The Asian Real Estate Association of America has tapped former Executive Director Hope Atuel to lead the organization as its first-ever female CEO, according to an announcement on Tuesday. She is taking the reins from Jim Park, AREAA’s co-founder and national chairman emeritus.
“I am deeply honored and humbled by this recognition from the AREAA Executive Committee and will continue to work collaboratively with our members and our partners on initiatives that further our organization’s mission,” Atuel said in a prepared statement. “Our work is integral to enhancing the lives and livelihood of the many people who comprise the [Asian American and Pacific Islander] community.”
“As CEO, I will ensure that we continue to make great strides in strengthening our nation’s communities by increasing AAPI homeownership rates and working with our community to showcase the opportunities homeownership brings while we work to identify and offer solutions to the challenges we face,” she added.
Atuel joined AREAA in 2012 after serving in executive roles at the College of American Pathologists and the Appraisal Institute. During her tenure as AREAA’s executive director, Atuel grew the association’s membership to more than 17,000 real estate professionals across 42 chapters.
Atuel also spearheaded several landmark diversity campaigns, including “No Other,” which led to the U.S. Census creating an ethnic category to properly account for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. She also coordinated multiple education campaigns in 2020 and 2021, after a dangerous and disconcerting rise in hate crimes against Asians during the pandemic.
Lastly, Atuel has advocated for a more holistic credit scoring model to increase mortgage loan access for members in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. AREAA President Tim Hur said the association’s Board unanimously voted to promote Atuel to CEO, which is a testament to the tremendous impact she’s had on AREAA’s leadership and members.
“Hope has been an invaluable asset to AREAA and has been a guiding force for us for a long time,” Hur said in a written statement. “She has leveraged her considerable experience in both private and nonprofit sectors to amplify our efforts and create invaluable partnerships to advance the organization’s mission.”
He added, “Over the course of her career, she has launched many successful campaigns with a focus on growth, retention and advocacy and she has led countless initiatives with AREAA over the last 10 years. AREAA would not be where we are today without Hope.”