The National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation has new leadership.
Albuquerque-native John Martinez is set to be the President/CEO of the foundation, which is fundraising arm for the state-run National Hispanic Cultural Center.
“My immediate goal was to right the ship,” Martinez said. “The foundation is here to support the NHCC and the only way we can support the center if we’re pulling in the same direction.”
Martinez has been on the job for more than a month and has met with NHCC Executive Director Margie Huerta to establish the working relationship that the two entities will have.
Martinez replaced Roberta Ricci, who led the foundation since July 2018.
“One of the challenges that Roberta had and now I have is that there is a lot of expectation,” Martinez said. “In terms of fundraising through grant opportunities, we’re only a staff of three and it’s difficult to move the mountain with that many people.”
Martinez is aiming to bring in a grant writing team to the foundation, as well as someone who will be responsible for event planning.
The NHCC Foundation’s main fundraiser is Maravilla, which takes place takes place Aug. 13 and is called “Una Noche en Chile.”
Martinez plans to make strides along with Huerta to have the center seen in a national spotlight.
“We want to change the perception of it,” he said. “We want to work with the tourism department and the (Albuquerque) Hispano Chamber of Commerce in helping grow our profile as a destination.”
Martinez stepped down as vice chair of the NHCC Foundation Board of Trustees to take the position.
In 2001, he retired from US West Communications before serving in multiple governmental roles.
During his career in government, John served under three governors and one attorney general.
“John has made a positive impact to the community because of his ability to collaborate and establish relationships” said Rob DelCampo, Chairman of the NHCC Foundation Board of Trustees.