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Leadership N.M. Class of 2013



Bob Bare

Director of Construction Support - URENCO USA

Bare says he didn’t realize how big the sky was until he moved here. “New Mexico is a state rich in history, natural resources and scenic beauty.” His vision is for New Mexico to be a vibrant, growing state that people are proud to live in, and if they don’t already live here, they want to get here as soon as possible. Bare thinks that, “If we are able to create business and employment opportunities that keep and attract young talent, then the natural beauty and diverse culture of New Mexico will have them hooked.” In just a few short sessions with Leadership New Mexico, Bare says he’s learned a lot. “I truly feel blessed to be involved with Leadership New Mexico. I have met some of the most driven and motivated individuals during these sessions. They have certainly had a positive influence on me to become more involved in my community.”

Tommy E. Brooks

Operations Superintendent - ConocoPhillips

“Being a native New Mexican, and a resident most of my life, I have always had a vested interest in making our state the most desired place to work and live,” Brooks says. Through his experiences with Leadership New Mexico, Brooks hopes to acquire a better understanding of what issues and opportunities are important in the state with regards to education, health care, economy, environment and natural resources. He wants to learn how, as an individual, he can have a positive impact to see his vision of making New Mexico not only a better place to live, but the best, become a reality. Brooks strongly believes that, “Individuals getting involved in the decision-making processes and helping to facilitate the implementation of policies and procedures will improve quality of life in New Mexico.”

Wally Drangmeister

Director of Communications - New Mexico Oil and Gas Association

“What defines leadership is not current resources but commitment to the pursuit of opportunity,” Drangmeister believes. “Resources without commitment result in caretaking at best. Commitment finds and secures resources.” His vision is for New Mexico to provide an environment that encourages businesses to start and grow in the state. To move in this direction, Drangmeister says it will take “restructuring the tax and regulatory structure to encourage innovation and achievement from many sources. A system with fewer direct incentives and more across-the-board reduction of rates will act to unleash economic growth from areas and industries that are far beyond the few that benefit from direct incentives.” He hopes to learn more about these types of issues through Leadership New Mexico. “It is an honor to participate in the program and have the ability to meet and interact with other participants from around the state.”

John Freisinger

President and Chief Executive Officer - Technology Ventures Corp.

Freisinger says, “I am inspired by the quiet leaders who see something that needs to be improved and they set out to change it. No fanfare, no press conferences, just quiet, deliberate action.” His vision is for New Mexico to be the place where global entrepreneurs come to start their businesses. He believes start-ups need capital, talent, ideas and community support. “All are present in New Mexico. The goal is to increase their abundance throughout the state.” Freisinger says Leadership New Mexico has given him access to relationships and knowledge that would have taken years to acquire on his own. “The program has shown me how interrelated all of our challenges are, and I look forward to using the tools Leadership New Mexico has given me to help provide more integrated solutions to the problems that I am trusted to solve.”

Dennis Garcia

Manager, Treasury Management - U.S. Bank

“Leadership is a combination of engaging others, questioning, listening, planning and effective execution,” Garcia says. “An individual can be a contributor throughout any of these phases, but a successful leader is an individual that can excel throughout the entire process.” Garcia joined Leadership New Mexico because of its reputation throughout the state and among his co-workers who participated in the past. “I really wanted to be a part of such a dynamic team and understand how I can do more for my community.” He believes New Mexico can become a vibrant, dynamic business and social environment and that contributing as individuals is the key to making this happen. “Involvement with chamber organizations and educational institutions, in my opinion, is the key to making a difference and providing an opportunity to make my vision a reality.”

Rico Gonzales

Director of New Mexico Affairs - El Paso Electric Co.

“Passion for life is my inspiration as a leader,” Gonzales says. “The passion that gets leaders out the door, excited to take on the challenges that await them, and allows them to seize the opportunities.” Gonzales sees the Union Pacific Santa Teresa Intermodal Terminal in Doña Ana County as an opportunity to seize for New Mexico’s economy. “This asset will attract economic development. We need to grow our workforce development programs around it and the businesses it attracts to southern New Mexico.” He goes on to say that by creating a stronger educational system, New Mexico will develop a stronger job base. “The new relationships we need to create for education are going to be public/private relationships. These partnerships are going to allow communities to engage educators and business leaders in growing our next leaders and producing productive citizens.”

