Transforming New Mexico’s Future Through Local Economic Development

Transforming New Mexico’s Future Through Local Economic Development

Transforming New Mexico’s Future Through Local Economic Development Remote Forum

Date: January 13, 2021

Time: 1:00 p.m.-5:30pm



The purpose of the forum is to explore the potential for New Mexico's prosperity by evolving a local economic development strategy that honors local cultures and achieves community health and wellbeing.


Given New Mexico’s struggle to generate a vital and viable economy that works to:

  • Decrease the growing income and asset gap across New Mexican communities and families,
  • Regenerate small, rural, and frontier communities,
  • Diversify revenues, and
  • Address the urgent threat to the survival of locally owned businesses and employment resulting from the coronavirus pandemic,

We, New Mexicans, need to develop a more robust and diversified economy that more fully realizes the potential of its existing population, needs, and opportunities.

Two prevalent approaches to economic development are:

  • Attract new, large scale satellite businesses from out-of-state national or international corporations,
  • Develop new businesses within New Mexico that 
    • Realize our in-state entrepreneurial potential, and 
    • Fill current supply chain voids, thereby staunching our monetary outflow that results from importing products and services that we can produce ourselves.

These two different approaches are not mutually exclusive, but the develop-from-within approach is greatly undernourished and needs to evolve.

Join Us

Join us to explore the potential for New Mexico prosperity by evolving a local economic development strategy that honors local cultures and achieves community health and wellbeing.

Panelists and participants will address approaches to develop a more robust and diversified economy that realizes the potential of New Mexicans. How can we nourish a “develop-from-within” approach so we may realize our in-state entrepreneurial potential as well as fill current supply chain voids?


Panel 1

Dr. Manuel Montoya, Anderson School of Management: Manuel (MJR) Montoya, Ph.D. is an Associate professor of global structures and international management at the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management. His work focuses on global political economy and is concerned with how we make the planet a meaningful part of our social and economic realities and has published work on issues ranging from international trade to creative economy. He has delivered over 100 lectures across the world and is recognized as a leading authority in the burgeoning field of critical management studies. He received his undergraduate degree at UNM in Economics and English and received his graduate education at New York University (MA), Oxford University (MLitt) and Emory University as a George Woodruff Fellow (PhD, Foreign Relations and Comparative Literature).  He is UNM’s first Latinx Rhodes Scholar and is also a Harry S. Truman Scholar. As a member of the Council on Foreign Relations he has worked to develop an online classroom to help improve Global Literacy (called World 101). As a professor of Creative Enterprise he also focuses on how the global creative economy is evolving and has been recognized by several universities worldwide for contributions to the understanding of craft economy. This is important to him in private life, where he has been an amateur watchmaker for 12 years, and is a published poet and short story writer. Dr. Montoya was born and raised in Mora, New Mexico.

Paula Garcia, NM Acequia Association: For nearly two decades, Paula has served as Executive Director of the New Mexico Acequia Association. During her time of service, communities around the state have mobilized to protect agricultural water rights based on the principle that “El Agua es Vida, Water is Life” and acequias have been an important voice in state policy. In addition to empowering communities to defend their water rights, Garcia built partnerships to create youth and farmer training programs to ensure the continuation of agriculture and land-based traditions in New Mexico.

Paula served two terms on the Mora County Commission and one term as President of New Mexico Counties. During that time, she dedicated herself to promoting ethics and transparency in county government. Through collaboration and teamwork, Mora County completed vital public works projects, established the Mora County Ambulance Service, and enacted policies that protect our land and water and promote rural economic development.

Paula’s contributions to the state and her local community have been recognized through the Governor’s Outstanding Woman of the Year Award by the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women and the Emerging Leader of the Year Award from Emerge New Mexico. At the national level, the Imagen Foundation and Dolores Huerta Foundation recognized Paula with the Latina Leader Award, an honor for which she was nominated by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Jenice Gharib, NM Department of Cultural Affairs: Jenice Gharib is currently the Grants Program and Policy Director for New Mexico Arts, the state arts agency and a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. She is responsible for the management of approximately $1M in annual public funding to approximately 200 New Mexico organizations, educational institutions, and government entities. Her focus is community and economic development and her responsibilities include working with New Mexico’s local arts councils, service organizations, arts trails, and economic and entrepreneurial development programs.

