Lead­er­ship NM

Lead­er­ship NM pulls to­gether a di­verse group of lead­ers for a deep dive into the state’s is­sues


Or­ga­ni­za­tion pulls to­gether a di­verse group for a deep dive into the state’s is­sues

LAS CRUCES – Lead­ers from across the state vis­ited south­ern New Mex­ico to learn about the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties in the rapidly grow­ing bor­der re­gion. “It’s been eye-open­ing,” said Mary Ho­man, New Mex­ico Gas Co. eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and com­mu­nity af­fairs man­ager, dur­ing a three day tour or­ga­nized by Lead­er­ship New Mex­ico.

“The pro­gram it­self, of course, is filled with com­mu­nity lead­ers from all walks of life, from all in­dus­tries, all across the state so we’re com­ing at it with dif­fer­ent eyes and dif­fer­ent vi­sions and of course dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives,” Ho­man said.

She’s among 42 par­tic­i­pants in the core class of Lead­er­ship New Mex­ico, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that fos­ters un­der­stand­ing of is­sues, chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties across the state. The cur­rent group in­cludes CEOs and top man­agers as well as emerg­ing lead­ers from 16 com­mu­ni­ties in New Mex­ico.

“The whole idea is to take a group of peo­ple like this from around the state and ed­u­cate them about dif­fer­ent parts of the state and things they might not have thought of,” said Lead­er­ship NM Pres­i­dent Patty Komko.

Dur­ing the an­nual 10-month core class, the lead­er­ship group takes a series of trips across the state fo­cused on spe­cific themes. The visit to south­ern New Mex­ico was the third of six ses­sions and high­lighted eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. It in­cluded a tour of White Sands Mis­sile Range and

a sched­uled visit to the bustling Santa Teresa bor­der cross­ing, the state’s in­ter­na­tional trade hub.

“I think there’s great value, and that’s why we’ve been do­ing what we’ve been do­ing for years, tak­ing peo­ple to places they may never have been be­fore,” said Komko, one of the founders of Lead­er­ship NM.

Now in its 23rd year, the or­ga­ni­za­tion does not take a po­si­tion on po­lit­i­cal is­sues but could not avoid the im­pact of the po­lit­i­cal bat­tle over fund­ing for the bor­der wall dur­ing the Jan­uary visit.

Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion of­fi­cials can­celed a sched­uled tour of the Santa Teresa port of en­try be­cause of the govern­ment shut­down, so the group drove down to the bor­der in Santa Teresa on their own to get a first­hand look at the ex­ist­ing bar­rier.

The trip to south­ern New Mex­ico in­cluded a series of talks by eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment ex­perts and busi­ness lead­ers. Scott Maloney, CEO of tech­nol­ogy com­pany Seed Wor­thy and a se­nior part­ner with Crain & Co., a global con­sult­ing firm, dis­cussed the chal­lenges of build­ing a skilled work­force.

“They are ab­so­lutely sur­mount­able, and in a lot of ways, with a lit­tle bit of creativ­ity and a lit­tle bit of hus­tle, are some­thing you can turn into a ben­e­fit,” Maloney, a self-de­scribed “se­rial en­tre­pre­neur” told the group. He cred­ited the state’s Job As­sis­tance Train­ing pro­gram with help­ing him de­velop home­grown tal­ent and cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Now, we’re defin­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers as the builders of any­thing in­clud­ing soft­ware, in­clud­ing phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, any­thing,” Maloney said.

The lead­ers on the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment tour of south­ern New Mex­ico said the ex­pe­ri­ence was an op­por­tu­nity to un­der­stand the re­gion and each other bet­ter.

“This kind of gives us an op­por­tu­nity to bring ev­ery­body to­gether for shared ex­pe­ri­ences that cre­ates new di­a­logue. So it’s ex­cit­ing be­cause through that di­a­logue there are so many op­por­tu­ni­ties for growth in the state, in­di­vid­u­ally and for our com­pa­nies,” said Ho­man.


Lead­er­ship NM par­tic­i­pants lis­ten to Eric Mont­gomery of the Me­silla Val­ley Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Al­liance speak on U.S. trade with Mex­ico in Santa Teresa.

Mike Crossey, CEO of TriCore Ref­er­ence Lab­o­ra­to­ries, at the War Ea­gle Mu­seum in Santa Teresa dur­ing a Lead­er­ship NM trip.

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