Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Lt. Gov. Denish Announces Transition Advisory Leadership Team
Last week, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish announced her selection of Kathy Keith as director and Chris Cervini as communications director for her gubernatorial transition team. At a news conference today, the Lt. Governor announced a bevy of volunteer advisors she'll tap into for innovative policy proposals as she prepares to assume the governorship upon Gov. Bill Richardson's confirmation as Secretary of Commerce in Washington. Tomorrow, Denish will announce the names of a diverse group of citizens who will provide input on committees in the specified policy areas headed by the Team.
Denish's prepared remarks about her Transition Advisory Leadership Team follow:
New Mexico is strong. We have a diverse economy, a stronger education system, and continue to put policy and programs in place to protect and support New Mexico families.
Today we're here to talk about the unprecedented transition of leadership. I'm proud to be a part of history and I look forward to continuing our progress.
With this transition comes opportunity -- the opportunity to reach out to some of our state's brightest and most effective leaders to assess New Mexico's strengths and to generate new and innovative ideas.
In an effort to meet the challenges that lie ahead I am establishing a Transition Advisory Team to develop recommendations and priorities in areas that are vital to moving the state forward.
The community, business, and education leaders with me today will direct teams of citizens who will identify areas where we can achieve greater efficiency in state government, identify ways in which agencies can better integrate, rank priority issues, recommend what can be accomplished in the next two years, and in the next five years.
The transition advisory team leaders represent diversity in the public and private sectors, rural and urban areas, and the cultural strength that makes New Mexico unique. They are volunteering their time to public service and to New Mexico.
Co-Chairs: The advisory leadership team will be co-chaired by Dr. Dan Lopez and Ms. Brenda Brooks.
Dr. Dan Lopez, president of New Mexico Tech, brings extensive knowledge of state government and finance issues. Dr. Lopez's experience in administration, planning, finance and budgeting will be important to guiding work of this advisory team. As former Secretary of the Department of Finance he understands state operations and budget.
A native of Hobbs, Brenda Brooks brings this advisory team knowledge of communities and their needs. Her experience identifying efficiencies within the private sector is an important aspect of the work ahead. Brenda has a long history of developing partnerships between private industry and government -- finding a way to better serve the public through combining the strengths of each. She also brings expertise on successful rural Main Street programs.
Dan and Brenda will guide the work of teams focusing on specific areas including:
Government Efficiency and Finance
Transportation and Infrastructure
Education and Workforce
Healthy Families and Communities
Energy and Environment
Safety and Security
Government Efficiency and Finance: Trevor Loy will lead the Government Efficiency and Finance Advisory Team to bring private sector finance expertise. Trevor is the founder of Flywheel Ventures, a New Mexico-based venture capital company bringing over $60 million in investments to New Mexico-based companies. He has over 15 years of experience investing, building and operating early stage technology companies. Trevor's experience in private sector finance will bring insight into government finance operations.
Economic Stability: Alex Romero will lead the Economic Stability Team. Alex brings a lifetime of service to New Mexico and thirty-years in the financial industry in Albuquerque. He has expertise in economic development and marketing that will serve this committee well.
Education and Workforce: Dr. Margie Huerta will lead the Education and Workforce Advisory Team. Margie is the President of Dona Ana Community College, a community college of NMSU. During her tenure at Dona Ana Community College she has introduced new programs to meet the growing demands of business and industry in the Dona Ana area. She has also worked to build relationships between the K-12, higher education, and business communities.
Healthy Families and Communities: Matt Martinez will lead the Healthy Families and Communities Advisory Team. Matt is the Vice president of National Hispanic Cultural Center board and former Mayor of Las Vegas and he knows New Mexico families and communities. Matt worked closely with the late Alice King on various efforts and he will strive to continue her vision and work on behalf of New Mexico's families.
Safety and Security: Maria Griego-Raby, owner of Contract Associates and former UNM regent, will lead the Safety and Security Team. Maria currently serves on the State Board of Finance collaborating with communities to keep families safe and secure, is familiar with statewide safety issues and has specific experience assessing resources in small and rural areas. Having contracted with the national laboratories, she has expertise in developing safety and security plans. She also owned a business in Juarez Mexico and understands border safety and security issues related to economic and workforce development.
Energy and Environment: Joe Garcia, Chairman of the All Indian Pueblo Council and President of the National Congress of American Indians (who could not join us today), will lead the Energy and Environment Advisory Team. Joe brings technical expertise to this Advisory Team as an electrical engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory for twenty-five years. In addition, Joe has served the state for many years and was recognized when he received the New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award.
Transportation and Infrastructure: Joe Maestas, mayor of Espanola, (who also could not join us today) will lead the Transportation and Infrastructure Advisory Team. Joe brings extensive expertise to this team with more than 20 years as an engineer, planner, and program manager for the federal government. In addition, Joe served as President of the New Mexico Municipal League Board of Directors. The Municipal League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of New Mexico's 103 incorporated municipalities. He currently serves on the New Mexico Economic Partnership's Board of Directors.
I recognize and value the youth perspective in the state and will be naming a Youth Voices, Youth Vision advisory team.
Finally, I will take recommendations from a Centennial Anniversary team that will focus specifically on New Mexico history, culture, education, and improving graduation rates.
Tomorrow: Citizen Participants to be Named: Every New Mexican can feel invested and represented in the transition. Citizens from around the state will be called on to serve with these leaders on committees. They will represent every county in the state to ensure that every area statewide has representation in recommendations and ideas that come forward to strengthen New Mexico. We will announce those individuals tomorrow.
I would like to thank the hundreds if New Mexicans that have offered their skills, talents, and support to make this a smooth transition.
Photo by M.E. Broderick.