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Leadership New Mexico Class of 2012

Utilities Manager, Incorporated County of Los Alamos
Los Alamos

Arrowsmith’s vision for New Mexico can be described in one sentence: “New Mexico is a beautiful place with opportunities for citizens to achieve the fullest of their potential.” In order to achieve this vision, Arrowsmith says, “it will take many things, but an abundant supply of energy is essential. New Mexico is lucky to have vast sources of renewable energy as well as traditional energy supplies including oil, gas, coal and nuclear. I want to contribute by helping to develop energy sources for use in New Mexico and for export to other states.” When asked why he applied to Leadership New Mexico, Arrowsmith replies, “achieving almost anyone’s vision for the future of New Mexico will require an increased understanding of the topics covered in each session of Leadership New Mexico.”

Estimator/Project Manager, James Hamilton Construction
Silver City

Baldwin says New Mexico has many assets. “At the top on my list are the natural resources. In a world full of beauty, New Mexico ranks among the top when comparing forests and mountains. From the Sandias to Angel Fire to the Gila Wilderness, New Mexico has hundreds of thousands of acres of gorgeous public lands. These lands are inspiring backdrops for creativity and personal wellness.” In order to bring people into our state and share in this beautiful natural environment, Baldwin believes “New Mexico can build upon the asset of beautiful public lands by first investing in infrastructure that will expand access and inspire tourism throughout the state. Second, a well-designed marketing campaign aimed at showing off the natural and man-made wonders of the state would increase exposure, tourism and growth.”

Advertising Director, Albuquerque Publishing Co.

Begley is inspired by our youth. “We need to keep in mind that we cannot always assume that all of our youth are the gang members, criminals and self-centered youth that we hear so often about. Many compassionate, incredible kids do amazing things every day. I have seen this over the years especially through Albuquerque Journal’s Sage – Making a Difference award recipients. These high school seniors see problems or a need, find solutions and follow through with a plan to fix those problems or to fill that gap. They make a difference in people’s daily lives through volunteerism and by simply doing what is right. They do not know it can be unpopular to ask why – why can’t we do this, why is there not a solution for that.” Begley believes we can learn from these kids and others. “They have inspired me to continue to ask why. I need a reminder every once in a while that curiosity and compassion should never wane. No matter how old you are it is still okay to ask why.”

Manager, Implementation Group, ConocoPhillips

Bent defines leadership as “the ability to effectively and positively influence others. It is engaging people of all backgrounds collaboratively to develop opportunities to improve the areas where we work and live.” Bent believes that each and every person can make a difference in many different ways. Bent’s vision for New Mexico is for the state to be a resource for our residents, to be the state of choice to raise, educate and support our families. In order to realize that vision he says “it takes collaboration and compromise with a clear vision of the desired outcome. Standing up and being a positive voice and influence in that discussion is what we all need to do.”

President, Marie Enterprises

Marie (Betty) Blea describes her vision for New Mexico as “a beautiful place to live and raise a family.” In order for this vision to become a reality, Blea believes that “raising a family in New Mexico is wonderful, but one of our largest downfalls is our school systems. We must raise our education standards.” Blea believes that New Mexico has many things to offer, “our weather is something that attracts people to New Mexico. Incentives and proper advertising of the ruins, pueblos, white-water rafting, skiing, Taos, Santa Fe, and many other things we as New Mexicans take for granted, could be great sales tools to attract more tourism, second-home owners and retirement communities.” Through Leadership New Mexico, Blea says, “I am learning many things about our state that will help me in the future.”

CRAIG BUCHANAN Market President for Las Cruces, U.S. Bank
Las Cruces

Buchanan would like for New Mexico to be known as a center of excellence and opportunity. Buchanan says, “I believe that improvement in our educational system is first priority toward improving the future of our state. We need to have a population that is properly prepared to understand the opportunities available in the current and future economy and properly skilled to pursue those opportunities.” Buchanan hopes his participation in Leadership New Mexico will enable him to take on new challenges with confidence and enthusiasm. “I have been inspired by the people I have met, both participants in the Core Program and by the people we have met in the various New Mexico communities we have visited. This experience has reinforced the fact that positive change will only occur with our personal involvement.”

