ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Eleven outstanding New Mexicans and one high-profile military operation have been selected as the 2015 recipients of the Governor’s Distinguished Public Service Awards which will include a special lifetime honor for Dr. Paul Roth.
The awardees will be feted during a gala banquet Nov. 11 at the Marriott Pyramid North with former ABC News anchor and renowned journalist Sam Donaldson as the keynote speaker. Albuquerque Journal Editor Kent Walz will serve as master of ceremonies.
The lifetime award winner, Roth, as chancellor for Health Sciences, CEO of UNM Health System and dean of the School of Medicine, has been the longtime leader of UNM’s multiple health sciences missions and divisions. He has been recognized as a national leader in emergency medicine and an innovator in medical education.
This year’s winners – including one organization and two couples – are as follows:
- The 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base. The Albuquerque-headquartered group represents 2,570 Airmen, federal employees and contractors who prepare for worldwide special operations missions including rescue ops, missile site support and survival, resistance, evasion and escape training.
The 58th also oversees operations at six other Army, Navy and Marine Corps bases. Its members have contributed thousands of volunteers hours for dozens of nonprofit and other organizations throughout the greater Albuquerque area.
- Ed Brabson of Alamogordo – a key and longtime member of the group supporting the Holloman Air Force Base, active volunteer in major civic projects in and around Alamogordo.
- Michael Canfield of Laguna Pueblo and Albuquerque – a longtime leader and executive in various capacities with the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico, including serving as CEO and president of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, as well as advocate for numerous tribal initiatives.
- Todd Dunivan of Albuquerque – credited with developing key initiatives at Sandia National Labs and chairman of the American Indian Outreach Committee, mentor and promoter for science careers for students.
- Dan and Gerry Klinglesmith of Socorro – longtime promoters of getting students interested in science and technology and quintessential community volunteers.
- Dr. Steve McCleery of Hobbs – a higher education advocate, administrator, mentor and leader as well as a southeastern New Mexico economic developer.
- Mike and Kathy Mechenbier of Los Lunas – the couple was a driving force creating the foster care alternative, El Ranchitos de los Ninos in Los Lunas.
- Dennis S. Pena of Albuquerque – retired Charge Pharmacist at UNMH and active as a health-care advocate for decades.
- GloJean Todacheene of Shiprock – a Milken educator award winner, former Navajo Nation tribal councilor and education advocate.
The program seeks out individuals to recognize not only unusual contributions to public service and the improvement of government at all levels, but also exceptional contributions to the community.
Developed in the 1960s by Dr. Albert Rosenthal, UNM professor and director emeritus in Public Administration, it has raised thousands of dollars in scholarships at three New Mexico universities.
The program is chaired by New Mexico Tech President Dr. Dan Lopez and Gov. Susana Martinez.