Mt. Pleasant, S.C. – East Cooper Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit, non-denominational
Christian housing organization, has added two staff members. Nick Jaksa will serve as
construction manager and Trish Elsie will serve as volunteer coordinator / construction assistant.
As construction manager, Jaksa will oversee all planning and execution of construction projects
for East Cooper Habitat for Humanity. He previously served as construction superintendent and
deconstruction manager with Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County in Greenville, S.C., and
prior to that as AmeriCorps site leader and construction superintendent with Habitat for
Humanity of Wake County in Raleigh, N.C. Jaksa holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the
University of North Carolina at Asheville. He is a licensed South Carolina Residential Builder
and is a member of the AmeriCorps Alumni and the Charleston Habitat Young Professionals.
Jaksa currently resides on Sullivan’s Island.

Elsie, volunteer coordinator / construction assistant, will oversee all aspects of the volunteer
program and work closely with home sponsors to coordinate sponsor volunteers and home
dedications. Elsie previously served as program director for the City of North Charleston, and
prior to that as event coordinator / recreation supervisor for the City of Isle of Palms. She holds a
bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto where she studied sociology and minored in
theatre and drama studies. Elsie is a member of the South Carolina Recreation and Parks
Association. Elsie previously volunteered with Louie’s Kids / Run Buddies, as an ICU / PACU
volunteer for East Cooper Medical Center, as a child advocate for both Lowcountry Orphan
Relief and the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center, as a reading partner with Book
Buddies, and as a mentor to elementary school students with Be A Mentor. For her efforts, she
has received the Volunteer Award for the Mary Ford Elementary School and tutoring / mentor
recognition from the Charleston County School District. Elsie currently resides on Isle of Palms.

East Cooper Habitat for Humanity (ECHFH) assists families by building safe, well constructed
homes. Working in partnership with low-income families, ECHFH utilizes volunteer labor and
donated funds to provide a “hand up”, not a “hand out”, on the construction of their homes.
Homeowners are chosen based on their demonstrated ability to handle personal finances and
their willingness to contribute at least 350 hours of “sweat equity” on their home. Upon
completion, Habitat homes are purchased by the homeowner with monthly payments under an
interest-free mortgage over 30 years, and those payments are directed toward future
homebuilding efforts as received.

East Cooper Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International,
servicing the communities east of the Cooper River in South Carolina. Visit their website at for information on the organization and how to get involved.
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its
work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in
1976, Habitat has built more than 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and
affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people.

For more information, contact:
August 19, 2013

Melissa Pluta Parker, 843-296-4092, or

Elizabeth Boineau, 843-723-1462

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