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NHCC Foundation director stepping down

Anna Sanchez is stepping down as the director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

The National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation will be looking for a leader.

After nearly three years at the helm of the foundation, Anna Sanchez is resigning her position effective Feb. 23. The foundation is searching for a new director.

“Anna brought change and prosperity to our fundraising efforts, re-engaged donors and members, and re-invited NHCC staff into the work of fundraising,” said Rebecca Avitia, NHCC executive director. “It’s been a pleasure to have had her on our team.”

Sanchez’s goals when she first began were to increase membership to the foundation as well as increase sponsorship to its annual Maravilla event.

She also helped increase programmatic fundraising support by 40 percent, improved and helped secure major grant support for the organization.

She began working as foundation director in June 2015.

The NHCC Foundation provides direct financial support to the cultural center and its mission to preserve, promote and advance Hispanic culture, arts and humanities.

The center has expanded its programming across the board in its art museum, library, genealogy center and educational resources.

“Anna has been an incredible and relentless change-maker for our Foundation — growing our funding dramatically and improving our relationship with members, donors, and the Center and I will miss working with her,” said Anthony D. Trujillo, NHCC Foundation board chair. “To ensure a smooth transition for the Foundation, we are moving as quickly as possible to fill the director role.”

Sanchez came into her position as the organization was moving forward after years of turmoil.

As of July 1, 2015, the foundation paid off its debt to the state of New Mexico.

In 2011, the state demanded that the NHCC Foundation repay nearly $147,000 in spending related to the NHCC fresco project back in 2007-08, in what it said was “a textbook example of how public funds should never be spent.”

The fresco project — done by New Mexico artist Frederico Vigil and opened to the public in October 2010 — received $812,500 in state funds through capital outlay appropriations. However, some of that money was deemed by the Department of Cultural Affairs to have been improperly spent on administrative costs.

In May 2015, the NHCC board of directors voted to enter a naming rights agreement with New Mexico Mutual for the soon-to-be-built welcome center. The first $100,000 of the $200,000 agreement was used to pay off the NHCC Foundation’s debt.

In recent years, there has also been an overhaul of the management roles of both the center and foundation.

The collaboration calls for the center to be more involved in fundraising.

Interested candidates should send a letter of interest (1-2 pages in length), a resume, and the names and contact information for four references to no later than midnight on February 21, 2018, in order to be considered. Candidates will then receive a confirmation email stating that your application has been received.