Greg Rice retires from Habitat for Humanity
A room full of friends from the community showed up Tuesday at Thomasville Parks and Recreation to say goodbye to Greg Rice, executive director of Thomasville Habitat for Humanity.
After spending the last 10 years in the position, Rice is stepping away from what he called "the best job I've ever had." Representatives from several city organizations, including Mayor Joe Bennett, were on hand to honor their friend and colleague in his retirement.
"I really think it needs fresh energy and the time has come for me to sit back and let the fresh energy come in, grow and expand it," Rice said.
Lillian Slaughter, whose career background seems to make her an ideal fit to succeed Rice as executive director, began work with Habitat on Nov. 1. She has been working alongside her predecessor the last six weeks to facilitate the transition.
"Working with Greg is phenomenal. He's like a walking index," Slaughter said. "To be a walking index, I'm not sure I'm ready for that. I'll probably carry several file cases with me.
"Thomasville Habitat for Humanity is a wonderful affiliate and I'm looking forward to learning a lot more about it. It's a wonderful opportunity."
Slaughter finds the Habitat program rich with community connections — such as relationships with Thomasville High School's masonry and carpentry classes, as well as the Ledford High School electrical trades program — which Rice cultivated during his tenure. These programs have been instrumental in providing a labor force for framing, wiring and other various tasks associated with Habitat.
"I feel the potential for expanding the ministry is even greater in this town because of the great resources in the community," Rice said. "I feel good about leaving it in good hands."
A retired Air Force pilot, Rice was once employed in the private sector, working with various companies on environmental protection. He and his wife Sandy will now have an opportunity to retreat to their home out west, but did not rule out returning to the Triad.
"We enjoy traveling in wilderness areas. We have a place in Montana, so we'll spend some more time out there, refresh, come back and get involved in Thomasville."
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.