Detria Austin Russell
Spent her most recent years managing and teaching more than 500 employees to effectively provide homeownership opportunities to over 2-million customers. As Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), the nation’s largest non-profit community advocacy and homeownership organization, Mrs. Russell has helped NACA find millions of dollars in grant funding and fees for service. But more importantly, she’s helped hundreds of thousands of working class people realize the American Dream of owning a home.
Besides her role as COO, she lobbied and provided guidance to local, state and national politicians on housing issues that affect America’s middle class and the poor. Her position as Director of External and Government Affairs for NACA, took her around the nation to meet with stakeholders and lawmakers.
Russell managed all operational aspects of the non-profit. During her tenure, the non-profit increased its lending portfolio by more than $3 Billion. Hundreds of staff members relied on Mrs. Russell to lead and motivate them as NACA led the nation in providing affordable homeownership assistance. In housing circles, Russell became a household name in Washington and other parts of the country.
Although her professional career has always centered around improving the lives of others, it was not always the housing industry where she chose to do her best. Russell knew you didn’t have to be a doctor to cure someone’s illness. How a medical staff complimented doctors was important to a patient’s well being too. That’s why she was in healthcare for ten years. She trained nearly two thousand hospital employees in patient care and customer service skills. She quickly became Assistant Vice President of Georgia’s academic medical center, MCG Health, Inc.
Working on ways to improve the community around her has always been a passion of Russell’s. Those roots are traced back to her days as an undergraduate at Spelman College in Atlanta and as a graduate student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Her volunteer efforts with local high school students and teenagers.