Longtime executive director is moving out of state after nearly 18 years with Housing Authority of Yamhill County

Housing Authority of Yamhill County Executive Director Elise Hui announced last week that she will stepping down in June after nearly 18 years with the independent local government agency. Hui

Hui, who joined the organization as housing director in 2000 and served as executive director for the past 11 years, will be moving to Florida with her husband, Bobby, who has been hired by Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by Amazon's Jeff Besos.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as HAYC's executive director and am filled with gratitude for this opportunity that I have had," Hui wrote in an email announcing her plans. "I will truly miss working with such a dedicated board and such a wonderful group of employees and community partners. The outstanding board, management staff, employees, and community partnerships have been the reason for the successes that we have had together!"

An Oregon native, Hui joined HAYC after working in Alaska for 13 years and has helped develop the agency into one of the best in the field, according to Newberg developer and board member Mike Gougler.

"Of all the housing authorities in the Oregon area, Yamhill is the most highly rated," he said. "They're the most highly thought of and really the most professional. It's an incredibly professional group of people."

Gougler pointed to Hui's leadership as the primary factor in the expansion of affordable housing in the county. In her tenure as executive director, the agency has built six new housing developments, including Deskins Commons in Newberg in 2014, and purchased and renovated four more, adding a total of 216 units of low-income housing, as well as a five-bedroom recovery center.

Gougler also characterized Hui as one of the best managers he's ever been associated with, which is rare to find in someone who also possesses excellent executive and political skills.

"She really is committed to making sure she does everything she can to provide good affordable housing to the people who need it," Gougler said. "She really does her homework. She knows all of the federal rules and agencies, as well as the state's, and works very closely with local governments. Everybody in the county and city governments know her because she shows up to testify when necessary and also to lobby when it's necessary. It's going to be a huge loss."

Hui has also been one of the principal organizers of the annual Yamhill County Connect resource fair, which is in its ninth year.

"I think that's one of the biggest things I'm proud of," Hui said. "That's kind of my baby, so it will be sad to leave that."

Hui will stay on the job until June 21 and the HAYC board of directors has already posted the position. Applications are due by Feb. 28.

Hui said she believes the organization is in a strong financial position, including having money set aside for the purchase of new property, and will attract strong candidates.

"We have really stable long-term employees," Hui added. "I'm very proud of our employees for the hard work they put into the organization. We have a lot of dedicated management staff and a very dedicated board on both the nonprofit side and the housing authority side. All of that is set and ready to go for a new director."

Hui said she will most miss the relationships she's built both with employees, who have been her family for the past 17 and a half years, and partners across the county.

"I love Yamhill County and everyone stepping forward for common causes is amazing to me," Hui said. "I guess I'll just miss how nice the people are and how people do try to tackle common issues."

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