Housing Authority hires Elliot Lawrence to fill new deputy director role
The Yampa Valley Housing Authority has hired Elliot Lawrence to serve as the organization’s deputy director to handle day-to-day business operations and staff management.
Lawrence has been the director of resort operations at One Steamboat Place since 2015 and has worked in Steamboat Springs since 2008. He also has a background in development, project management and construction, which checks many of the boxes the housing authority was looking for in a deputy director.
“I’m really excited about stepping in and working with just a great group of professionals,” said Lawrence, who starts the role on Wednesday, April 19. “My initial goal is going to be getting to know the team, understand maybe what obstacles or challenges that they’re facing and come up up with some action plans, some different processes that will hopefully make their lives a little bit easier.”
With the addition of the Brown Ranch, Mid Valley and other opportunities to build affordable housing, the housing authority has indicated it intended to grow the size of the organization over the coming years. Part of the goal of the new deputy director position is to prepare for that growth.
While it is likely more than a decade out, Lawrence said the housing authority hopes to eventually have around 50 employees, and he wants to put strong systems in place to ensure that growth is done right.
Housing authority board member Lou Tortora, who sat on the interview team for the new role, said he thought Lawrence was an “excellent hire.”
In the housing authority board meeting last week, Executive Director Jason Peasley said Lawrence would take over a lot of the business operations roles allowing Peasley to focus on longer-term goals and strategic communication. Peasley, who first came to Steamboat to work in the city’s planning department, said Lawrence has a lot of skills that he doesn’t have.
“He has a really strong operations and management background,” Peasley said. “I think it’s a really good partnership. He is strong where I’m not as strong, so I think it is going to work out really well as far as setting ourselves up to grow as an organization because we know that we will be.”
Lawrence said part of what drew him to the role was the ability to contribute to the community and provide housing to the workforce of Routt County. He is also the president of the Steamboat Free Summer Concert Series and serves as a community representative on the Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee.
Prior to coming to Steamboat, Lawrence worked for First Union and Wachovia for a decade, eventually being part of the real estate division. He was then part of the team that built One Steamboat Place and worked to set up a lot of the systems and assemble the team for that development at the base of Steamboat Resort.
“I’ve been exposed to a little bit of everything,” Lawrence said. “That’s kind of where (the housing authority’s) focus is next is taking an already great team and really building that, (putting) some more refined structure in place and some things that allow them to grow and take on some more opportunities and be a little bit more dynamic.”
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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