OAK BROOK, Ill., July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America since 2006, will become CEO of Opportunity International, Board of Directors Chair Betty Jane Hess announced today.
"Vicki Escarra brings extraordinary expertise and caliber to the role," said Hess. "Her vision and experience managing Feeding America for six years through significant organizational growth, combined with her deep knowledge of the national hunger crisis, will enable Opportunity International to implement its ambitious goals to improve millions of lives in the developing world."
Opportunity International has been a pioneer in the microfinance sector for more than 40 years, helping millions of people in over 20 countries to transform their lives. With over 93 percent of its loans made to women, Opportunity provides financial resources that empower women to grow businesses, feed and educate their children, develop steady incomes, and create jobs for their neighbors.
"I am thrilled to join Opportunity International," Escarra said. "With 1.4 billion people still living in extreme poverty, I'm looking forward to being part of a solution-oriented organization that delivers innovative financial services to help change their lives. Opportunity is uniquely positioned to be mutually beneficial to the people it serves, and the individuals, corporations, foundations and government agencies that partner with it."
Escarra led Feeding America through the most significant period of advancement in its three-decade history, elevating it to a $1.2 billion organization. She oversaw the organization through a transition from America's Second Harvest to Feeding America, increased fundraising by 300 percent, and almost doubled the number of people served who were living in poverty or food insecurity.
Prior to her role as CEO of Feeding America, she had a distinguished career with Delta Airlines Inc., ultimately becoming chief marketing officer responsible for the company's $15 billion revenue.
Escarra was named to The NonProfit Times' Power and Influence Top 50 for 2010 and 2011. She served on the board of directors for the financial services company, AG Edwards, from 2004 to 2007, and is currently on the board of HealthNet Corporation and the board of regents for Roosevelt University. She was also the chair of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, and assisted Mayor Shirley Franklin with the Brand Atlanta Campaign.
"The Opportunity International Board of Directors is grateful to interim CEO Jon Yasuda for his commitment and leadership during a time when the organization continued to expand its reach and provide over four million clients in developing countries with transformational financial products, education programs and business training," said Hess.
Yasuda will continue in his current role until Escarra joins Opportunity International on September 4, 2012.
About Opportunity International
Opportunity International provides access to savings, small business loans, insurance and training to over four million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. Clients in over 20 countries use these financial services to start or expand a business, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbors and build a safety net for the future. For more information, visit http://www.opportunity.org or join the conversation at http://facebook.com/opportunityintl and http://twitter.com/opportunityintl.
SOURCE Opportunity International