2016 New Mexico IDEA Awards

The New Mexico IDEA (NMIDEA) announced today the recipients of the association’s annual awards. NMIDEA is a 37-year-old association of economic developers, city officials and development related executives interested in and working toward the promotion of New Mexico, thus creating jobs for its citizens.

Each year the NMIDEA recognizes individuals for their outstanding contribution and tireless efforts on behalf of the association, their communities and the State of New Mexico.

The award recipients were nominated by their peers and selected by a panel of NMIDEA’s board of directors. In recognizing the accomplishments of the six award recipients, President Therese Varela stated, "these individuals exemplify the work and commitment in the economic development field and these awards are a symbol of their professionalism, dedication to the association, their communities and the State of New Mexico’s economic development and job creation efforts"

  1. Ben Lujan Public Servant of the Year Award: Sharlene Begay-Platero, Industrial Specialist for the Navajo Nation. Sharlene was awarded because of her work in getting the Raytheon Warehouse Expansion to fruition which saved current and future contracts and crucial jobs.

  2. Economic Developer of the Year Award: Patricia Lundstrom, Executive Director of the Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation. Patty was chosen because of her impressive work in advancing, on multiple fronts, the Gallup Energy Logistics Park which is a unique visionary project that is preparing the community for future growth.

  3. Dallan Sanders Award: Raymond Mondragon, Economic Development Director for Eastern Plains Council of Governments. Raymond was selected due to hisimportant contributions to New Mexico economic development including years as Chairman of the New Mexico Partnership and service representing eastern New Mexico on the Economic Development Commission.

  4. Linda Kay Jones New Mexico First Award: Mike Espiritu, President/CEO of the Otero County Economic Development Council. Mike was selected because of his continued passion for economic development in legislation, community assistance and job creation. He works tirelessly not only for Otero County but for the entire State of New Mexico.

  5. Volunteer of the Year: Les Montoya, San Miguel County Manager was selected because of his significant contribution to economic development. Les has been instrumental in working with the Las Vegas San Miguel Economic Development Corporation’s goal of creating job opportunities for many years.

  6. Ethics Award: Laurie Anderson, Business Development Director of the Otero County Economic Development Council. Laurie was selected because she goes above and beyond in her duties supporting numerous clients’ business attraction and expansion efforts, all while handling extremely sensitive data. Her unwavering integrity is her standard, and she protects clients, and their company’s information with the highest degree of professionalism.

 

2015 New Mexico IDEA Awards

New Mexico IDEA, the Statewide Association of Economic Developers,
Announces 2015 Award Winners at Annual Meeting in Las Cruces

Las Cruces, New Mexico, November 13, 2015 - New Mexico IDEA presented awards to individuals recognized for stellar achievements in economic development at their annual meeting in Las Cruces today.

The awards are intended to recognize professional economic developers as well as volunteer leaders and public servants. Most awards are given for significant contributions and achievements made over the past year, while two are focused on those who have made significant contributions over many years to New Mexico's economic development.

Linda McArthur, Special Events Coordinator with the Small Business Development Center at Western New Mexico University, is the Linda Kay Jones New Mexico First Award winner, which recognizes an individual whose career has exemplified a statewide impact on economic development. Her nominator said of Linda, "McArthur worked side by side with the New Mexico Economic Development Basic Course Director, Linda Kay Jones, to make sure that the course was a success every year. Her efforts have had a statewide impact helping us grow a professional and proficient talent base of economic developers. Over 700 graduates of the course will attest that the course would not have happened without Linda McArthur's hard work. She worked diligently to maintain the high standards and blueprint for the course established by the founder and namesake of the award, Linda Kay Jones."

Mike Espiritu, President and CEO of the Otero County Economic Development Council and Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, was recognized with the Dallan Sanders Award in recognition of his dedication and achievements in rural New Mexico. Mike is a past president of NMIDEA and is a board member of the New Mexico Partnership and the Rural Economic Council. According to his nominators, "Mike has been indefatigable over the years in his efforts to advance the interests of not only Otero County but rural New Mexico as a whole. He exemplifies motivation, dedication, trustworthiness, talent and commitment."

The Developer of the Year Award went to Davin Lopez, President and CEO of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, for outstanding results achieved in new and expanded companies over the past year. According to nominations, "Davin and MVEDA worked with a group of completed projects over the past year that is the most impressive of any region in the state. A sample list includes CN Wire (Turkish wire manufacturer), ARCA Space (unmanned vehicles), Franco Whole Foods (food processing), and MCS (manufacturer and distributor). He is collaborative and inclusive in engaging those organization's that can help develop and close projects. He then shares credit among all the players engaged."

