PRINCETON — Growing up, Bronda Simmons always wanted to be a part of something bigger than herself.

As the newly appointed Executive Director for Gibson County Habitat for Humanity, Simmons believes she’s found that.

Simmons’ job was impacted by COVID-19, and a good friend who knew she would be looking for jobs told Simmons to look at the listing for the executive director position.

“She goes, ‘Bronda, just read the description. It’s you,’ ” Simmons said.

Her first thought, when reading the description, was that it was a role meant for someone to serve, and it spoke to things she finds important.

“You’re ultimately making a difference family by family,” Simmons said.

Simmons has family that were Habitat partner families, so she was familiar with the organization from that perspective, but she said she was overwhelmed by how large its reach is.

“I’m a piece of a very beautiful masterpiece,” she said.

Helping her find her footing as a part of that is Greg Goodson, who will soon be retiring after serving as executive director for seven years.

He and Simmons have been working together for about three weeks and estimate at least a couple more before Goodson heads toward home projects and traveling.

Retirement is bittersweet for Goodson, who said he still plans to volunteer on the occasional job site and be there if Simmons needs a helping hand.

“(Habitat has) become a part of me the last seven years,” he said. “And I’ve become a part of it.”

Simmons’ hire also coincides with the start of a new partnership between Gibson County Habitat and a local family, which was decided on during the September board meeting.

The timing of selecting a new family was perfect, Simmons said, as Goodson is still there to help her through that first process.

Simmons will take some of those first steps of a new build herself, such as attending the Financial Peace course required for partner families in tandem with her first family as executive director.

While speaking with the newest partner family on Zoom, Simmons was able to deliver her first “you were approved,” which she said was so rewarding.

That expression on someone’s face, or the sound in their voice when they realize they will be able to work toward a home is something Simmons knows she’ll enjoy.

“That’s like Christmas, right,” she said.

sloesch@pdclarion.com

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