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          Front Page

Deal for Future Dealer

By Harry Moskos
Of the Journal
    SPARE CHANGE: Jon Barela is embarking on a career change. Since 1993, he has been with Intel as its New Mexico government relations manager.
    But starting Monday he's joining Don Chalmers Ford in a training program. It is designed specifically for Barela to help him eventually acquire a dealership.
    "A legal background is always applicable to anyone, and I expect it to come in quite handy in operating a business," says Barela, who received his bachelor and law degrees from Georgetown University.
    A native of Las Cruces, Barela will learn all facets of the automobile business, calling it "a great opportunity to be associated with Chalmers, who is a man of highest integrity, a great businessman who has demonstrated his commitment to the community."
    Barela will be starting in new and used car sales, rotating to the parts and service departments, and then into the finance and management end of the operation.
    "And then, God willing, at the end of 18 to 24 months, we will attempt to acquire a dealership in New Mexico."
    "I'm excited for Jon, and I'm excited for our organization," Chalmers says. "I'm also excited for his enthusiasm, his character and his other talents— he's a smart guy. He will be extremely successful as an automobile dealer. I'm glad to provide the training and to be a vehicle for Jon to reach his goal."
    Barela served as a legislative assistant for then-Rep. Joe Skeen, R-N.M., while attending Georgetown. He returned to New Mexico in 1987 to practice law with Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris & Sisk and remained with the firm until joining Intel.
    With Intel, Barela served on many internal management committees involving financial, personnel, community and government policies for the corporation.
    He has been active in the community, too, with involvement in the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Association of Commerce and Industry, Albuquerque Public Schools Foundation, United Way of Central New Mexico, Explora Science Center, New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority and New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.
    He and his wife, Gina, have three children, John Paul, Christiana and Joseph. He likes to run marathons and also coaches his children's youth teams.
    IT'S GREECE TO HIM: About 15 years ago, native New Mexican Alex Kalangis was a student at the International Center for Hellenic and Mediterranean Studies in Athens, Greece.
    He's back at the center, known to Americans as the location for College Year in Athens, but this time he's running the institution, which specializes in classical studies and archaeology. He assumed his new position Sept. 1.
    "I was elated," Kalangis says of the offer to be responsible for the school's day-to-day operation as its administrative director.
    "We have always talked about going back to Greece, but this happened a little sooner than expected."
    With him in Athens are his wife, Svenja, and their 9-month-old daughter, Gigi.
    Kalangis went to school at the center in 1988 and 1989 and then worked there from 1992 to 1997 handling admissions and student records.
    He describes the center as a Greek university with agreements with a number of schools in America where students study abroad and earn credit at their home institutions.
    Enrollment averages about 100 a semester, but this semester there are 135 students.
    Kalangis is familiar with Greece. In fact, former state Rep. Joseph H. Badal in his new book, "Terror Cell," acknowledges Kalangis for "his assistance in ensuring the accuracy of place names and in enhancing the color of Athens."
    Kalangis, who speaks Greek and Spanish fluently, received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and an MBA for international management from Thunderbird, the Garvin School of International Business in Glendale, Ariz.
    He is immediate past president of the parish council of Santa Fe's St. Elias the Prophet Greek Orthodox Church.
    In Santa Fe, he was director of the Administrative Services Division of the state Regulation and Licensing Department. He had been appointed to the position by Gov. Bill Richardson.
    ON TO NEW THINGS: Cheryl Davis, executive director of Albuquerque's Vista del Rio retirement community for three years, has been promoted to a top corporate position.
    A native of Albuquerque, Fern Mallory, will succeed her.
    Davis is the new national director of customer service of Atria Senior Living Group, which is based in Louisville, Ky., and operates some 150 facilities in 35 states. She will move to Louisville in October.
    "Change is a bit scary," says Davis, who has been at Vista del Rio since 1999. "But it is an opportunity for growth and an opportunity for others to grow, too."
    Mallory, who has been at Vista del Rio, Indian School Road and University NE, for four years, says, "The priority will be the welfare of the residents. We have a good foundation already, and it will not be lessened in any way."
    Succeeding Mallory as assisted living director will be Veronica Enriquez. She started in 1998 as a dining room server and received several promotions after her certification as a medical technician. She had been assisted living coordinator.

Harry Moskos can be reached at 823-3837 or hmoskos@abqjournal.com.