Steve Harris

County Treasurer - Chaves County

“I was inspired to take part in Leadership New Mexico after participating in local leadership groups and witnessing, firsthand, the difference that a small group of focused individuals can make in their community,” Harris says. “This philosophy can transcend geography and I would like to dedicate what few resources I have to such a group with the hope that this can lead to significant change in New Mexico. Collectively, the Core Program has the ability to effect this change through the vast network of its members and their wisdom and experience.” His vision for New Mexico is to become the national leader in technological advancement and research and development. “Our public schools and universities must coordinate their efforts in order to make technology the ultimate goal. Greater emphasis on math and the sciences under a cooperative agreement with industry leaders would provide that avenue.”

Jay Hayden

Chief, System of Systems Branch - White Sands Missile Range, Material Test Directorate

Hayden admires the leadership style of Genghis Khan. “Know your limitations, employ the best, promote completion, keep your promises, develop loyalty and accept criticism.” Through his experiences with Leadership New Mexico, Hayden has already learned a lot about the attributes and weaknesses New Mexico faces, which he says have helped him better understand how he can have a positive influence on the future of the state. He believes our best asset is our natural resources for energy. “We need to become the energy and technology hub of the Southwest.” To do this, he goes on to say, “We need to educate our children and young adults in today’s and, more importantly, tomorrow’s technology so that they can contribute and lead the state’s growth in existing core business areas and attract new businesses.”

Lynn Haynes

Heart and Vascular Services Line, Director of Operations - Presbyterian Healthcare Services

“My vision of the state is to have a bipartisan government with a focus of creating a strong economy to sustain the educational and health-care needs of all New Mexicans,” Haynes says. Working in the health-care industry, Haynes is especially passionate about improving health care in the state. “With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, health care will change for New Mexicans. The challenge for the health-care industry is to figure out how to provide the best care within the financial restraints of the exchange. We will have to change the way we do our work and the care we provide will need to change to meet the needs of all New Mexicans.” She joined Leadership New Mexico to learn more about the state and how she can become involved in its success. “I have also appreciated the networking and the sharing of ideas with this strong group of leaders.”

Shelly Herbst

President and Chief Executive Officer - Marron and Associates Inc.

Herbst believes that each of us can make a positive contribution to our state and joined Leadership New Mexico to help her in this quest. “I hope to become more educated on the issues that affect New Mexico, get involved, and actively work to make a difference in my community and in New Mexico.” Herbst considers New Mexico’s rich cultural diversity to be one of its greatest strengths because it causes local, state and business leaders to look at the broader perspective when considering and making decisions. “To expand on these strengths, leaders, legislators and communities need to continue reaching out to, and engage, all of New Mexico’s populations in meaningful ways to ensure their respective voices are heard. By continued collaboration, opportunities will be presented and developed, making New Mexico a better place for all to live.”

Mark Herman

Chief Executive Officer - Dion’s

Herman was motivated to join Leadership New Mexico because, “I want to get a better understanding of the issues we face and get in touch with the people who are trying to make a difference. Leadership New Mexico offers both education and access to the people who are working hard to improve our state.” He sees the toughest issues for New Mexico as being poverty, education and economy. Herman’s vision is for citizens, businesses and government to work together to create practical solutions for a strong infrastructure and thriving economy for New Mexico. “The foundation of this vision is simple. People must be willing to take a stand and take part in improving themselves, their home, their school and their community. Small steps like getting involved in a nonprofit, a church, a school or youth activities are a start.”

David Hockmuth

Community Banking President, New Mexico - Wells Fargo Bank

“Leadership is the act of establishing, sharing and communicating a vision that has a positive impact on others,” Hockmuth says. “The vision is not always an individual goal — many times a vision is a collaboration or evolution of foresight. What inspires me as a leader is the art of motivating others to understand and embrace the vision. A great leader inspires individuals to have confidence in themselves to move the objective forward for the collective good.” Hockmuth’s vision is for New Mexico to prosper and become one of the most desirable places to live in the country. “This vision will require sustained progress in what the state is already doing well, while addressing the opportunities and challenges that face our communities.” He believes that Leadership New Mexico reinforces the importance of community awareness and that the group’s mission is to see New Mexico advance and grow. “I am applying my experiences to that mission.”