Vice President and Chief Service Officer, Presbyterian Healthcare Services

Burdick’s vision for New Mexico is “a healthy, stable economy, a robust job market, and a nationally excellent education system that motivates New Mexico’s kids to stay in school and acquire the skills and expertise they need to succeed.” Burdick’s hope is to gain a greater understanding of the factors impacting our economy, the challenges faced by our education system, and to learn what the state and business leaders are doing to encourage innovative thinking. She says, “Leadership New Mexico provides an opportunity to travel around the state, meet and build relationships with individuals from around New Mexico, learn about our state, and to gain the perspective and viewpoint of individuals who work in different industries.”

Chief Administrative Officer, UNM Health Sciences Center

Burge is inspired when she works with great leaders and leaders who do the right thing. “I believe great leaders raise others around them up to a higher level.” She believes one of New Mexico’s greatest strengths is its people. “We live in a very diverse state, very rich in so many ways. We need to better educate and train people to do the jobs we need to grow our economy and contribute to the success of our state.” Burge’s vision is for New Mexico to be the best place in America to live, work and learn. In order for this to happen she believes we need to work on improving our education system and making our communities a better place to live. “Our students need and deserve to have a good, solid education.”

Facilities Operation, Intel Corp.
Rio Rancho

Churan considers the top three concerns New Mexico is facing today to be the current state of the educational system, the challenging health care environment, and the need to attract new and diverse businesses. “These businesses will demand an educated workforce skilled in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math which are required in an ever-more-complex and competitive world. An educated and healthy workforce, along with the continued need for business certainty in the regulatory and tax environment, will make our state more competitive.” Churan’s desire to learn more about how he can make New Mexico a better place to live, work and raise a family inspired him to apply to Leadership New Mexico. “What better way to learn about the challenges New Mexico faces than from this diverse group of experienced New Mexican leaders.”

Principal, Sum It Up and Financial Manager, Goemmer Land & Livestock Co. LLC

Goemmer wants New Mexico to maximize on its strengths and minimize its weaknesses. In order to do this, she believes, “We need to continue to promote the strengths of our state: the history, the culture, the geography and the weather. At the same time, we to need continue to address our major weaknesses: health care delivery, education and the business environment by looking at best practices. We need to tackle these problems as a community.” Through Leadership New Mexico, Goemmer hopes to gain a greater understanding of the challenges our state faces and work with others to come up with solutions. “As in business, many great solutions come from the bottom, not the top.”

President, Bridgers & Paxton Consulting Engineers

Dexter sees New Mexico’s strengths as “its scientific talent, natural resources, and the generous and unpretentious spirit of its people.” He goes on to say “we should redouble efforts to help commercialize technology developed by our scientific and health care communities, market our state nationally and internationally for those areas where we offer unique advantages (sunshine, available land, scientific talent), continue to market our state as a tourist destination, and help facilitate grass-roots humanitarian organizations and initiatives.” Dexter has already seen a lot of advantages to his participation in the program. “Through Leadership New Mexico, I’ve met a diverse group of interesting and influential people from different industries and different parts of the state. Now I can call and get a restaurant recommendation or a lunch date in any part of New Mexico.”

Director of Design, Steve Newby Architects
Las Cruces

Haas has a vision for New Mexico where we truly work to become a state full of opportunities. “New Mexico is a poor state, with high unemployment and drop-out rates, and our taxes discourage business development. To overcome these issues we need to start developing new approaches to New Mexico’s economy.” Haas believes it will take creative people with creative solutions working together to make his vision a reality. Leadership New Mexico has helped him realize that we are all connected. “Information is more available and people are more approachable than I once thought. By sharing information and communicating with one another we are less apt to build fences between ourselves and begin to seek solutions that will benefit all New Mexicans.”

Commandant of Cadets/ Dean of Students, New Mexico Military Institute

Geraci applied to Leadership New Mexico for the opportunity to gain more knowledge and a better understanding about the issues facing our state and work with other community leaders to generate possible solutions. Geraci defines leadership as being about “serving others, inspiring others, and providing a path to success for others. Leadership is about having a clear vision, and the pursuit of personal and organizational excellence. It involves lifelong learning, constant preparation and perseverance, caring, sharing, and excellent communication skills. Most importantly, it requires the highest degree of integrity, honesty, and self-accountability.” Geraci’s vision is that the state differentiates itself by emphasizing its rich cultural heritage, resources, economic opportunities and significant efforts toward achieving high-quality education. “My contribution to all of the above is to get involved, and stir the pot.”

