Key Staff

Augustine (Chris) Baca


Mr. Baca is an internationally recognized innovator and leader in the field of youth services and community development going back over 45 years. He 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 a BS/BA in Economics and an MA in Public Administration.

Joseph R. Ortega

Senior VP of Development

Mr. Ortega has 40+ 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

Mr. Lucero works directly with the President and CEO of YES as well as the entire Asset 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

Mrs. Den Bleyker’s experience in affordable housing finance and development throughout the Southwest goes back over 25 years. 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

Mrs. Silva-Smith has over 30 years of experience in real estate asset management. She works directly with YES senior team members to ensure the fiscal performance of YES Housing’s assets. Her responsibilities range from providing input in pre-development work such as market analysis, pro-forma financial model reviews, and building construction design. After construction, she works directly with property management agents and equity partner’s asset managers to analyze performance trends, budgeting, cash flow forecasting, and management of capital improvement projects through the life of each asset. Mrs. Silva-Smith also oversees and directs her department team members as they focus on oversight and performance of affordable housing compliance programs like Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Section 8 HAP Contracts, and State and Federal law requirements.

In her 30+ years of experience in Real Estate Asset Management, she has held similar positions with Apartment Investment and Management Company, Great West Realty, and Monarch Properties, Inc. Rose has achieved various industry-related professional designations through the National Center for Housing Management, National Association of Home Builders, and Compliance Solutions. Mrs. Silva-Smith is also a licensed New Mexico Real Estate Associate Broker.