Key Staff

Augustine (Chris) Baca


Internationally recognized innovator and leader in the field of youth services and community development for over 40 years.   Mr. Baca has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of YES Housing, Inc. since its inception in 1990. Mr. Baca acts as a Board Officer and Executive of YES Housing, Inc., a non-profit that builds and owns affordable housing and mixed-use developments. Nationally recognized as an expert in youth development, juvenile justice, social service design, public administration, public policy, personnel management, affordable housing development, and budgeting, Mr. Baca is an experienced non-profit executive with degrees in Economics and Public Administration.

Joseph R. Ortega

Executive Vice President

Joe Ortega has 30+ years of development and property management. Formerly served as Executive Director of the Region VI Housing Authority from 1978 until 1993 and as Deputy Director of the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority from 1993 to 1999, when he joined YES Housing Inc. Throughout his career Mr. Ortega has developed and financed both single family and multifamily developments including new construction and acquisition/rehabilitation.

Thaddeus Lucero

Senior Vice President of Business Development

Reports directly to the President and CEO of YES and works closely with the entire Management and Real Estate Development team. Thaddeus is responsible for the stewardship of projects that are mixed use including affordable multi-family, single-family, and/or commercial projects, serving as Project Manager by assuming the daily work of taking new projects from development in concert with the Real Estate and Asset Management team through financing and construction, as well as establishing and maintaining relationships with a network of civic, financial, political leaders and policy makers at a local, state, regional, and national level. Mr. Lucero has a BA in Urban Planning from the University of Washington, attended the JFK School of Government – Harvard University Program for Senior Executives, and has a wide depth of experience in both public and private sectors.

Holly Barela

Senior Vice President / CFO

Mrs. Barela has a diverse background in the accounting and finance field.  She is responsible for directing and coordinating the organization’s financial planning, internal controls and accounting practices as well as its relationship with lending institutions, investment partners, and the financial community.   Mrs. Barela also oversees and directs treasury, budgeting, audit, tax, accounting, purchasing, real estate, long range forecasting, and insurance activities for the organization and related entities.  She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and has a Bachelor of Business Administration and Accounting and a Masters of Business Administration from Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU).  Mrs. Barela is a certified Housing Development Finance Professional and holds a Professional Certificate in Affordable  Housing.

Michelle Den Bleyker

Vice President of Real Estate Development

Has more than 25 years of experience in affordable housing finance and development throughout the Southwest. Michelle has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography / Urban Studies from Macalester College and a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her expertise ranges from new construction and acquisition and rehabilitation of affordable housing developments and finance, Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), senior housing, real estate development, and asset, property, and construction management, She oversees YES’ residential development activities, from pre-development, funding applications, financing and closing, and monitors YES’ developments through construction completion.

Rose Silva-Smith

Vice President of Asset Management

Has more than 20 years experience in property management. She has achieved the Housing Credit Certified Professional designation, the Certified Occupancy Specialist designation, has her Real Estate license, and is working to achieve the Certified housing Asset Manager designation. 

Rose oversees YES’ residential development activities, from pre-purchase due diligence and lease-up activities, to fiscal performance oversight of the portfolio of assets after construction completion.