President and Chief Executive Officer, Economic Development Corp. of Lea County

Hardison believes that, “one of the most pressing issues facing New Mexico is the need to improve the state’s economy.” Hardison goes on to say, “If the tax policy and regulatory environment in New Mexico were changed to provide a more business-friendly approach, it would allow for greater growth of New Mexico’s economy. Far too often in southeastern New Mexico we find that businesses are attracted to the area, but are driven across the border into Texas because of the complexity of the tax policy and regulatory environment in New Mexico. I believe that simplification of regulations and taxes would allow the state’s economy to prosper.” Through Leadership New Mexico, she hopes to gain more knowledge about the diversity in the state. “I was inspired to participate by the wonderful leaders that nominated me and the invaluable experiences they garnered from being part of the program.”

Vice-President of Talent and Community Engagement, URENCO USA

Girón believes New Mexico’s rich history and culture is our greatest strength. “Our diversity supports interesting points of view and refreshing perspectives. All are necessary to build a promising future for our state.” Her vision for that future is that New Mexico become a great place to live, work, retire and vacation. In order to get there, Girón says we need to create jobs in New Mexico and systems that support our citizens and business development. Girón explains that her family has a long history in New Mexico but she’s a new resident. “I’ve always wanted to live here but my father felt there weren’t opportunities here. I wish he were alive today to see how great New Mexico has become. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Leadership New Mexico.”

President, New Mexico Oil and Gas Association
Santa Fe

Henke believes New Mexico has a lot of strengths. “New Mexico is blessed with tremendous natural resources, including significant energy deposits. I consider our willingness to have an honest dialogue, our respect for differences, and a shared commitment to advance our state economically, socially and culturally as strengths.” He sees the state’s challenges as the educational system and reliance on government spending. Henke’s vision for New Mexico is that we continue to embrace our cultural diversity, natural resources and beauty, while striving for a future which is more economically stable and rewarding for all its citizens. “Fundamentally, New Mexico needs more makers and fewer takers. We have to identify and address the social, educational, economic and political barriers which are preventing New Mexicans from reaching their full potential and address those factors in some coordinated, comprehensive manner.”

CPA/Principal, REDW LLC

Herrera defines leadership as “the ability to develop people, build great teams, think strategically and generate excellent results.” Herrera is committed to improving New Mexico and making it the best state to live, work and do business in and believes we can achieve this through a focused effort at the community level without regard to political viewpoints. He says, “Leadership New Mexico has helped me understand the various challenges we face from a statewide perspective and has also given me the opportunity to meet many diverse individuals from around our state. Going forward, I hope to use this knowledge and newfound relationships to work with others that have a common vision for New Mexico.”

Director of Staff, 27th Special Ops Wing, Cannon Air Force Base

Masters’ vision for New Mexico is for us to become a leader among states in the security and success of the United States. In order for this to happen, Rick believes it will take “continued aggressive expansion of renewable energy development and continued cooperation with the military missions that benefit from the generous training opportunities New Mexico offers. My contribution in this effort is to educate others and build overwhelming support by connecting the dots as to how New Mexico has a direct impact on the security and success of the nation as a whole.” Rick was inspired to apply to Leadership New Mexico for the opportunity to meet and interact with leaders of business, government and communities across the state in an effort to strengthen the state and in turn strengthen the nation.

Director/Senior Attorney, Sandia National Laboratories

As a leader, Hill is inspired by “employees who continue to learn and grow in their careers, who come to work each day striving to move the organization forward, and when I can provide a guiding hand to help both them and the team achieve outstanding results.” When asked how she sees applying what she’s learned through Leadership New Mexico in the future, Hill replies, “Leadership New Mexico has introduced me to many business and community leaders throughout the state. The networking and connections have been invaluable. The education issues facing New Mexico have been eye-opening. I would like to tackle problems in our education system and promote business development by advocating reform of some of New Mexico’s laws.”

