Bittersweet Retirement after 40 years at De Young Properties!

Over the years – and decades – many things have changed at De Young Properties, but the warm presence and hard work of Emilie Hayden was a constant. While the whole De Young team will feel the absence of “our dear Miss Em,” and her humor, dedication and kindness, we are excited to see her tackle this next chapter. Hopefully, retirement is ready, because Miss Em doesn’t do anything halfway!

Reflecting on Four Decades of Service…

The world was a different place when John Bonadelle Sr., Paula De Young’s father,
hired me in 1969. Nixon was elected President, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon and Woodstock was making headlines. I started working as a Computer Operator, but it was a far cry from the computers we use today. The computers were big and it often took 3-4 machines to do a single job.

In 1974, I joined the De Young Properties team when they launched their business. I can say that I have been there from the very beginning and it has been thrilling to watch it grow. I’m so proud to have been a small part of it.

I like to call myself a “Jill of all trades, mistress of none,” as I’ve worn many hats over 40 years at De Young Properties – a computer operator, book keeper, office manager, planner of all things fun, general go-to person. I never met a challenge I didn’t like!

Click here to watch Emilie’s Retirement Video Interview:

But when I look back on years and years of memories and achievements and change, what it really comes down to is the people:

  • There was John Bonadelle Sr., who was caring and diligent, and whose high expectations brought out the best in people, me included. He was funny and loved to joke with people. My kind of guy.
  • Working with Jerry and Paula De Young was much of the same. They were full of integrity, focused on innovation, and put their team first. Their commitment to the community is truly contagious.
  • And I have learned so much from the third generation – Ryan, Brandon and Ashley De Young – members of an entirely new generation who are always dreaming up new ways to delight homebuyers. Their energy is infectious – and that is coming from me, a lady with a lot of energy!

When I think about what’s next, I’m excited. More time than I’ve ever had to relax with my dogs, do some traveling and some more volunteer work; I also plan on taking more computer classes – I have to keep learning! But I know that every day, even just a little bit, I will miss coming into work with these people that are practically family. I will miss the camaraderie and most of all, the laughter.


Emilie’s Parting Words of Wisdom….

Keep doing what you’ve always done best – support your team, be true to yourself and your company. Smile and be happy.

Wake up every morning with a smile on your face and happiness in your heart. God allowed you another day! Be productive and supportive to others with that time.

Author: Emilie Hayden

Dear Miss Em, We will do our best to make you proud! –  Love, The De Young Properties Team