeds of their Dream Home Raffle, including a Homeless Veteran Community that will be breaking ground on in late July, early August – increasing the amount of people experiencing God’s plan in action.

Ken enjoys leading young, passionate people in their work at Habitat, knowing they are the next generation of great leaders. He partners with other local nonprofits to expand services to every individual, firmly believing in the ability to accomplish more by working together. Thanks to community partners and leaders, his affiliate will break ground on a 26-unit community dedicated to serve Veterans experiencing homelessness, projected to be completed by December 2018.

Everyday Ken is motivated by the stories and passions of the people he serves, the volunteers, his dedicated team, and the partners supporting Fort Hood Area Habitat’s growth and mission.

In addition to building up his community through his work with Habitat, Ken is involved in his church and military associations, holding the position as Chair of Habitat Texas’ Veterans Advisory Council, serving Texas A&M University, Central Texas’ Service-Learning Advisory Board, and Temple, TX Revitalization Advisory Panel.

Fun Facts:

  • Ken is a proud father to seven daughters and likes to say he bought a son 7 years ago or paid for the wedding, which he considers to be the same thing. That investment paid off, making him the grandfather of two grandsons.
  • Ken has had the honor of serving and travelling the world with the greatest 1% of our nation for 27 years in the military.
  • Ken loves playing the drums and helps his local high school marching band, which earned straight “1s” at the latest UIL competition, again!