Peter Hofstetter

Chief Executive Officer - Holy Cross Hospital

Being fairly new to the state, Hofstetter joined Leadership New Mexico to learn more about the state’s issues and opportunities and to meet other business, industry and government leaders from across New Mexico. His definition of leadership is “the ability to help create a vision and provide the framework and resources to inspire people to work toward that goal.” Hofstetter believes New Mexico’s goal should be to become a national leader in health care, education and economic prosperity. For this to occur, he says it will take “creating the environment where there is common agreement on the vision and then getting the different systems to all move in the same direction to accomplish this goal. I hope to help articulate the vision and motivate people to work through their differences to ultimately move in a common direction.”

Troy Hughes

Fire Chief - Los Alamos County

Hughes is inspired as a leader by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Dr. King believed in his mission and did not let others alter his course. His vision was focused on people and their well-being and not a physical product. The most impressive thing about Dr. King was his courage. He knew that his mission would likely result in harm to him, but his faith and courage were stronger than his fear.” Hughes says that the people and climate of New Mexico are its greatest strengths. His vision for New Mexico is to be a state “that values diversity, embraces its rich culture and is attractive to business and industry. In order to achieve this vision, we need to sell our state to outsiders. We need to do a better job of letting the rest of our world know about the wonderful place we live.”

Shad James

Executive Vice President - Jaynes Corp.

James believes New Mexico has a rich diversity of people, strong natural resources and a strong business community. “We have to learn to leverage that richness of resources and move to the top. I think an important component will be for public and private industry to work together. We can’t let our old systems or ways of doing business slow us down. We have to move past all that seems to slow us down and commit to ourselves, and each other, that we can change our futures.” Through Leadership New Mexico, James wants to continue to learn about the issues that impact the state. “I have watched my peers go through the group and I have always been struck by the strength and authenticity of the relationships that are formed. I appreciate the diversity of our class and know that I can learn a lot from these individuals.”

Ronald Lancaster

Chief, Asset Management Flight - Cannon Air Force Base, 27th Special Operations, Civil Engineer Squadron

Lancaster is inspired as a leader by the vision of human advancement with savvy manipulation of technology and global communication. “The world’s strength is the diversity of its people and the capability that each of us brings as a resource.” Lancaster’s vision for New Mexico is that the land and culture present continuous opportunities for growth and success. “People must first believe in themselves and their neighbors, and practice kindness daily.” Through Leadership New Mexico, he says he has gained a wonderful insight on the business, social and cultural facets that make New Mexico different from other states and countries he’s lived in. “And I share my outlook and privileges as a New Mexican with anyone that will listen, sometimes affecting renewed vigor and pride that may have been lost or taken for granted.”

Natasha Martell-Jackson

Media and Education Programs Manager - Intel Corp.

“New Mexico’s strength is innovation,” Martell-Jackson says. “The labs, universities and businesses within our communities are vital to ongoing innovation that is changing our world. We can build on this with continued focus on education, especially the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Fostering student interests and success in these areas will keep New Mexico poised for leading future innovation.” Martell-Jackson believes that in order to improve our education system, one way the business community should be involved is by providing support in the form of mentors and volunteers. “More than ever, entire communities will have to work together for our students to increasingly achieve success. Research has shown that quality education has a direct impact on economic growth. A highly educated, well-trained community will help our state prosper within the global economy.”

Julie Miller Rugg

Executive Director - New Mexico Bio Park Society

“I think we have several accomplishments,” Miller Rugg says, “but what comes immediately to mind are introducing the Rail Runner, actively recruiting the film industry and being the location choice for the Spaceport. All of these have played a role in promoting our state, increasing tourism and impacting economic development.” Miller Rugg would like to see New Mexico become a place where small businesses flourish and where other companies choose to locate. “We need to enhance and grow existing businesses and attract and grow new businesses to maintain a healthy economy. Economic development creates jobs, enhances our tax base and improves the standard and quality of life.” She hopes to become a better, more informed leader through her experiences with Leadership New Mexico, and describes her definition of leadership as “the ability to develop more leaders. Your actions should motivate people to do more and then become more.”

