By: Marc Bartel
On August 18th we were able to have our first event since the pandemic struck in March of 2020, and though we were all excited to see our coworkers, friends, and community stakeholders, it was a bittersweet gathering. This event was in honor of two of HomeSight’s most dedicated and respected, and now retired members, Tony To and Tom Jacobi.
The evening was full of music, food and flowers from Southeast Seattle businesses, and some fantastic speeches from some well-known HomeSight Alumni, Nora Liu, Tanesha Van Leuven, and Dorothy Lengyel. Dorothy, along with her Husband Tom Lattimore, founded HomeSight in 1990 and was the Executive Director for 14 years, where most of those years she worked with Tom and Tony.
Listening to those who stood up to speak about the retirees, it was incredible to hear the impact they had on former and current staff. With an almost combined 60 years at HomeSight, one can only imagine the amount of community members, clients, and stakeholders who have been impacted by the consequential careers of these two gentlemen. Seeing the dedication to our values, mission, and our professional growth from Tom and Tony everyday really will leave an impact on current and former HomeSight staff members.
Tony, who dedicated 28 years to HomeSight and leaves us as the Director Emeritus said, “I am in awe and will be forever grateful to HomeSight for what we have accomplished together. I leave at a time when the staff, leadership, and board are most representative of those we have served so well. I wish HomeSight the very best in its next chapter of creating impact and changing lives for the better.”
Tom, who dedicated 30 years to HomeSight and leaves us as the Chief Portfolio Officer said, “I want to thank my spouse, Jean Kruzich, and my sons for their support and patience when I needed to work evenings and weekends. I also want to thank my many colleagues at HomeSight and other partners I’ve collaborated with. Without them we could not have accomplished so much for affordable homeownership. When I take a step back from the day-to-day work, it’s with great satisfaction that I look at all we do at HomeSight to provide the opportunity for wealth building for low-income home buyers, it’s what really keeps me going!”
Darryl Smith, HomeSight’s Executive Director, spoke on the retirees at the event and ended his words with this: “Tom Jacobi and Tony To, who combine almost 60 years of affordable housing and development expertise, are two heroes who have built a strong foundation and rich legacy on which we, who remain at HomeSight, will continue to carry the torch.”
Congratulations to Tom and Tony on your well-deserved retirement!