Sean Ormand, President of First New Mexico Bank of Silver City and Vice Chair of the New Mexico Partnership, was selected as Volunteer of the Year. Sean has served as Acting Chair of the Partnership for six years and brought steady, positive leadership to the organization. His nomination said of him, "Sean's leadership has been instrumental to the Partnership's rejuvenation. He is the very embodiment of what the "Volunteer of the Year" award hopes to recognize. He has worked hard and effectively and consistently conveyed positivism to all of us. Sean has gone well above and beyond what would be expected of an excellent volunteer leader while at the same time maintaining a low profile and directing the credit to others." 

Eric CdeBaca, the New Mexico Partnership's Vice President of Business Development, was recognized with the Ethics Award for his commitment to ethical behavior in the economic development profession. According to one nomination, "Eric is a fine and excellent example of ethics; both personally and in our profession of economic development. He exemplifies the characteristics of patience, virtue, honesty and integrity without fail, every time, every day."

The Ben Lujan Public Servant of the Year award was received by Sara Haring, Director of the Job Training Incentive Program at the New Mexico Economic Development Department. Haring was recognized for her exceptional work in assisting the training needs of new and expanding companies in every corner of the state. As one nominator wrote, "this person embodies the spirit of public service, and she does it with true professionalism, unbiased judgment and a strong desire to help the people of New Mexico".  

In addition to the six annual awards, Carol Radosevich of PNM was recognized with Honorary Member status by the NMIDEA for her long term leadership of the organization's advocacy efforts on behalf of economic development legislation. Radosevich is only the third member in the organization's history to be so recognized.

This year's awards selections were made by an eight-member awards committee, and were presented by NMIDEA President Therese Varela and Awards Committee Chair Steve Vierck at a luncheon at the Hotel Encanto.

NMIDEA promotes New Mexico's economic growth through focused advocacy of economic development issues, providing networking, professional development, education, and training opportunities for its members. For more information, contact Therese Varela at (505) 827-0323.

  

  

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2014 New Mexico IDEA Awards
 

The New Mexico IDEA Awards are given to individuals and/or organizations to encourage, recognize and promote outstanding achievement and professionalism in the field of economic development.  The awards are given each year at NMIDEA's annual meeting. Brief information on the six (6) awards, the nomination process, selection committee, and source of further information follows.

 1. Dallan Sanders Award: The Dallan Sanders Award is given in honor of Dallan Sanders of Portales, New Mexico.  This Award is given in recognition of a person's dedication and achievements in rural economic development in New Mexico. This individual will have shown a minimum of ten (10) years of service to the economic vitality of rural areas, usually on a regional or statewide level, but sustained work in one community is also acceptable.  The submission shall also include three (3) letters in support of the nomination specifically addressing the person's qualifications for the Award. The recipient must be a member of NMIDEA. 
Dr. Mark Van Wormer was recognized with the 2014 Dallan Sanders Award.

 2. Developer of the Year Award: Recognizes the outstanding efforts of a person who spearheaded a major project that relocated, consolidated or expanded in New Mexico during the preceding twelve (12) months. A person who prepared a community for economic growth in a unique way is also eligible.  The submission shall also include three (3) letters in support of the nomination from people directly involved in the project and specifically able to address the person's qualifications for the Award. The recipient must be a member of NMIDEA. 
Myra Pancrazio, EVEDA, was recognized as the 2014 Developer of the Year.

3. NM First Award: Recognition of a person whose career has exemplified a statewide impact on economic development in legislation, community assistance or job creation.  The submission shall also include three (3) letters in support of the nomination specifically addressing the person's qualifications for the Award. The letters of support should come from people with a long-term knowledge of the nomination's background and achievement(s) upon which the nomination is based. The recipient must be a member of NMIDEA. 
Mark Roper, NMEDD, was recognized with the 2014 NM First Award.

 4. Volunteer of the Year Award: This Award is given to a person who has contributed to the success of a significant project that created or enhanced jobs in their community during the past twelve (12) months.  The submission shall also include three (3) letters in support of the nomination specifically addressing the person's qualifications for the Award. The recipient need not be a member of NMIDEA. 
Paul Jenkins of Raton, New Mexico was awarded the 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award.

5. The Ben Lujan Public Servant of the Year Award: This Award recognizes an individual that has played a key role in economic development in New Mexico during the past twelve (12) months. The Award is open to elected officials and government employees. The submission shall also include three (3) letters in support of the nomination specifically addressing the person's qualifications for the Award. The recipient need not be a member of NMIDEA. 
Therese Varela, NMEDD, was named as the 2014 Ben Lujan Public Servant of the Year.

6. Ethics Award:    The Ethics Award recognizes a NMIDEA member who has exhibited a long-term commitment and adherence to ethical behavior in the economic development profession. To be eligible a person must be a member of NMIDEA, an active economic developer for at least five years and be nominated by a company executive of a firm that relocated, consolidated or expanded into New Mexico during the past twelve (12)  months. The submission shall also include three (3) letters in support of the nomination specifically addressing the person's qualifications for the Award.