NeighborWorks Lincoln Announces Retirement of Marti Lee, Names New COO

After a 45 year career, NeighborWorks Lincoln (NWL, COO Marti Lee has retired, effective in February. Lee joined NWL in 2015 (after relocating to Lincoln following 30 years of working with business improvement districts in Kansas City, MO) and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2017. Lee is most proud of her time spent working with Lincoln’s North 27th Street merchant association, including work on façade and building improvements and the “Taste of 27th Street” event that showcased the many unique restaurants and markets found only in the neighborhood.

“NWL provided a wonderful transition for me from KCMO to Lincoln,” says Lee. “It gave me the opportunity to build new relationships among many diverse stakeholders, learn about the neighborhoods, and work with great staff in an effective organization.”

NeighborWorks Lincoln has announced that Rachael Surmick will serve as the organization’s next COO. After working in community development for the past decade, Surmick joined NWL in May 2021 as its resource development director. Surmick’s experience includes prior roles at United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County and NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, PA) where she also served as COO. With Surmick’s promotion, NWL has begun its search for a new Development Director and has contracted with Zelle HR Solutions to lead the effort. Visit for more information about this key organizational role.

The mission of NeighborWorks Lincoln is to revitalize neighborhoods and support homeownership, keeping Lincoln a safe and prosperous community. For more information about NeighborWorks Lincoln’s neighborhood stabilization efforts, visit