As she settles into her new job as the chief financial officer of the Central Coast Regional District, Yene Byun is up for the task.
“A lot of people feel intimidated or overwhelmed, but I do love numbers. If you take a look at numbers closely you can kind of understand how an organization operated last year and how it will operate in the future. I enjoy that part of things.”
In 2019, she joined the CCRD as a financial controller.
The job has its challenges due to the location of Bella Coola, she added.
“We’ve grown so much over the years, which is really great, but still we have a lot of constraint of resources for the organization as a whole just because we are a remote community and a small size of local government. We have a great team though. We are always busy.”
Byun has also been a member of the Williams Lake and District Credit Union board of directors since May 2021, and previously worked there as a service representative.
Originally from Seoul, South Korea where she was working for a corporation after college, she moved directly to Bella Coola about six years ago.
“At the beginning I didn’t think I would settle down here, but I actually fell in love with this place. It’s nice. This community helps each other, they engage and they recognize me.”
Her aunt’s family used to own the Bella Coola Valley Inn, so when she arrived she worked at the inn where she enjoyed interacting with the community.
“I do connect with people at my job here now, but it has been hard with COVID. We are living in an interesting world, that’s for sure. Virtually you can connect with your friends and attend anything going around the world.”
Today her relatives run the Bella Coola Eagle Lodge.
When she isn’t working she enjoys hiking and camping with her partner, who is a carpenter, and going out on his sailboat.
“There are beautiful lakes from here to Williams Lake and in the Chilcotin area. We love spending time there.”
Describing the Bella Coola Valley as a special place, she said her friends in South Korea are “shocked” when they see photographs of Byun wearing fishing gear or if she is driving her pickup truck to go get firewood.
She also enjoys the silence sometimes, adding it “is just so peaceful.”
Gardening is also a passion, and something she has been learning more about over the last few years.
“Since COVID started I have tried to find something I can enjoy doing on the property. It’s something about the intimate moments – I get to see the seeding, then it grows, then you can actually touch and eat it. It is a beautiful experience.”