NeighborWorks Umpqua has appointed Erica Mills as its new chief executive officer. Mills, a Douglas County resident who has served for three years as a program area director for NeighborWorks Umpqua, was offered the position after a nationwide search and interview process. She will lead the organization in its mission to provide financial opportunity and housing stability by cultivating solid partnerships and strategic investments. As previously planned, interim CEO Betty Tamm will return to her retirement.
“Erica rose to the top after a nationwide search, but as an internal candidate, she knows NWU’s programs, projects and obligations,” Tamm said. “She has excellent leadership skills and understands the staff strengths. She is already affecting the culture of the company in a positive way and her connections in the community will help build trust.”
Mills has over 20 years of experience managing operations for regional mortgage companies in Oregon, Washington and Minnesota. She has also owned and operated a small lending business. She earned a bachelor of science degree in health promotion and education with a special emphasis in gerontology from Oregon State University. Mills joined NWU in early 2019 as homeownership center director and advanced in 2020 to director of community lending. In 2019, she was elected to the Umpqua Community College Board of Education and was re-elected in 2021.
“I am thrilled to take on this role, with an organization I truly believe in. We empower residents in our communities to access safe, healthy, affordable housing and to achieve financial resiliency. These two ambitions are the bedrock to building strong, vibrant communities where people and families thrive. I am inspired by the dedication and caring of our incredible team of employees and volunteers, as they help clients work toward these goals,” Mills said.
The decision by the board was unanimous, according to Randall Mason, NeighborWorks Umpqua’s board chair.
“We couldn’t be more excited for this appointment, and we know she will lead our company to excellence,” he added.