Shawn Risher is the new executive director of Aiken County Habitat for Humanity, but he’s not a newcomer to the organization that builds affordable housing for people in need.

Since last year, Risher has served as Habitat for Humanity’s volunteer and project coordinator.

“I look forward to this chapter in my life in leading this great organization,” said Risher, who became executive director Nov. 25. “This is a wonderful organization with a great team, and I’m very proud to be part of it. We’re very strong and very steady with the personnel and the team that we have, and we’re just going to keep going forward.”

Prior to working for Habitat for Humanity, Risher was the development director for the Savannah Riverkeeper.

Before that, he was the executive director of the Salvation Army of Aiken’s Boys & Girls Club.

“He’s a fantastic individual, and he seems like a fantastic fit for where we want to take the Habitat mission going forward,” said Jim Barry, chairman of Habitat for Humanity’s board of directors.

Risher is taking charge at a busy time for the nonprofit.

“We are really excited about our new neighborhood revitalization program (Neighbor Up),” he said. "We’re diligently kicking that off and working hard to get more people involved in the program in Wicklow Heights (in Aiken). We have about five houses that we are currently in the process of assigning volunteers to, and they will be starting to work on them the first of the year.”

In addition, “We’re about halfway through (the construction of) our 130th house, which is in Jackson,” Risher said. “We have another house that is being finished up, our 129th, that’s in North Augusta.”

Risher succeeded Yolanda Archuletta, who became Habitat for Humanity’s executive director in 2017 following the retirement of Richard Church, who had been with the organization since 1998.

“She resigned, we accepted the resignation and everybody is moving forward,” said Barry of Archuletta’s departure. “She did a really good job of helping modernize the organization, and she added new programs like the neighborhood revitalization effort. We wish her well in her future endeavors.”

The purpose of the neighborhood revitalization effort is to make existing homes safer, healthier and more affordable to maintain.

Archuletta resigned “around Nov. 20 or 21,” Barry said.

Habitat for Humanity's headquarters is at 1026 Park Avenue S.E.

For more information, call 803-642-9295 or visit habitataiken.org.

​Dede Biles is the Aiken County government, business and horse industry reporter for the Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @DBethBiles.