Principal, C&E Concrete

Meech’s vision for New Mexico is “growth and prosperity, with the right leadership.” Meech believes that New Mexico has an unbelievable amount of resources. He says, “we need to open up the state to industries and become self-sufficient. We need to look at how we can create jobs and diversity, and what is the best for our state.” Meech is inspired by people who work and lead unselfishly, people who are willing to give their time without expecting anything in return. Through his Leadership New Mexico experience, he has learned a lot about the issues and challenges facing our state. Meech says, “I plan to take advantage of the contacts I’ve made and continue to fight for what I believe in.”

Principal, Blue Stone Strategy Group and Senator, State of New Mexico

Keller defines leadership as a combination of courage, wisdom and moral direction. “It can be found in everyday life decisions, when we put other’s interests before our own, and when we make decisions based on integrity rather than self-interest. I also believe leadership on a broader level comes from within; it is about a deep passion and motivation to build a vision for the future.” His vision for New Mexico is that it becomes the national leader in energy technologies and a widely celebrated cultural destination. Keller believes that in order for this to happen, “real change must be anchored in community and business support that endures election cycles. We need leadership to coordinate efforts between the private and public sectors to bring focus to these efforts.”

Director, ESH&Q, SOC Los Alamos
Los Alamos

Miranda defines leadership as “an individual or group that can identify issues or problems and help to resolve them in a positive manner that encourages people to willingly and enthusiastically participate in the effort. Leadership is a term that I believe people recognize as being a forerunner for doing the right thing to make a difference.” Miranda joined Leadership New Mexico because she wants to learn more about the issues affecting New Mexico and learn how she can contribute to making the state a better place to live. “I’m glad that there is an organization like Leadership New Mexico working hard to provide the information to people who can help to make a difference.”

Chief Executive Officer/Chairwoman of the Board, La Fonda on the Plaza
Santa Fe

Kimball believes that “our singular strength is New Mexico’s precious diversity. I am interested in bridging the gap and increasing understanding amongst our varied cultures. By embracing and acknowledging each person’s uniqueness we are celebrating, as a whole, our state’s diversity. We all learn so much more by listening to one another and understanding that our differences are what make us stronger and create a broader perspective.” Kimball explains that her participation in Leadership New Mexico is helping in this effort, “I am establishing relationships with people of varying cultures, skill sets and professions throughout the state. I am learning about our state and its issues and hope to use this education to communicate with various leaders to rally around the major issues so we can solve them.”

City Manager, City of Eunice

Moore believes that “New Mexico is a place of great beauty, cultural diversity, natural resources, and a strong sense of independence and industry.” Moore says we can build upon these assets by reining in the excesses of government regulation, promoting incentives for both industry and conservation, and refocusing our attention on the education of our children. He truly believes there is no such thing as impossible. “As New Mexico leaders, we need to roll up our sleeves and utilize our independence and industry to identify and implement solutions that attack weaknesses we see in our governments and communities.” Through his participation in Leadership New Mexico, Moore is broadening his scope from the City of Eunice to all of New Mexico. He wants to focus on “a New Mexico that my children and grandchildren would want to live in.”

Plant Manager, Cummins Natural Gas Engines

Odom believes that education, economic growth and health care are the top three issues facing New Mexico. “We have an overdependence on federal support in our state that fosters a limited vision for us in New Mexico.” Odom says we need to find ways to attract new businesses to our state, which will diversify our economic growth opportunities, leading to a more stable future and increased quality of life. He was motivated to participate in Leadership New Mexico to increase his awareness of issues other businesses are facing in New Mexico and to search for common solutions to these issues. “I believe that by sharing and applying these solutions we will not only improve our individual business, but more importantly will create new opportunities to generate economic growth for New Mexico in the future.”

Division Chief, Missiles and Space, White Sands Missile Range
Las Cruces

Romero believes that the purpose of leadership is to “get the job done by developing trust, focusing efforts, clarifying objectives, inspiring confidence, building teams, setting the example, sustaining a supportive climate, keeping hope alive and rationalizing sacrifice.” Romero sees the top issues affecting New Mexico as education, health and jobs. “We need to educate our young people to become competitive in today’s changing world; we have an aging population and don’t have the medical infrastructure to support it; and there is a lack of high-paying and technical jobs to keep New Mexico’s young population in state and increase taxable income.” Romero hopes that what he learns in Leadership New Mexico will help him and others serve as ambassadors for the state.