Michelle Miller

Founder and Chief Executive Officer - High Desert Discovery District (HD3)

Miller believes in New Mexico. “Our strengths are diversity, scientific and technical talent, geography, natural resources and a deep history and culture that nearly everyone believes is unique and special. We are all blessed to call New Mexico home.” But there is always room for improvement, which Miller says will happen when New Mexico moves from a government-dominated economy to a private sector-dominated economy. Her vision is that future generations of New Mexicans stay and contribute their insights, skills and talents toward the prosperity of the state, and are not compelled to leave in order to find economic opportunity. “It will take investments in education, workforce development and entrepreneurial development for this to happen. Many organizations are currently trying to further this vision, including HD3. However, at a statewide level, leadership is required to bring this together into a focused vision.”

Keith Nix

Director-Technical Services - PNM Resources

Nix believes that New Mexico’s greatest assets are its land, its natural resources and the can-do attitude of its residents. Nix’s vision is for the state to be open for business by being a friendly environment for development, while keeping its cultural identity and preserving its land. He says, “Spaceport America is a great example of how those worlds intersect; we can launch objects into space and then drive five minutes away and be back in some of the most pristine land in the country.” To move forward and improve the future of New Mexico, Nix goes on to say, “We need to have an open, non-adversarial and nonpartisan dialogue about what makes our state great and then decide how we want to market and develop those qualities, while preserving our culture.”

Mark Padilla

Vice President of Government Relations - Amerigroup Community Care of New Mexico Inc.

Padilla believes we can lift ourselves up and create a New Mexico where cultural differences are embraced, and individual and collective prosperity can and will be created. “Like many in our state, I grow weary of seeing New Mexico on the top of bad lists and at the bottom of good ones,” Padilla says. “We can change this by focusing on economic development, education and health care. We have many barriers, but by focusing on these issues, we can begin to shift those unhealthy cycles and lift ourselves into a state where prosperity is within the grasp of all New Mexicans.” Because he works in health care, he hopes to become a part of the collective solution for health care in New Mexico. “I love this state and the people in it, and I believe transformational change will come from the skills learned by leaders across the state from Leadership New Mexico.”

Scott Pugmire

Deputy Director, 58th Operations Group, 58th Special Operations Wing - United States Air Force

Pugmire defines leadership as “the ability to influence people to realize and even exceed their potential in pursuit of a common objective, achieve that objective, doing so even in difficult circumstances.” Pugmire would like one of New Mexico’s common objectives to be making the most of its natural resources through prudent use, management and conservation. He thinks the state should also consider offering initiative-based opportunities to better oneself and work toward caring for the less fortunate primarily through private means with some public assistance. To realize these ends, he believes it will take “leaders able to articulate the goals and motivate people to action.” He plans to help by “influencing my circle of friends, colleagues and associates and supporting those individuals and groups with a common vision.”

Mike Renaud

Region Director - Presbyterian Medical Services

Renaud believes New Mexico’s greatest strength is its citizens. “Our unselfish and unwavering focus on giving and the care of others separates us from many other states. The value that our citizens place on leading with and acting with the heart is, surprisingly, not frequently the norm. We care about our families, our friends, our neighbors and our state.” Renaud hopes to see New Mexico become a prosperous state that emboldens its citizens to lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. He says he joined Leadership New Mexico because it’s where partnerships and collaborations begin. “The heart of this experience is really the bonds formed between classmates. I find these bonds to be critical and I will use my experience in Leadership New Mexico to further these bonds and to create new relationships and new bonds with others in my community and across the state.”

Karen Robinson

County Assessor - Eddy County

Robinson says, “My family has been blessed to have been born and raised in the state of New Mexico. I want this state to prosper and flourish for the generations to come. This becomes my challenge.” As a former graduate of Leadership New Mexico’s Local Government Leadership Program, she says it made her crave the longer exposure the Core Program would provide. “Leadership New Mexico challenges us to step out of our comfort zones and accomplish tasks that we never thought possible. I am working with New Mexico Association of Counties, through our legislative process, toward becoming part of the solution.” Robinson encourages others to follow her example by getting involved in their community, continuing to educate and promote education at all ages, and to climb outside their comfort zones and soar.

