News Release

AREA Announces 505 Award Honorees for 2022
Recognizes outstanding leadership in economic development in the region, to be awarded at the Nov. 17 AREA Annual Dinner at Sandia Resort.

Albuquerque, NM – Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance has announced the honorees for the fourth annual 505 Awards, which recognize organizations and individuals that are making exceptional contributions to economic growth and prosperity in the greater Albuquerque region, resulting in improvements to its overall economic strength and competitive position.

The awards will be bestowed in person at AREA’s signature event, the Annual Dinner and 505 Awards which will take place November 17 from 5 – 9 p.m. at Sandia Resort. This year’s theme is “Taking Flight” – a nod to the significant industry presence and opportunity for the region in aerospace and defense but also a recognition that AREA’s strategic plan and shift to a more regionally inclusive approach to economic development is taking flight and gaining momentum as well.

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD (Sponsored by Enterprise Bank & Trust)
2022 Honoree: Rio Grande Community Development Corporation
This award recognizes an organization that has made significant contributions toward strengthening the community’s economy. The organization may be public or private; must have an established operation with employees in the Albuquerque metro area; and must describe and quantify how the organization has contributed to economic development in the region through leadership, financial support, local investments, hiring, training, or related activities.

2022 Honoree: Southwest Creations Collaborative
This award recognizes an organization that has played a leading role in workforce readiness, including the implementation of training and educational programs, the sponsorship of scholarship or grant programs, the creation of internship or mentorship programs, or other efforts to develop long-term job skills and career pathways for the region’s workforce.

SMALL BUSINESS CHAMPION AWARD (Sponsored by Nusenda Credit Union)
2022 Honoree: Bow & Arrow Brewing
This award recognizes a small business (100 employees or less) that is creating an environment focusing on collaboration, innovation and hard work, consistently demonstrating a commitment to its employees, clients and Albuquerque.

In addition to the organizations being honored, the 505 Awards also recognize the work of individuals making a difference in economic development in the local community. This year’s winners include:

2022 Honoree: Sherman McCorkle, Sandia Science & Technology Park Development Corporation
This award recognizes an individual whose ongoing commitment to economic development has made a significant and lasting impact on the Albuquerque metro area. This individual must have a demonstrated history of supporting and implementing economic development initiatives in the Albuquerque metro area over a minimum period of 15 years; must be a positive role model in the community; and must have a track record of executing projects that create jobs, diversify the region’s economy and spur investment in the state.

ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR AWARD (Sponsored by the Albuquerque International Sunport)
2022 Honoree: Drew Tulchin, New Mexico Angels
This award recognizes a business leader who has made a measurable difference in the economic development arena during the past year by investing in projects that have created or will create jobs in the Albuquerque metro area. Individuals nominated for this award were required to work in the private sector.

2022 Honoree: County Manager Wayne Johnson, Sandoval County
This award recognizes a current or former public official or public employee who has served as a committed supporter of economic development efforts over a period of at least three years.

RISING STAR AWARD (Sponsored by Deloitte)
2022 Honoree: Elisha Saavedra-Torres, Public Service Company of New Mexico
This award recognizes an emerging leader who is contributing to economic development programs, projects and activities in a significant manner that leads to increasing investment in the community and job creation.

2022 Honoree: Jennifer Thomas, Bank of Albuquerque (retired)
This award recognizes individuals or organizations that have exemplified support for economic development efforts in alignment with AREA’s Strategic Plan in a wide variety of areas, truly setting the bar for the future of the region.

To attend the 2022 Annual Dinner and 505 Awards, where honorees will be recognized, or for more information on awards categories, eligibility requirements or judging criteria, visit


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