Merrill McKewen, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area, has announced the following new staff members:

Brad "Kaz" Franklin is the new Director of Community and Homeowner Advocacy. He previously was the Marketing Specialist and Assistant Manager of Thalia Mara Hall for the City of Jackson’s Department of Human & Cultural Services. During his tenure, Thalia Mara Hall tripled its annual revenue and nearly doubled attendance to City run venues. He has been described as a Hip Hop artist, entrepreneur, writer and an activist with an extensive career spanning several mediums, including community, music, TV, and radio. Franklin will serve as the direct liaison between Habitat and its homeowners and the communities in which they live.

Stacey Norris Hight is the new Director of Development. A graduate of Mississippi College, she has worked in the executive level for three gubernatorial administrations in Mississippi and Virginia, including the Kirk Fordice administration, and has been a fundraiser for state and Congressional candidates.  As a member of the Junior League of Jackson, she helped to develop a multi-year marketing plan for the Mississippi Children’s Museum prior to the museum’s opening.  A former teacher at Covenant Presbyterian Preschool, she opened the first early childhood hands-on science lab in the school’s 30-year history. She has been a Habitat volunteer in Mississippi and Virginia.

Contyna McNealy is the new Volunteer/Special Events Coordinator. The daughter of Willie Mae Brown, one of the first Habitat homeowners in the Mississippi Capital Area, McNealy grew up in a Habitat home and knows firsthand how a decent, affordable home gives families the strength, stability and independence they need to create a better life for themselves. A graduate of Belhaven University, she spent the past 18 years as Creative Services Coordinator/Production Manager for the Catholic Diocese of Jackson. In this position, she developed, produced and managed visual communication materials for various Diocesan publications, along with generating and editing content. She also has been employed as a Senior Gallery Attendant/Scheduler for the Mississippi Museum of Art. 

She is a volunteer counselor at the Catholic Charities Rape Crisis Center, and she also has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area.

For more information on how to become a Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area volunteer, donor, or homeowner, please call 601-353-6060 or visit