2013 First Forum: A Policy Tribute to U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman


Global economies. Energy development. A highly educated workforce. International competitiveness.

These issues drive national and New Mexico policies, and U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman devoted much of his career to advancing them. For 30 years, Senator Jeff Bingaman served New Mexico and our nation. The public policy organization New Mexico First honored that career at our 2013 First Forum. The policy tribute  primarily focused on issues he prioritized: energy, education, and international competitiveness. The event  also addressed possible future policies in those areas.

Event Details

Date: June 21, 2013
Reception:  6:30 pm
Program:  7:30-9:00 pm
Location: National Hispanic Cultural Center

Speakers And Honorees

U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, guest of honor
Sam Donaldson, ABC newsman, event moderator
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, panel speaker
U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, panel speaker
Pat Vincent-Collawn, panel speaker (energy)
NM Senator Cynthia Nava, panel speaker (education)
Tony Trujillo, panel speaker (economic development)   
Gene Baca, chair, Spirit of Bipartisanship Awards, presenter
Heather Balas, president, New Mexico First, event moderator

Spirit of Bipartisanship Awards

In addition to celebrating Senator Bingaman, six New Mexicans were honored who have proven their ability to put good policy above partisan politics in government or their community. Awards were given to lawmakers and community members of both parties based on nominations from community members. Past awards have been given in education, economy, healthcare, energy, and lifetime achievement. The selection committee was chaired by New Mexico First board member Gene Baca. New Mexico First is proud to host First Forum, because we are a nonpartisan organization that has championed collaborative policy since our inception over 25 years ago.


  • Sam Donaldson, moderator
  • U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, honoree
  • U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, speaker
  • U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, speaker
  • Pat Vincent-Collawn, energy speaker
  • N.M. Senator Cynthia Nava, education speaker
  • Tony Trujillo, economic development speaker
  • Gene Baca, 2013 Spirit of Bipartisanship Awards chair
  • Heather Balas, moderator

Sam Donaldson
Sam Donaldson
Sen. Jeff Bingaman
Sen. Jeff Bingaman
Sen. Martin Heinrich
Sen. Martin Heinrich

Sen. Pete Domenici
Sen. Pete Domenici
Pat Vincent-Collawn
Pat Vincent-Collawn
Cynthia Nava
Cynthia Nava

Tony Trujillo
Tony Trujillo
Gene Baca
Gene Baca
Heather Balas
Heather Balas

2013 Spirit of Bipartisanship Awardees

Excellence in Legislative Policy
Larry Larranaga, Representative, State of New Mexico
Mary Kay Papen, Senator, State of New Mexico
Phil Griego, Senator, State of New Mexico

Excellence in Education Policy
Kathie Winograd, President, Central New Mexico Community College

Good Government Award
Fred Nathan, Executive Director, Think New Mexico

Lifetime Achievement Award
Garrey Carruthers, President, New Mexico State University

Larry Larranaga
Larry Larranaga
Mary Kay Papen
Mary Kay Papen
Phil Griego
Phil Griego

Kathie Winograd

Fred Nathan

Garrey Carruthers

The awardees were chosen by a committee made up of Gene Baca, Heather Balas, Dino Cervantes, Dolores Connor, Janet Green, Edward Lujan, Cynthia Nava, Brian Rashap and Tony Trujillo.


Ambassador Sponsor

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold 

Statesmen Sponsors

Los Alamos National Laboratory
Sandia National Labs

Roundhouse Sponsors

Cervantes Enterprises
Fidelity Investments
Intel Corporate Services Site, Brian Rashap
Los Alamos National Bank
Modrall Sperling
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Supporting Sponsors

Armstrong Energy
Bueno Foods
Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley
Bernalillo County Commissioner Art de la Cruz
Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart-Stebbins
Central New Mexico Community College
Cleanline Energy
Eastern New Mexico University
FRENCH Funerals & Cremations
New Mexico State University
U.S. Bank
University of New Mexico

Reception Table Sponsor

Akal Security
Biad Chili Products
Casa Rondena Winery
Con Alma Health Foundation
Delta Dental
Griffin and Associates
Mercedes-Benz of Albuquerque
Molzen Corbin
New Mexico Mesa
Presbyterian Healthcare Services
Sutin, Thayer & Browne
Western New Mexico University

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