Jenice is a member of the State of New Mexico Arts & Cultural District (ACD) Program Steering Council, which has oversight for the state’s ACDs created to foster economic and arts and cultural development through the partnership of public and private entities. The ACD program is a partnership of New Mexico Arts and the state’s Economic Development Department. Together they provide communities with resources, training, and gatherings such as the Building Creative Communities Conferences.

Early in her career, Jenice worked in finance and business planning for high-tech multi-nationals in Europe. Before coming to New Mexico Arts, Jenice was a member of management of several non-profit arts organizations such as the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Southwest Literary Center of Recursos de Santa Fe, and Santa Fe Performing Arts. Jenice holds a B.S. in Accounting and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. She has published articles, reviews, essays, poetry, and short fiction. Three of her plays have been produced.

Michael Shuman, Bard College Business School: Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a leading visionary on community economics. He’s Director of Local Economy Programs for Neighborhood Associates Corporation, and an Adjunct Professor at Bard Business School in New York City. He is also a Senior Researcher for Council Fire, where he performs economic-development analyses for states, local governments, and businesses around North America. He is credited with being one of the architects of the 2012 JOBS Act and dozens of state laws overhauling securities regulation of crowdfunding. He has authored, coauthored, or edited ten books. His two most recent books are Put Your Money Where Your Life Is: How to Invest Locally Using Solo 401ks and Self-Directed IRAs and The Local Economy Solution: How Innovative, Self-Financing Pollinator Enterprises Can Grow Jobs and Prosperity and Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street. One of his previous books, The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition (Berrett-Koehler, 2006), received as bronze prize from the Independent Publishers Association for best business book of 2006. A prolific speaker, Shuman has given an average of more than one invited talk per week, mostly to local governments and universities, for the past 30 years in nearly every U.S. state and more than a dozen countries.

Panel 2

Terry Brunner, Pivotal NM: Terry Brunner has worked for more than 25 years in New Mexico public policy and communitydevelopment. He currently serves as the CEO of Pivotal New Mexico (formerly The GrantsCollective), an Albuquerque-based nonprofit organization helping organizations get the funding theyneed to achieve their charitable and social missions. Prior to his time with Pivotal New Mexico, Terryspent 7 years as President Obama’s appointee to the position of USDA New Mexico State Directorfor Rural Development. During that time, he managed investments of more than $1 billion inhousing, small business, renewable energy, and utilities in rural areas throughout New Mexico.Before his time at USDA he served as former U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman’s State Director for 7 years.Terry holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona and a M.A. In LatinAmerican Studies with an emphasis in Community and Regional Planning from the University of NewMexico.

Roy Montibon, The Montibon Foundation: Roy is a serial entrepreneur, artist, designer, inventor, educator and community organizer. Roy was the original founder of the Art Walk in Downtown Los Angeles, which featured local Downtown talent. It has since grown into the largest and most successful Art Walk in the nation. He was elected as a Representative for the Center City Redevelopment Area / Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles. Roy was named Chair of the Las Vegas Arts & Culture District by Lt. Governor Diane Denish and three NM Cabinet Secretaries. Roy also developed the business plan and raised over $100K in seed funding from local citizens to design and build a $17 million Las Vegas Senior Life Community in coordination with the County of San Miguel and the City of Las Vegas; and produced the first two Las Vegas Traditional Hispanic Art; Graffiti Art; plus four NMHU Graduate Art exhibitions at his gallery Royal Mastodon Society.

Roy has developed and taught media arts programs at UCLA and UC Irvine. He currently leads the Entrepreneurs for Social Impact program at United World College and is building a student mentoring program that pairs NM college students with expert grant writers to assist NM farmers and ranchers secure grants. Working with physicists and mathematicians at Los Alamos National Labs (via the NMSBA research grant program), he is developing effective systems for authenticity and provenance (to combat fraud against Native American and indigenous artists) and a revolutionary approach to cybersecurity. He has been a part of the Agri-Futures initiative at the Los Ranchos Agri-Nature Center and participates in Food and Ag policy discussions with NM First.

