NeighborWorks Lincoln Names New CEO

06.06.20

NeighborWorks Lincoln is pleased to announce the hiring of Wayne Mortensen, AIA, as the organization’s new CEO. A Nebraska native, Mortensen will relocate to Lincoln from Cleveland, Ohio where he served as Director of Design & Development at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress for the last seven years. Mortensen is expected to start in mid-July.

“Wayne possesses a deep understanding of the mission and work of NeighborWorks Lincoln and has a stellar record working to revitalize neighborhoods, overseeing impressive projects from New Orleans to Northeast Ohio. Wayne’s community building and development experience channeled through both a design and social work lens, will serve our city and NeighborWorks Lincoln well,” said Joe Shaw, chair of NWL’s Board of Directors.

“We had built a great life in Cleveland, but couldn’t pass up this opportunity to return home to help lead such a venerable and important community institution as NeighborWorks and, through it, facilitate the critical work of building equitable and inclusive neighborhoods across Lincoln,” said Mortensen. “With the world literally and figuratively on fire all around us, this was the biggest bucket we could find. I look forward to working alongside civic leaders, city officials, and neighbors to facilitate progress critical to the residents of Lincoln.”

At Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Wayne served as a design and planning resource to the neighborhoods and helped advance catalytic development projects working with neighborhood leaders, city officials, and the philanthropic community. He has overseen numerous community planning efforts and housing projects, including the adaptive reuse of Saint Luke’s hospital into a transit-oriented mixed-use project comprising 139 units of affordable senior housing, office space, a K-8 charter school, and a Boys & Girls Club. The $63 million project was the lynchpin to more than $130 million in local investment that has helped stabilize Buckeye (a predominantly African American neighborhood on Cleveland’s East Side) after years of population loss and economic isolation. Wayne came to Cleveland from Saint Louis as a member of the 2010 Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship cohort. In Saint Louis, he was a project manager and community outreach specialist at H3 Studio, where he helped empower disadvantaged communities across the Midwest and South through visioning, planning, and development strategy.

Earlier this year, the American Institute of Architects recognized Mortensen with a Young Architects Award; the announcement describes him as, “a champion for Cleveland’s urban communities and their recovery.” He graduated from the College of Architecture at UNL in 2003 (BS, Design) and has Masters Degrees in Architecture, Social Work and Urban Design from Washington University in St. Louis.

NeighborWorks Lincoln is excited to continue our work of revitalizing neighborhoods and supporting homeownership under Mortensen’s leadership, and is proud that he has chosen to call Lincoln home, once again.

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Opening Doors in Our Community

NeighborWorks Lincoln is a non-profit organization dedicated to community revitalization through an active partnership of resident leaders, private businesses and public officials. We open doors for people to achieve their dreams of home ownership and for others who desire a safe and attractive neighborhood.

I love NeighborWorks! I love my NW clients and I love telling people who do not know about NeighborWorks what it is. We are lucky to have NW in Lincoln.

– Johanna Rhoads, Lincoln Realtor
NeighborWorks Lincoln

NeighborWorks Lincoln