Owner, Alamogordo Physical Therapy

Pattillo defines a leader as “someone that is smart enough and patient enough to listen to other opinions and not be afraid to take those opinions and make difficult decisions.” Pattillo applied to Leadership New Mexico in order to network with other people around New Mexico and learn more about the workings of the infrastructure of our state. His vision for New Mexico is “to have a well-educated group of citizens that have great security, economic well-being and a place that our kids will want to live as adults.” He believes this will be possible through “better education and the right people getting involved in the process.”


Administrator/Office Manager, Independent MRI Center

Saltzman defines leadership as “taking the initiative to move forward with new ideas and encouraging others to fulfill their ideas and dreams.” Like many others, Saltzman was encouraged to participate in Leadership New Mexico by past graduates of the program. “I have learned so many things about New Mexico. Sharing ideas with other leaders throughout the state, I am amazed how we all share the same concerns. The extra activities that are offered are a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience. Thanks to this program, I have learned so much about the Land of Enchantment.” She goes on to describe her vision for the state: “I see New Mexico growing more into manufacturing and technology jobs in the future because New Mexico is a desirable place to live due to the mild seasons and the sunshine.”

Senior Loan Officer, Los Alamos National Bank
Santa Fe

Pierce joined Leadership New Mexico in order to “network with leaders from all parts of the state and garner their perspective on what challenges face our state, and how we might resolve them.” He lists some of the issues he’s learned about through the program as job creation, barriers preventing new businesses relocating to New Mexico, and our educational system. “Our education system is imperative to attracting new business to New Mexico and improving our society.” Pierce says, “We must continue to be forward thinking with regards to the environment. Create opportunities for more businesses to relocate to New Mexico. Improve our educational system. We can contribute by staying involved and supporting initiatives that will make New Mexico the state of choice.”

Chief of Sales and Marketing, Laguna Development Corp.
Laguna Pueblo

Sayre’s vision for New Mexico is to be able to attract both visitors and business opportunities to New Mexico to help stimulate the economy. “New Mexico provides a quality lifestyle that is not as nationally well-known as it should be … The fascinating scenic beauty, cultural diversity and business development opportunities on a larger scale will stimulate investment both economically and socially.” Sayre was nominated for the program by past graduates from the Laguna Development Corp. “I have been an active member of every community I have lived in and Leadership New Mexico has very quickly given me tremendous insight into many of the issues and concerns facing the state. I think the program has and will continue to help me better understand how I can make positive contributions to my community here in New Mexico.”

County Manager, Chaves County

Riggs believes New Mexico has many assets, including the diversity and uniqueness of the population and plentiful natural resources, both renewable and nonrenewable. “My vision for New Mexico is many cultures working for the goal of improving the quality of life for every citizen in New Mexico.” In order to realize that vision, Riggs says we need to work on our weaknesses by prioritizing education and funding it accordingly. “We need to revamp our education system. The goal should be that all students stay in school and graduate with an education that will allow them to be productive in our society. We need a new approach with accountability, consequences and rewards in our educational system.”

Director of Corporate Communications, PNM Resources

Smith believes that one of New Mexico’s greatest strengths is its humble beauty. “Even spending most of my childhood here, I still feel like a tourist when I stumble upon a new scenic wonder. The cultural diversity is another strength. Our state has ancient dwellings, world-class art museums and galleries and fabulous performing arts opportunities. No one can ever say there’s nothing to do in New Mexico.” Her vision is that New Mexico realizes that a flourishing economy and environment aren’t mutually exclusive. In order for this to become a reality, Smith says “it will require an integrated state, private and business effort to create a shared understanding of why that vision is important and how we plan to collectively achieve it.”

