Appendix D: Town Hall Leaders

Experts and Honored Guests

U.S. Senator Tom Udall (video)
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (video)
Scott Miller, Circles USA
Alvin Warren, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Jami Grindatto, Sandoval Economic Alliance
Davin Lopez, Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance
Sam Donaldson, Former ABC News Reporter

New Mexico First Staff and Board Speakers

Joan Drake, Board Chair
Valerie Romero-Leggott, Board Chair-Elect
Kurt Steinhaus, Plenary Co-Chair
Heather Balas, President & Executive Director
Pamela K. Blackwell, Economic Policy Director

Town Hall Leadership Team

Christy Albright
Joaquin Baca
J.D. Bullington
Lynne Canning
Sue Coates
Katherine Cordova
Philip Crump
Grace Griffin
Carol Hinton
Kathy Komoll
Leslie Kryder
Jessica Lawrence
Kathleen Oweegon
Donna Smith
Kurt Steinhaus
Tasia Young

Research Committee

A statewide committee of researchers and reviewers contributed to this New Mexico First background report. The lead authors are Heather Balas, Autumn Gray and Pamela Blackwell. A special thanks to the following committed New Mexicans for sharing their time and expertise (and for being willing to review this report in its multiple iterations)!

The committee includes:

  • Richard Anklam, New Mexico Tax Research Institute
  • Sharon Berman, New Mexico First
  • Leslie Cervantes, New Mexico State University (NMSU)
  • Elizabeth Davis, NM Economic Development Department (EDD)
  • Micaela Fischer, Thornburg Foundation
  • Ricardo Gonzales, El Paso Electric
  • Bob Grassberger, University of New Mexico (UNM), retired
  • Peter Ibarbo, Office of U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce
  • Abby Lewis, Office of U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich
  • Richard Luarkie, Emerging Equities Solutions Group
  • Ceela McElveny, Albuquerque Economic Development (AED)
  • Scott Miller, Circles USA
  • Johnny Montoya, Century Link
  • Gary Oppedahl, City of Albuquerque
  • Jim Peach, NMSU
  • Brian Rashap, Intel
  • Ndem Tazoh Tazifor, NM Economic Development Department (EDD)
  • Gary Tonjes, AED
  • Alvin Warren, W. K. Kellogg Foundation
  • David Williams, Office of U.S. Senator Tom Udall
  • Peter Winograd, UNM, retired

Section Advisors

Additional readers reviewed sections of the report related to their areas of expertise.

  • Claire Dudley Chavez, United Way of Santa Fe County
  • Jerry Harrison, New Mexico Health Resources
  • Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-New Mexico
  • Bill Jordan, Voices for Children-New Mexico
  • Mike Puelle, Associated General Contractors-New Mexico
  • Gary Tonjes, Albuquerque Economic Development

New Mexico First Staff

  • Heather Balas, President and Executive Director
  • Melanie Sanchez Eastwood, Project, Communication and Outreach Director
  • Sharon Berman, Project Coordinator
  • Pamela K. Blackwell, Economic Policy Director
  • Tamara Lucero, Bookkeeper
  • Charlotte Pollard, Program Consultant

New Mexico First Board

  • Clara Apodaca, Albuquerque
  • Patrick Apodaca, PNM, Albuquerque
  • Del Archuleta, Molzen Corbin, Albuquerque
  • Gene Baca, Bueno Foods, Albuquerque
  • Gregg Bloom, Office of U.S. Senator Tom Udall
  • Craig Buchanan, US Bank, Las Cruces
  • Dino Cervantes, Cervantes Enterprises, Vado
  • John Christopher, Comcast, Las Cruces
  • John Counts, Western New Mexico University (retired), Santa Fe
  • Kent Cravens, Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors
  • John D'Antonio, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Albuquerque
  • Sam Donaldson, ABC News (retired) and rancher, Hondo
  • Joan Drake, Modrall Sperling, Albuquerque
  • Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group, Albuquerque
  • Rico Gonzales, El Paso Electric, Las Cruces
  • Janet Green, NM State University, Las Cruces
  • Clint Harden, Clint D. Harden & Associates, Clovis
  • Leean Kravitz, Fidelity Investments, Albuquerque
  • Richard Luarkie, Emerging Equities Solutions Group, Pueblo of Laguna
  • Johnny Montoya, CenturyLink, Stanley
  • Les Montoya, San Miguel County, Las Vegas
  • Cynthia Nava, State of NM Senator (retired), Las Cruces
  • Brian Rashap, Intel, Rio Rancho
  • George Rivera, artist and former governor, Pueblo of Pojoaque
  • Ron Rivera, REDW, Albuquerque
  • Valerie Romero-Leggott, UNM Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque
  • Kurt Steinhaus, Los Alamos Public Schools, Los Alamos
  • Mike Sullivan, Office of U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich
  • Grant Taylor, New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry, Hobbs
  • Tom Taylor, State of NM Representative (retired), Farmington
  • Don Thomas, Central Christian Church, Portales
  • Peter Winograd, UNM Professor Emeritus (retired), Albuquerque





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