New NeighborWorks Great Falls director selected to replace retiring Sheila Rice

Sherrie Arey of Great Falls has been selected as the new executive director of NeighborWorks Great Falls, beginning in January, 2018, when current Executive Director Sheila Rice retires.

After conducting a nationwide search, the neighborhood development agency found the best candidate right here in the Electric City, according to Jim Weber, president of the NeighborWorks Board of Directors.

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Arey is currently vice president for student development and Title IX coordinator at the University of Providence in Great Falls.

“I came to Great Falls for a great job, I’ve made a home here because of the great community,” Arey said. “NeighborWorks Great Falls now allows me to serve the community and expand the opportunity for others to find their home in Great Falls. I am excited about the future and look forward to building on an already firm foundation.”

Arey completed her Doctorate in Education coursework at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock and earned her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science at Texas A&M University.  She joined the University of Providence in 2014, after 19 years as a university administrator at the College of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas.

Weber said NWGF was excited to bring on Arey, noting that she brings a strong management and fund-raising background.

“Sherrie has the skills and capacity to lead NeighborWorks Great Falls into the future,” Weber said. “She loves Great Falls and purchased her first home here.”

During the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, NWGF created 84 first time homebuyers, graduated 193 families from homebuyer education, guided 226 families through financial capability, assisted 33 homeowners in foreclosure, and provided home equity conversion mortgage counseling to 77 customers.

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NWGF made 30 down payment assistance loans and 15 home improvement loans during that time.

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Ten families built their own homes with NWGF assistance and five new homes were built, including two high school houses. The agency completed construction and renovation of 16 apartments, renovated 96 apartments with partner WishRock Development and was awarded housing tax credits by the Montana Board of Housing for 124 new workforce apartments.