John C. Russell, M.D.

Chairman, Surgery - University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

“Leadership New Mexico is a unique and invaluable program for educating leaders in many industries throughout New Mexico in the assets and challenges facing our state,” says Russell. He believes the strengths of New Mexico are in its cultural diversity, natural resources, unique physical beauty, its rich artistic community and overall vitality. “In the ‘Wild West’ there is an inherent energy. Nothing is fixed in stone and no problem is unsolvable.” Through his participation in the program, Russell hopes to think beyond the greater Albuquerque area when it comes to his area of responsibility in the design and conduct of clinical, educational and medical research programs. “In my daily work at the UNM Health Sciences Center, I can help to improve both our health-care workforce and the availability of high-quality health care for all New Mexican citizens.”

Peter S. Seibert

Executive Director - Millicent Rogers Museum

Seibert says that when he first moved to New Mexico, someone described it as “a big ‘small town’ with infinite points of connection that link us together. Understanding and making those connections will ultimately help in growing the community of New Mexico.” Being a part of Leadership New Mexico has enabled Seibert to see and understand the complexities of not only social and business issues in the state, but also the staggering geographic diversity of New Mexico. His vision is that the state continues to embrace the rich and unique cultural heritage of its past, while also embracing the technological age of the 21st century. “The answer in my mind is education, both about the past of the state and its cultures and about the future opportunities. Education needs to be about not only a well-educated workforce, but also one that asks critical questions and demands constructive change.”

Hanna Skandera

Secretary-Designate - State of New Mexico, Department of Education

Skandera’s vision for New Mexico is that all children have the opportunity to receive a world-class education that propels them to achieve their potential. Skandera says, “I will continue to advocate and work to implement education reforms that will benefit New Mexico’s students.” She goes on to say, “Establishing an education system that effectively measures student growth and achievement, honors the rich diversity of our state and implements targeted interventions that yield returns on the state’s education investments, we will ensure students are prepared for success. Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce and leaders, and in order to ensure New Mexico has a prosperous future, we must prioritize education.” Skandera joined Leadership New Mexico to learn more about the state and meet fellow New Mexico leaders. “I look forward to exchanging innovative ideas and solutions to various issues throughout the state, and I believe Leadership New Mexico provides that opportunity.”

Jerry Smith

President and Chief Executive Officer - Laguna Development Corporation

Smith believes that “leadership is the tipping point at which change meets momentum. To be a leader you must be a change agent. To create success you must take action and embrace change.” Smith thinks that to become a better state, New Mexico needs to make a few changes, and lists our greatest challenges as the education of our youth and the health of our communities. He says that be an effective leader, you have to understand the environment in which you live and work. “Gaining knowledge and sharing experiences is the first step in realizing our vision for New Mexico.” Smith’s particular vision for New Mexico is, “A thriving community, rich in culture, united in purpose, inspired in vision, healthy in mind, body and spirit and prepared to take on another 100 years of change.”

Henry South,  CPA, CVA

Managing Director and President - Atkinson & Co., CPAs

South believes that New Mexico has many strengths, but its greatest is its people. “They are the future of New Mexico. We need to teach, train and make it possible for them to make their own way. We should encourage the differences and allow the ‘melting pot’ approach of blending those differences to make all of us stronger.” To make this happen he thinks it will take time, talent, money and commitment, “We have to be involved. We have to give back to the state we call home.” South says that Leadership New Mexico is a great education forum for leaders in the state, and the next step is to educate others, “Being involved with Leadership New Mexico only opens doors. We now have to get involved and make changes within our state.”

Mike Stark

County Operations Officer - San Juan County

Stark lists New Mexico’s top three recent accomplishments as the creation of the New Mexico Health Insurance Alliance, development and support of the Spaceport and support of our nation’s first renewable-energy transmission hub, the Tres Amigas superstation in Clovis. “All three of these accomplishments are examples of how public/private partnerships can be used to solve problems and provide economic opportunities for our state.” Stark would like for the state to provide a quality of life that creates sustainable, economic opportunities while preserving the culture, diversity and enchantment this state has to offer. “To realize my vision, it will take a group of dedicated leaders working collaboratively from across New Mexico willing to invest their time, skills and resources to move us forward. With my participation in Leadership New Mexico, I hope to become more knowledgeable on the issues, enhance my statewide leadership network and find my niche for making contributions to our state’s future.”

