People: Christine Hess hired to lead Nevada Housing Coalition
CARSON CITY, Nev. — After an extensive executive search, the Nevada Housing Coalition Board of Directors in early March announced the hiring of Christine (Bekes) Hess as the first executive director for the Las Vegas-based statewide nonprofit.
“As the Nevada Housing Coalition continues to push for innovative solutions and strengthen collaborative efforts for affordable housing options across the state, the Board of Directors recognized that the time was right to bring on staff leadership,” Nevada Housing Coalition Board Chair Bill Brewer said in a statement. “We are thrilled to announce Christine Hess as our executive director and feel fortunate to have someone of her caliber and experience to head up the Coalition.”
According to a press release from the coalition, Hess and her family relocated to Reno from Wyoming, where she stepped down after six years as the executive director for a local economic development organization, Powell Economic Partnership.
One of Wyoming’s rising leaders, Hess spearheaded a $10 million public-private partnership hotel and conference center for her community and led state conversations for agriculture and economic diversification collaborating with local organizations, higher education and state agencies.
She was the board president for the Wyoming Economic Developers Association and a director of the WIDC Frontier CDC, Wyoming’s SBA 504 lender. She interacted regularly with local and state elected officials in support of economic development priorities.
Affordable housing is a critical and essential component of economic prosperity for all communities and this opportunity to support the Nevada Housing Coalition and all of our partners is so exciting.” Hess said in a statement. “Nevada has a lot of great things going on and I look forward to learning this new landscape.”
Hess also noted her personal challenges with affordable housing.
“In 2012, our family was displaced by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. When we could not find affordable housing in our community, or anywhere within two hours, we took the extreme measure and relocated to my hometown in Wyoming,” she stated. “This was a life-changing experience and we depended on friends and family for the first couple of years. Not everyone has that.”
Founded in 2019, the Nevada Housing Coalition’s mission is to create sustainable solutions through community awareness, capacity building, and advocacy to ensure housing options for all Nevadans. The founding board is composed of industry experts in both the private and public sectors
As she begins her new role, Hess will work closely with the board as it organizes the first statewide housing conference slated for May in Las Vegas. Go to nvhousingcoalition.org to learn more.
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