Briefcase - Albuquerque Journal



Chapter 80 of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) meets at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Palo Duro Senior Center, 5221 Palo Duro NE. All current or retired federal employees are invited. The meeting includes a program, and lunch will be provided. For additional information, call 505-373-3456.


Hope Eckert, J.D.

Attorney Hope Eckert, J.D., has opened Creative Mediations, a firm helping attorneys and individuals creatively resolve civil cases and related issues, at 500 Marquette NW, Ste. 1200 in Albuquerque. Eckert has practiced in many areas during her career including federal criminal defense, plaintiff’s civil rights, employment law, and civil defense and has served as both an adjunct and visiting professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law and most recently has been a mediator in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court Mediation Program. She has a master’s degree from the University of North Texas; a law degree from UNM; and is licensed to practice in the state of New Mexico, U.S. District Court for New Mexico, and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Eckert is a member of the State Bar of New Mexico Ethics Advisory Committee.

For additional information on Creative Mediations call 505-480-8580; email or visit


Family Friendly New Mexico, a nonprofit program that recognizes New Mexico businesses with family-friendly policies, has announced its list of companies that earned recognition for having policies that help workers balance work and family. The distinction means the recognized employers have four or more policies in the areas of paid leave, health support, work schedules and economic support.

The organizations recognized as Gold and Silver Level awardees for September are Abrazos Family Support Services, gold award; city of Albuquerque, gold award; Deloitte Consulting LLP, gold award; Farmington Tire of Four States, gold award; Four Corners Community Bank, gold award; Four States Tire & Service, gold award; San Juan County, gold award; Animas Environmental Services, LLC; silver award; Esparza Advertising, silver award; and San Juan College, silver award.

Any New Mexico business is eligible to apply for the New Mexico Family Friendly Business award. For a full list of family friendly policies and to learn more about the New Mexico Family Friendly initiative and see if your company qualifies, visit


Amanda J. Velarde

Amanda J. Velarde has joined Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) as real estate director. Velarde will be responsible for collaborating with Facilities Design + Construction and Capital Master Plan personnel in strategically planning for the district’s future real estate requirements. In addition to negotiating major acquisitions, dispositions and leases, she will be responsible for joint-use agreements with other local, state and federal government entities. Velarde has 20 years’ experience in negotiations and long-range purchase plans with business and corporate entities and 12 years’ experience in commercial real estate. Most recently, she was a commercial broker for the Albuquerque office of CBRE. She is a member of the New Mexico chapter of the Commercial Association of Realtors, the International Council of Shopping Centers and the National Association of Realtors. Velarde has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Phoenix.

FootPrints Home Care has hired three new staff members. They are

Rachel Miller

Rachel Miller, recruiting coordinator on the client services team in the Santa Fe office. Miller has experience in human resources and customer service. She will oversee the employee recruiting efforts for Santa Fe, Los Alamos and the surrounding areas.

Daniel Sherry, scheduling coordinator on the client services team. Sherry has previous experience in the field.

Ruben Romero, Sante Fe Community Liaison on the business development team. Romero, a registered nurse with sales and marketing experience, will maintain community relationships with healthcare partners in Santa Fe and Los Alamos.

Elise Piccione, PA-C

Elise Piccione, PA-C, has joined the Lovelace Medical Group as a physician assistant practicing at the Lovelace Medical Group General Surgery at 715 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. NE, Ste. 301. Piccione is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and currently serves on the New Mexico board. She has a bachelor’s degree in physiology from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

Albuquerque Public Schools has hired two new staff architects for the APS Facilities Design + Construction Division. They are Sayre Gerhart, AIA, and Faye Rogers, AIA.

Gerhart will be a project manager and staff architect responsible for capital projects for schools in the Highland and Volcano Vista high school clusters. She has extensive experience in architecture, capital master planning, facilities master planning and project management for school systems throughout New Mexico. She previously worked for a local architectural firm and has been a councilor for the village of Corrales. Gerhart, an accredited learning environment professional, has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University; and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.

Rogers will be a project manager and staff architect overseeing programming and design of district capital improvement projects including phased renewal of older campuses. She has experience in a variety of improvement project types with a focus on the evaluation, planning, and design of K-12 and higher education facilities. Rogers has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia; and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Michigan. She is a volunteer on committees for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

The Vigil Group LLC has hired two new staff members. They are

Alyssa Lucero, business manager. Lucero has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UNM.

Adriana Ponce, payroll specialist. Ponce is pursing a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UNM.


Steven Alano has been promoted to partner by Greer Stafford/SJCF Architecture. Alano joined the firm as an intern architect in 2006. He has a master’s degree in architecture from UNM in 2012 and became a registered architect in 2014. He is also the 2017 president-elect of the New Mexico chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a graduate of Leadership New Mexico’s 2016 Connect New Mexico program.

Michael Chicarelli, DNP, has been promoted to interim CEO by the University of New Mexico Hospital. Chicarelli joined the UNM Hospital in 1997 as an emergency department nurse and has risen though the ranks, holding the positions of emergency department charge nurse, Lifeguard flight nurse, executive director of emergency services, assistant chief nursing officer and administrator of professional services. He has a doctorate of nurse practice with a healthcare leadership focus from UNM.

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