William P. Lang is the recipient of Leadership New Mexico’s Distinguished Leadership Award. Lang is publisher, president and CEO of the Albuquerque Publishing Company, which publishes the Albuquerque Journal, and president and CEO of Starline Printing. He served on the board of directors of First National Bank of Santa Fe, and is currently a trustee for the University of New Mexico Foundation and a board member of the Albuquerque Community Foundation. He is also co-founder of The Cinco Amigos, a group of five car enthusiasts who created and administer the Cinco Amigos Now and Forever Fund to improve the lives of Albuquerque citizens and public officials. He is also a supporter of Bosque School and Manzano Day School.
Laura Conniff is the recipient of Leadership New Mexico’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. Conniff is an associated broker at Steinborn & Associates Real Estate, and co-owner of Leveldale Farms in Illinois and Conniff F Cross Farm in Las Cruces. She is a graduate of New Mexico State University and has served on the school’s board of regents. Conniff is a director of 1st National Bank of Artesia and of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas – El Paso Branch. She was a founding member of the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico and served as a board member of that organization for three years. She has served on boards for such other organizations as Western Bank and the New Mexico State University President’s Association. She previously served as president of the New Mexico State University Foundation and Mil Gracias Society of New Mexico State University. She has served as co-chairman of the NMSU “Aggies are Tough Enough to Wear Pink” organization, which raises awareness and funds on behalf of Cowboys for Cancer Research. Her other philanthropic causes include Mesilla Valley Hospice, Borderplex Alliance, Kappa Kappa Gamma, the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association and the Las Cruces Junior League.
Craig Allen, a longtime employee of the U.S. Geological Survey stationed at Bandelier National Monument, has received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor in the Department of the Interior. Allen was recognized for more than 35 years of federal service, sharing his expertise as a world-renowned authority on forest and landscape ecology. He established and led the Jemez Mountains Field Station, now called the New Mexico Landscapes Field Station, that continues to generate ecological data. His documentation of the Valles Caldera’s unique landscape was crucial to establishing the area as a National Preserve in 2000. Bandelier is one of the most active and progressive resource-oriented units in the entire national park system. Allen retired this year, but continues to work as a volunteer at Bandelier.
- Courageous Innovation Award: Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary. This award honors an organization that uses a bold approach to solve a persistent problem in the community. Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary works to create healthy ecosystems for wild horses and to give sanctuary to vulnerable mustangs where they live free.
- Quiet Inspiration Award: Communities In Schools of New Mexico. This award honors an organization that works quietly and respectfully among a wide range of people in the community. Communities In Schools’ mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and succeed in life.
- Tried & True Award: School for Advanced Research. This award honors an organization known for consistent, high-quality programming, despite changes in the external environment. Established more than 100 years ago, the mission of the School for Advanced Research is to further creative thought and innovative work in the social sciences, humanities and Native American arts.
- Visionary Award: Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance. This award honors an organization that can anticipate the unmet needs of future generations and has the stamina to achieve success. The Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance works to protect and restore the ecological and cultural heritage of watersheds in the Hermit’s Peak region through ecological restoration, environmental education and community action.
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Stephanie Catasca, CPA, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP, and Kharyn L. Cover, CPA, Kharyn L. Cover, Taylor Roth and Company PLLC, and Kharyn Cover, CPA
- Outstanding Member in Public Practice Award: Miranda M. Jijana, CPA, Ricci & Company, LLC, and Tamara Beall, CPA, REDW LLC
- Outstanding New Member Award: Ratigan A. Heenan, CPA, Moss Adams LLP
- Woman to Watch, Experienced Leader Award: Belinda C. Melton, CPA, CFE, Kubiak Melton & Associates, LLC
- Woman to Watch, Emerging Leader Award: Chauna King, CPA, The Forensic Firm