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(Photo by Gretchen Mathison Photography)
The youngest of 4 Army brats, Crystal was born in El Paso, Texas but raised primarily in Fayetteville, NC. She came to Chapel Hill in 1991 to attend UNC and quickly fell in love with the diverse community. After being employed in several local favorites including, Carolina Coffee Shop, Visart Video, Amante’s Pizza and Bandido’s, she came into the most important job of her life—motherhood. This life change led Crystal away from retail and restaurants and into the world of non-profits and co-ops.
After a 10 month term of service in AmeriCorps with the Durham Habitat for Humanity, Crystal spent 2 years on the front lines of Weaver Street Market. As if working in a co-op grocery store was not enough, she and her daughter, Jazmin also lived in Cedar Rock—Carrboro’s first cooperative housing community. Having experienced the transient life of a military family and now striving to create a solid foundation for her own, it is not surprising that Crystal found her niche in helping others find their way home.
In 2004 she joined Community Home Trust as Sales Manager and Broker in Charge, in addition to becoming a certified housing counselor. Crystal has taught on a national scale presenting to groups about the application of the CLT (Community Land Trust) model to preserve long-term affordability. In February 2013, she was presented the Pauli Murray Award by the Orange County Human Relations Commission for helping to provide affordable home ownership to lower income households. Currently, Crystal serves on the Chapel Hill Housing Advisory Board and on the Board of Directors for the PTA Thrift Store.