Director of Community Programs, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos

Steinhaus defines leadership as “clearly communicating a compelling vision and moving resources in a direction that achieves a sustainable preferred future. The leadership process includes setting measurable and attainable goals, defining performance excellence, focusing resources, evaluating progress, making necessary course corrections and celebrating successes.” Steinhaus was inspired to apply to Leadership New Mexico by his fellow colleagues who had participated in the program. “They said, ‘You have to do this, Kurt.’ I was also inspired by the Leadership New Mexico sessions we have sponsored at the Bradbury Science Museum. These events were engaging, included timely materials, and were filled with high-quality speakers.” Steinhaus appreciates opportunities provided by the program: “My vision of future aspirations centers on establishing high expectations and developing the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary to be an inspirational leader.”

DON VAUGHAN Owner, Majestic Media

Vaughan believes that “the only way to effect change is to participate and Leadership New Mexico gave me the opportunity to do that at the next level. My vision for New Mexico would be a state with low unemployment and a strong economy where hardworking, educated people work together and are committed to the success of all its citizens.” Vaughan says to achieve that vision we need “state and local educational, business and legislative individuals to all work for a common goal. Focusing on keeping college graduates here and bringing in new businesses is going to take a cohesive push from all economic and governing sources. This has to include easing rules and regulations, updating infrastructure, improving incentives for entrepreneurs while working with colleges and universities to present an integrated plan for the state for the next five to 10 years.”

Vice President/General Manager, Tularosa Basin Telephone Co.

Tade considers the greatest strengths of New Mexico to be “the climate, the diverse makeup of its people and its cultures, and the abundance of recreational opportunities. To build on these strengths we need to create an environment that not only encourages businesses to establish their operations here but also makes our state the logical choice for expansion and growth. The challenge is to do this in a manner that preserves the unique attributes that make this state great.” Tade’s participation in Leadership New Mexico has given him the opportunity “to learn from leaders representing different businesses, industries, federal and state agencies, and other entities from around the state, all in a short period of time. This unique opportunity enables all who participate in the program to be better informed about critical issues impacting our state, communities and companies.”

Chief Executive Officer/Pastor, Destiny Church
Rio Rancho

Wade believes that New Mexico’s greatest strengths are the many opportunities that are all around us. “New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment. I think it should be more appropriately called the Land of Opportunity. There are vast opportunities here for new businesses, new enterprises, new horizons and new dreams to be realized.” Wade explains that Leadership New Mexico is providing the platform to be exposed to the opportunities and challenges that New Mexico faces. “As I am being made aware of all that Leadership New Mexico exposes us to, I am looking for creative ways and means that I can be a part of the solution. From these experiences, I am evaluating how I can best invest my time and talent to make New Mexico prosper.”

Executive Vice President, Bradbury Stamm

Towne believes that New Mexico should be a state where people want to live and businesses would like to be located. In order for this to happen, he says, “it will take a collaboration of state government and private industry creating an educated workforce, employment opportunities and steady financial growth. The people involved in Leadership New Mexico have the ability to influence the state’s future.” Although we face many challenges in our state, Towne doesn’t forget that “New Mexico is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. We should always try to remember just how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy what the state has to offer.”

Base Civil Engineer, Kirtland Air Force Base

Wilson describes a leadership as “the science and art of convincing people to accomplish feats they once thought too hard or impossible.” Through Leadership New Mexico, he has had the opportunity to meet and learn from speakers and other class participants. “It has been a tremendous experience that I expect to continue through the completion of the program.” Wilson believes that “the state of New Mexico has unrealized potential in the natural resources available and the dedicated, hardworking people that live here. Our statewide challenge is to cohesively utilize and develop the resources to move forward for the overall betterment of the people. I plan to engage wherever possible on these issues and am searching for ways to be involved and influence the state’s future.”

Controller, Jaynes Corp.

Utterback believes that the state needs to “think differently and unconventionally about how to prioritize New Mexico’s limited resources with a goal of breaking the cycle that has led to New Mexico’s poor rankings on national scales for poverty and education.” In order to do this, he says we need to focus on economic development and creating an educational environment that places the same rigors on academics as it does on athletics, recognizing that both, in balance, are necessary to achieving excellence. Utterback joined Leadership New Mexico in order to network with other state leaders and discuss the challenges that they all face in their areas of expertise and communities. “The relationships developed with other program participants and the opportunity to understand the resources and challenges facing our state are invaluable. I have recognized that my classmates have the same concern for continually enhancing New Mexico.”