Santa Cruz County Business Council picks executive director with background in housing policy
The advocacy group representing many of the county’s largest employers announced Friday it has selected Emily Ham as its new executive director, citing her “expertise in public administration and understanding of Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay’s unique policies and issues.”
Santa Cruz County’s biggest businesses are getting a new chief booster.
The Santa Cruz County Business Council announced Friday it has selected its next executive director: Emily Ham, who currently works as a housing specialist at the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership.
Ham brings to the council a background in housing policy — a key issue that can make recruitment and retention challenging in a region with sky-high housing costs. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Monterey-based Middlebury Institute of International Studies, where she focused her studies on the housing crisis, according to a business council release.
“We were impressed with Emily’s experience in advocacy, strategy, research, relationship and consensus building, and her alignment with the culture of the council,” Stacy Nagel, the council’s board chair, said in a statement. “Emily’s expertise in public administration and understanding of Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay’s unique policies and issues will make her an asset to the Business Council.”
The pandemic sank many of the restaurants on Brion Sprinsock’s local food and architecture tours, and he won’t be...
A hiring committee voted unanimously to offer the position to Ham out of a group of five finalists, according to the council’s release. She is set to start as executive director June 7.
The council’s prior executive director, Robert Singleton, left in April for a government relations job at electric-scooter company Bird. Singleton had led the council since 2017. Former business council analyst Josie Buchanan has since served as interim executive director.
Founded in 1996, the Santa Cruz County Business Council is a nonprofit advocacy organization. Many of the county’s largest employers are among its 80-plus members, including UC Santa Cruz, Looker and Cruzio Internet.