Yolanda Townsend Photo

Yolanda Townsend

Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel

Yolanda is an innovative and results-oriented member of the Executive Team with over 25 years of public and private sector experience. Her background encompasses positions in corporate and government arenas and significant entrepreneurial management experience.

As General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer, she is charged with managing daily operations including budget and HR, leading resource mobilization as well as  key legal and business strategies. She also manages relationships with TechHire community partners as they seek to expand local tech sectors by building tech talent pipelines in communities across the country. Yolanda was instrumental in the architectural design of Opportunity@Work’s Learn and Earn program which offered a student focused financial model based on outcomes. Her efforts support the creation of employment pathways for the more than 80 million workers in this country who don’t have a four-year college degree but who are Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs).

Yolanda ensures that Opportunity@Work uses all assets, financial resources and staff to the highest and best use toward the organization’s results.  As head of the Resource Mobilization team, Yolanda works to maintain Opportunity@Work’s strong financial position while developing a path to sustainability that allows Opportunity@Work  to achieve aggressive goals. Also, as Corporate Secretary to the Board of Directors, she maintains the integrity, accountability and discipline in ensuring that the Board of Director’s vision is executed with fidelity.

Prior to joining Opportunity@Work, Yolanda held numerous leadership positions in both the private and public sector. She served as President of her own real estate investment and consulting firm where she led investments in both commercial and residential housing developments. As Chief Operating Officer of Wheat Government Relations she was responsible for all internal corporate controls, human resources, accounting practices and budgeting strategies.

Yolanda served six years as a Commissioner of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the regulatory agency responsible for regulating over 10,000 federal and state chartered credit unions and management of  the Central Liquidity Facility, a mixed-ownership government corporation whose purpose is to supply emergency loans to member credit unions.  During her tenure, NCUA reported the lowest number of problem credit unions; the NCUA insurance deposit fund posted record earnings and paid six consecutive dividends to credit unions (the first time ever in agency history).  She spearheaded efforts to modernize agency infrastructure and develop risk-based examination programs through online programs for vendor exams, membership expansion and extensive employee training.

In keeping with her desire to build and sustain strong communities, Yolanda served on the Board of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks America) which provides financial support, technical assistance, and training for community-based revitalization efforts. In 2018 Yolanda joined the Policy Advisory Committee of the Upjohn Institute in connection with their three-year initiative to examine various ‘supply and demand side’ strategies that communities can deploy as well as institutional supports needed to create broadly shared prosperity by helping residents get and keep good jobs.

Yolanda practiced corporate finance and real estate law in California, Missouri, and Maryland.  She specialized in real estate construction financing, joint ventures, acquisitions and workouts. She developed both legal and business strategies in connection with the purchase of the historic landmark “Union Station” by the city of Kansas City.  Later, Yolanda served on the Board of Trustees of the Union Station Assistance Corp. and continued to assist in the subsequent development of retail, museum and public use planning phases.

Pronouns: she/her/hers