[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Slate of Nominees to the New Mexico Highlands University Alumni Board of Directors
The following individuals have been nominated to serve on the Highlands Alumni Association Board of Directors. The names of these individuals are presented as a slate and only require one vote to accept or reject the entire slate of nominees.
Deadline for voting is 5 pm Mountain time, Monday, August 1st.
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David Bunch – David Bunch graduated with his Masters in Education from the Highlands Rio Rancho Center in 2010, and is currently the principal of Alameda Elementary School. His wife works for UNM as a fundraiser.
Dan Cassidy – Dan Cassidy III is a descendant of Daniel J. Cassidy, Sr. a prominent citizen of the Mora Valley and pioneer of Mora County. The Cassidy roots in the Mora Valley date as far back as the early 1800’s. Dan’s family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming where he graduated from high school in 1970. After graduation, Dan returned to Mora and enrolled at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) where he earned a Bachelor Degree in Business in 1981. Dan earned his MBA from NMHU in 1987, in coordination with La Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Since 1983, Dan has lived in the Mora Valley and is the proud owner of the Cassidy Farms in Cleveland, New Mexico. Among his most notable accomplishments, in 1989, Dan founded the Cleveland Roller Mill Museum that was once owned by his grandfather and is the only flour mill of its size and type that has been restored to operating condition in the southwestern United States.
Dan currently serves as the director and operator of the Roller Mill Museum as well as operating the Cassidy Farms.
Ernesto Fresquez – Ernesto Fresquez earned his MBA in Management from JFK University, San Francisco Bay Area in 2002, and his BA in Marketing from New Mexico Highlands University in 1977. His professional experience includes the management of the Carneros Ranch, a sustainable ranching and registered llama enterprise in Arabela, Lincoln County, NM, 2007-present; the recruitment of Hispanic and bilingual professionals with Fresquez & Associates, Oakland, CA, 1989-2005; work as an auditor with management consultants providing economy and efficiency audits, ADC Ltd., Albuquerque, NM, 1985-1988; budget analyst for the global oil industry, Chevron Corporation, San Francisco Bay Area, 1977-1985.
Associations and Interests: National Society of Hispanic MBA’s,(NSHMBA) chapter advisor for NM, 2015; Torrey Pines Docent Society, park docent, 2012-2011; Founding Member of NSHMBA San Francisco Chapter, 1990. Airstreams, sustainable and conservation practices in ranching and wildlife environments, hiking, raising registered llamas.
Shawn Gale – Shawn Gale is a proud graduate of NMHU ’90, with a degree in Fitness Administration. He was a 4 year letterman and a 3 year starter for the NMHU Football Team. He has been on the Leadership Team of Defined Fitness for over 20 years, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce. Shawn has been an Ambassador for the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and is the current Operations Manager for the Defined Fitness Riverside Location, one of the busiest fitness centers in the state.
He is very excited to be considered for a position on the board of the NMHU Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Jeannae Leger – Jeannae L. Leger was born and raised in Las Vegas, NM. She earned her bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University in 2002 before returning home and worked with the New Mexico Legislature for a 60-day session.
In 2003, Jeannae began working for the NMHU Rio Rancho Center while earning a master’s degree of business administration. Her experience at NMHU Rio Rancho Center centered on budgets and fiscal issues, but her interest in the political environment never waned. Therefore, it was fitting when Jeannae was hired in 2006 by the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) as a fiscal analyst where she worked on capital outlay issues and funding and fiscal management oversight of assigned state agencies.
Today, Jeannae serves as the Administrative Services Manager for LFC and her job is a perfect blend of management, budgets, and politics.
Vince Marchi – Vince Marchi earned an MBA from NMHU in 1993. Since then he has had 12 years of experience in Healthcare Philanthropy (Presbyterian Hospital) and has served as the president of the Adaptive Sports Program NM since 2011.
Martha McCaffrey – Martha McCaffrey graduated from NMHU in 1961 with a BA in History and English. She also graduated from the University of Maryland in 1976 with a MLS. Martha worked for 25 years as a high school media specialist in St. Tammany Parish. She has served as a mentor for AmeriCorps interns from the NMHU Media Arts Department.
Recently, Martha and her husband Dr. Joe McCaffrey established the McCaffrey Family Endowment for MFA students at Highlands. The couple have 4 children and 5 grandchildren.
Ane Romero – Ane Romero is a nationally recognized and award winning mental health advocate, speaker, and trainer who was born and raised in New Mexico. Her work includes working in Washington, DC, where she oversaw the Congressional Mental Health Caucus and served as the as the Mental Health Advisor to U.S. Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano. She received her B.A. in Political Science and M.P.A from New Mexico Highlands University, where she served as Student Body President and was later appointed to the New Mexico Commission on Higher Education. In addition to her work in the United States, Ane has had the opportunity to travel abroad to meet with officials from the Department of Mental Health in both Italy and Spain, to learn about the innovative mental health and policy advancements being made.
