2023 CFO of the Year: Annie Costlow

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(IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

Chief Financial Officer | Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity

As CFO of Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity, Annie Costlow oversees the financial and administrative pieces of the organization as well as information technology and human resources. She was first hired as the finance and administration director and was promoted to CFO after “displaying keen insights into our finances, working to provide clean annual audits and supporting the budgets of our different business operations of social service, mortgage finance, construction and retail through our ReStores,” CEO Jim Morris said in Costlow’s nomination.

Major accomplishments 

Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity has grown its output from 17 new homes in 2011 to 35 in 2023, ranking it as one of the top 25 Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the country. The organization’s budget has increased from $8 million in 2011 to $14.7 million in 2023, and its number of ReStores has grown from one in 2011 to four in 2023.

Costlow led the organization’s efforts to become the first Indiana Habitat for Humanity affiliate to become a regional Community Housing Development Organization within the state, which allows it to access federal funding through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to develop affordable homeownership in Hendricks, Hamilton and Hancock counites. 

Challenges overcome 

The rise in home construction costs. Even though Habitat is a not-for-profit builder, it’s facing the same rise in construction costs as for-profit builders. From just five years ago, the cost to build a new home has more than doubled, Costlow said. So, the organization has diversified its revenue by closing a New Market Tax Credit transaction and partnering with the state and city on projects using federal dollars.

Career path

Costlow worked in the accounting office of a not-for-profit during college and loved it. She tried other things but knew not-for-profit is where she wanted to be.•

Check out more CFO honorees.

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