Ed Street

Principal - REDW LLC

Street is inspired by great teachers because “good teachers and coaches make lifelong, meaningful impacts on young people, and thus have significant impacts on their communities and society overall, and they do this in an unselfish manner.” His vision is that New Mexico becomes a place where young people receive the support and resources they need to achieve their potential, and a place where people do not have to leave the state to achieve their potential. Although he appreciates teachers, Street believes that one of New Mexico’s greatest weaknesses right now has to do with its educational system. “We do have some great schools, teachers and students at every level. Perhaps our weaknesses include not enough sharing of ideas that work at the best-performing schools and not enough support for those schools and students with significant needs. Effort and commitment will make this happen.”

Marilyn K. Strube

Facility Planner - Greer Stafford SJCF Inc.

Strube’s vision is for New Mexico to become a leader in educational reform for the nation because she believes the youth are the key to our future. To realize this vision, she says, “The people need to understand the importance and benefits of educating our youth, and to actively support this endeavor financially, programmatically, and become participants in the educational process. This can only be achieved by the creation of a partnership between the public school district, the community and the state.” Strube wants to be actively involved in this partnership by expanding her knowledge on the issues and helping develop solutions. “I have been blessed in both my personal and professional life, and want to help others recognize their potential and achieve their goals. I want to be a participant, not a spectator.”

Bernarr Treat

Farm and Ranch Manager - Armstrong Energy Corp.

Treat is inspired by “the vast majority of people currently involved in production agriculture and the generations of families before them. They are the hardest-working people I know and the success of their operation is determined primarily by two things they have no control over: weather and markets. Yet they seldom complain!” Treat believes that a good portion of the state economy is generated in rural New Mexico, but the practices of these industries are being challenged by those in the urban population. “Continual education for these centers is needed,” he says. Treat’s vision is for the state to offer his boys, sixth-generation New Mexicans, the opportunities and environment for a long, prosperous life. This will involve “practicing the ethics and values passed on to us and embracing new ideas and technology offered by the next generation.”

Adam Triolo

President - AUI Inc.

Triolo’s vision is for New Mexico “to become a state that is self-sufficient and affords all those who reside here the freedoms granted by our Constitution.” For this to occur, Triolo thinks that we need to change the way we educate our children, encourage and elect great leaders that will create pro-business environments, and we need to operate solid and ethical businesses that provide secure jobs that allow people to be self-sufficient. He goes on to say, “I help by supporting successful educational initiatives that benefit our kids such as Junior Achievement and local charter schools. I believe it is important to form partnerships between business, community and education. I am also very active with the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation, a cause I am passionate about. I think getting involved in community charities, activities, and groups such as Leadership New Mexico help me understand the problems we face in our state and better assist in developing solutions.”

Ann Maddox Utterback

Director on Board of Directors -J.F Maddox Foundation

Maddox Utterback believes, “Leadership is being out front for an issue, a cause, a job, a situation and being the one to help steer the direction, set the tone and guide a group in working together.” She became a Leadership New Mexico participant to have more exposure to what is going on in New Mexico including: the sectors of business, the people involved and the regional differences and similarities. She says that New Mexico’s diversity is what draws her in and makes her want to stay. “We have to demand that our leaders not stress the differences of everyone but guide all of these different groups to work together. I honestly think that all of us in Leadership New Mexico, a group specifically chosen to represent the wide variety of what makes up New Mexico citizens, want to do that in our communities and statewide.”

Jeff Wechsler

Attorney -Montgomery & Andrews

Wechsler’s vision is for New Mexico to be a healthy and supportive place where his kids will have opportunity, and where they will want to stay and someday raise their own families. To achieve this, he believes, “For my part, I can work every day to build a stronger community.” He says that Leadership New Mexico is a helpful organization because it brings together people from different communities throughout the state to share perspectives on common issues. “Having that perspective is invaluable in every project, and it helps to build relationships that can lead to solutions in the future. There are no easy solutions. Instead, it will take patience, the willingness to ask hard questions, and the commitment of many good people.”

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