Vanessa Roanhorse, Roanhorse Consulting: Vanessa got her management chops working for 7 years at a Chicago-based nonprofit, the Delta Institute, focused throughout the Great Lakes region to build a resilient environment and economy through creative, sustainable, market-driven solutions. Vanessa oversaw many of Delta’s on-the-ground energy efficiency, green infrastructure, community engagement programs, and workforce development training. Vanessa is a 2019 Village Capital Money Matters Advisory Board Member, 2019 SXSW Pitch Advisor, sits on the local Living Cities leadership table, is a Startup Champions Network member, is an Advisor for emerging Navajo incubator, Change Labs, Advisor for Native Entrepreneurship in Residence Program, and is a board member for Native Community Capital, a native-led CDFI. She is a co-founder of Native Women Lead, an organization dedicated to growing native women into positions of leadership and business. Her academic education is in film from the University of Arizona but her professional education is from hands-on experience leading local, regional and national initiatives. Vanessa is Navajo living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Roanhorse Consulting (RCLLC) is an indigenous women-led think tank. RCLLC works with unheralded communities, businesses, organizations, and individuals to achieve and aspire their self-determination through forging communities of practice, strengthening indigenous evaluation methods, creating equity through entrepreneurship, and encouraging economic empowerment from within. RCLLC co-designs wealth and power building efforts that directly invest in our leaders, support meaningful data collection informed by indigenous research approaches, and helps build thoughtful community-led projects that enforce values that put people at the center.

Closing Speaker

Helena Norberg-Hodge, Local Futures: Helena is the founder and director of Local Futures, previously known as the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC). Local Futures is a non-profit organization "dedicated to the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide."

Norberg-Hodge is the author of the international best-selling book Ancient Futures (1991), about tradition and change in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. She is also the author of Local is Our Future (2019), in which she advocates for localized alternatives to the global economy, particularly involving the creation of robust local food systems and democratic structures that can effectively resist authoritarianism. An outspoken critic of economic globalization, she co-founded – along with Jerry Mander, Doug Tompkins, Vandana Shiva, Martin Khor and others – the International Forum on Globalization (IFG) in 1994. She is a leading proponent of localization as an antidote to the problems arising from globalization, and founded the International Alliance for Localization (IAL) in 2014.

Norberg-Hodge produced and co-directed the award-winning documentary film The Economics of Happiness (2011), which lays out her arguments against economic globalization and for localization.[4] In 1986, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for "preserving the traditional culture and values of Ladakh against the onslaught of tourism and development." In 2012, she received the Goi Peace Award for "her pioneering work in the localization movement".




1:00 PM - 1:10 PM                 Welcome
1:10 PM - 2:10 PM                 Panel Discussion 1: The Importance of Local Economic Development
  • Dr. Manuel Montoya
  • Paula Garcia
  • Jenice Gharib
  • Michael Shuman
  • 2:10 PM - 2:50 PM Breakout Discussion 1
    2:50 PM - 3:00 PM Break
    3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion 2: Grounding Economic Policy Options in Local Community Assets
  • Terry Brunner
  • Roy Montibon
  • Vanessa Roanhorse
  • 4:00 PM - 4:40 PM Breakout Discussion 2
    4:40 PM - 5:00 PM Reporting Out
    5:00 PM - 5:15 PM Closing Address
  • Helena Norberg-Hodge
  • 5:15 PM - 5:30 PM Next Steps: Statewide, Regional, and Local



    If you are a member in the for-profit or not-for-profit business community, a policy maker, someone committed to economic or community development, someone who wants to see small, rural, and frontier communities withstand challenges and play an even greater role in New Mexico’s well-being into the future, please join us.

    To register click here. You will receive a confirmation email in short order. A meeting reminder and materials will be made available in early January 2021.


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