Joe Khawaja, CFO Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Joe Khawaja, CFO Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

As CFO of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Joe has been on the front line of giving back to the community with keen awareness of social and economic differences. That has only been heightened with the pandemic and current civil unrest as he has been challenged to approach business from new angles. His career of leadership in complex and international settings gives Joe a great background to appreciate the nuances of what is needed now. His determination to serve those in need amidst today’s uncertainty made Scouts Talent curious to learn more…

How has your way of doing business changed during the pandemic?

Pandemic has caused us to think about alternate ways of doing business. Scenario modeling, frequent communication to board, staff and customers, and overall safety has become of vital importance. Diversifying revenue streams, bolstering liquidity, driving operational improvements, and managing risk are some keys to success.

If you could try a different job for a day, what would you choose?

Play professional sport, plan a winning strategy and execute.

What advice would you give someone starting out in your industry?

Demonstrate initiative, volunteer on projects, take leadership, be bold, and take risks.

What is your mantra?

Trust in God and do your best. Work hard and believe in your abilities. Success will come.

How do you get yourself out of a slump?

Pray, stay positive and exercise. Think of all the successes in your life. Be thankful, learn, focus, and try harder.

What companies or leaders do you admire?

I admire authentic, visionary and hard-working leaders who make a difference. Brian Cornell comes across as a leader who has turned over impressive results at Target. Melissa Dykema, my former global leader at Cargill, who gave me opportunities on how to influence senior leaders without having formal authority over them.

What has been the biggest shift you’ve noticed in your industry in the last decade?

Artificial Intelligence, big data and analytics, cyber security, and the virtual work environment.

Who has been most instrumental in your career?

My father. I’ve appreciated his initiative, desire to succeed and ability to stand up for himself. These attributes, along with his “never give up and work hard” attitude, have been formative to my life and leadership.

What is your go-to celebration meal, drink or tradition?

Go out with friends and try different restaurants. Have BBQ with friends and play volleyball.


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