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  • Writer's pictureBob Long

Spotlight on board member, Liza Oates

Liza Oates is a successful Indianapolis-based realtor with an array of other talents.  Her diverse background includes working with art and antiques; buying, selling and managing investment property; reclamation services; supervising rehab work on homes; and being a small business owner.  So when a business associate suggested she join NLI’s board of directors, it sounded like something that might mesh well with her skills and experience.


Liza carefully considered the invitation, and is extremely happy with her decision to be a part of growing NLI's mission and vision. “There is no other local agency that does this scale of critical home repairs,” explains Liza. “We occupy a unique niche where there is an abundance of need.” 


NeighborLink Indy espouses the belief that “the most affordable house is the one you already own.” By providing up to $1,000 worth of repairs for an existing home, older adults and homeowners with disabilities are able to continue to live in familiar surroundings. Though the scope of work may be a smaller scale on average, the effects of these projects can be life-changing.


Liza notes that many of NLI’s homeowners have worked jobs that paid modestly, while they built up equity in their homes. These simple but necessary home repairs enable them to stay in their home. “By remaining in their home, they build generational wealth that they can pass along to their family,” Oates says.


“The benefits that NLI provides have positive effects like ripples in a pond.  Family members, the neighborhood, and the community all benefit. Something as simple as grab bars in a shower, or a railing or a ramp on the front porch affect everything.  These simple measures can prevent falls, which can result in injuries and hospitalization,” she explains.


Liza notes that the growth of NLI over the last few years has been amazing and board membership has been gratifying.  “Our board is very diverse in its socioeconomic makeup,” remarks Liza. “As well as the areas of expertise that individuals bring to the table.”


As a board member, she’s always looking for ways to push the mission forward. One of her hopes for the future is that NLI can expand its veterans services to include veterans of all ages.


In addition to her board duties, Liza often volunteers at NLI's major outdoor clean up projects. There, you might find her registering and coordinating volunteers, or behind the lens of a camera capturing the action. Behind the scenes she helps the operations team dream up possibilities around a long-term location, assists in proofing documents and shares the mission of NLI with anyone who will listen.


NeighborLink Indianapolis is fortunate to have a passionate and talented board.  Liza and fellow board members share an ongoing focus – to continue to attract more volunteers and raise more funds, with the ultimate goal of serving more homeowners for many years to come. 


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