Since 2003, Ane has been trained and certified in suicide prevention through the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program and has provided training services for schools, communities, including tribal. In 2005, she was crowned Miss New Mexico and competed at the national Miss America Pageant. Ane has spoken nationally on behalf of mental health related issues, such as the Mental Health Parity Act in Washington, DC and served as the national spokesperson for the 1-800-YOUTHLINE.
In 2011 she became the first non-elected official to be awarded the “National Excellence in Federal Government Leadership Award” by the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health for her work in mental health policy. In 2013, she made history by becoming the first Congressional House staffer to be awarded and recognized with the “Allies in Action Congressional Staff Award” by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the “Friends of Children’s Mental Health Congressional Staff Award” by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In 2013, she was named “Young Alumna of the Year,” by New Mexico Highlands University for her work in policy and mental health.
While still in college, she authored, NM Senate Joint Memorial 61, which became one of only four pieces of mental health legislation to pass the New Mexico State Legislature. When not speaking about mental health, Ane loves to travel, root for the Los Angeles Lakers, serves as a motivational speaker, and is a professional national anthem vocalist.
Josephine Sena – Josephine Sena graduated from New Mexico Highlands University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, and in 2002, with a Master of Arts degree in Southwest Studies, Hispanic Language and Literature, and with a second Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas.
She has been employed at NMHU Thomas C. Donnelly Library for 15 years with 7 of those years as a Librarian: Head of Government Documents and Periodicals.
Josephine has participated in Alumni functions including the Big 120th Birthday of the University, the silent auctions held to raise money for scholarships and other campaigns, serving as a hostess for the alumni banquet during homecoming, and has participated in organizing and overseeing homecoming activities.
She is currently serving the Alumni Association and on the homecoming committee, both since 2013.
Curt Spencer – Curt Spencer attended Highlands on a football athletic scholarship and is a 1983 graduate with a degree in Secondary Education/Health and Physical Education. He is a Highlands High School graduate.
Curt has been an educator for 27 years in the Albuquerque Public Schools, Zuni Public Schools, San Felipe DeNeri Catholic Schools, Hope Christian, and the New Mexico Activities Association. He has been employed by Rio Rancho Public Schools for 10 years, since 2006. He is certified in Coaching Education/Principals of Coaching and has coached basketball, football, tennis, track, and volleyball.
Curt has been a middle and high school Athletic Director, and holds the following certifications: Basketball Referee-30 years, NMAA/NMOA, Volleyball Referee-11 years, NMAA/NMOA, College Volleyball Referee, RMAC. He also volunteers his time as a Rio Rancho Special Olympics Coach/Referee.
He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, has been married to Lisa Marie for 22 years, and is dad to daughters Jasmine and Letisha.
Leah Wolff – Leah E. Wolff is the manager of web application development software for CYFD, where she has spent the last ~8 years managing and supervising software development and software production support for one of the state’s largest agencies. Leah has extensive experience in technology specific to software development. Her recent activities include managing new software development solutions for outdated legacy applications, which will serve Early Childhood Services, Juvenile Justice Services, Protective Services and CYFD Program Support. Leah currently manages a staff of ~30, including software developers, project managers, and business analysts.
Leah has 23 years of work experience in state government. She worked for 2 years as an Intervention and Retention Coordinator for New Mexico Highlands University, where she instituted the first off-site retreat for Faculty and Student Support Staff. During that time, Leah worked closely with faculty and support staff to develop the first University Retention Plan which focused closely on tackling the increase in attrition rates at the university main campus. Leah worked closely with the campus IT department to create the process of exporting data directly from the SCT Banner system backend (Oracle DB), so that point and time reports could be generated to assist with program efforts.
Leah’s has 5 years of experience working under a Federal Title V Grant that NMHU received to promote on-line course and material presence at NMHU. During this time, Leah worked closely with Faculty and Educational Outreach Department to train faculty in WebCT. This successful endeavor translated to meeting the goals of the grant in year 3, of the 5 year grant.
Leah has worked in the classroom as well. She has 7 years of teaching experience at the college level. Leah spent 2 years teaching IT courses at Luna Community College, as a full time instructor. She taught part time as an adjunct for 5 years for LCC and for NMHU, thereafter.
Leah started her career as a software developer. She spent 2 years working as a Programmer for the State Engineer Office, where she maintained and wrote code for the agency. Leah also worked behind the scenes assisting in the implementation of a COT software solution for LCC, called CARS. Leah was instrumental in creating customized reports in UNIX for LCC to be used by Institutional Research Department.
Leah was born and raised in Las Vegas, New Mexico. She has two daughters, Paige and Taylor Wolff, and a special partner in life, Tim Saiz, who is also an NMHU Alumni.
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