News Release

January 8, 2024

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) January 8, 2023 – The Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance (AREA) today announced its Board of Directors for 2024.

At the start of its third year of a 5-year strategic plan, AREA – recently renamed and converted to a 501c3 public charity to better serve its mission – is welcoming new leadership to its board and enjoying continued support of its critical initiatives by many long-time organizational leaders.

“I love the vision and focus of AREA as well as our belief that we can learn from the past while knowing that the future is indeed bright for the region,” said Don Tarry, AREA’s 2024 Board Chair and President & CEO of PNM. “By working together, leveraging our strengths, and fostering strong partnerships, we can drive economic growth and position our region as a premier destination for business. I thank all of AREA’s contributors and the community at large for this opportunity to serve.”

Executive Committee Members and Officers for 2024:
Don Tarry, President & CEO of PNM – Board Chair
Josh Parsons, CFO, Sandia National Laboratories – Chair Elect
Teresa  Costantinidis, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, UNM – Treasurer
Celina Bussey, Client Relationship Executive, Deloitte Consulting LLP – Secretary
Cynthia Schultz, CEO, Bradbury Stamm Construction, Inc. – Immediate Past Chair
Kyle Beasley, CEO, Bank of Albuquerque
Michelle Dearholt, Executive Vice President of Operations, Nusenda Credit Union
Joe Farr, President, Duke City Commercial LLC
Caroline Garcia, Audit Partner, KPMG LLP
Justin Horwitz, Attorney at Law, Rodey Law Firm
Shad James, President & CEO, Jaynes Corporation
Janice Torrez, President, BlueCross BlueShield of New Mexico
Eric Weinstein, Senior Vice President, Aon

Continuing Board Members:
Walt Benson, County Commissioner – District 4, Bernalillo County Commission
Mike Canfield, President & CEO, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Phil Casaus, President & CEO, BRYCON Corporation
Kent Cravens, CEO, GAAR
Robin Divine, CEO, TriCore Reference Laboratories
Tracy Hartzler, President, CNM
Wayne Johnson, County Manager, Sandoval County
Leean Kravitz, VP, Public Affairs & Gov. Relations, Fidelity Investments
Pepper Lang, Business Development, Albuquerque Publishing Co.
Dan Long, General Counsel, Gridworks
Roxanna Meyers, President, Century Sign Builders
Adrian Montoya, Regional Vice President, Summit Electric Supply Co., Inc.
Julie Morgas Baca, County Manager, Bernalillo County
Megan Oblack, Director, Sales and Business Development, Lovelace Health System
Ryan Shell, President, New Mexico Gas Company
Ben Spencer, Partner, Titan Development

New and Reappointed Board Members:
Brian Brown, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Presbyterian Healthcare Services
Jim Chynoweth, Managing Director, CBRE Inc. Albuquerque
Frank Gallegos , EHS Manager, Intel Corporation
Ben Gardner, CEO / Principal / Architect, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
Joanie Griffin, Founding Principal, Sunny505
Debbie Harms, CEO & Qualifying Broke, NAI Sun Vista
Ruth Huning-Gonzales, Manager, Huning LLC
Adam Leyba, Executive Vice President, Klinger Constructors, LLC
Meg Meister, Shareholder, Modrall Sperling Roehl Harris & Sisk
Joan Tafoya, Director, Data Center Operations – Global, Meta

Exciting new additions to the AREA Board in 2024 include Ruth Huning-Gonzales, Manager of Huning LLC, a family business in the Valencia County area that has long been a supporter of AREA but has not previously served in a leadership role with the organization. Ben Gardner of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini and Adam Leyba of Klinger Constructors, LLC have joined the AREA Board on behalf of their organizations which have long held leadership positions with the nonprofit.

Celina Bussey, Client Relationship Executive with Deloitte Consulting LLP, has been elected to serve as AREA’s incoming Secretary of the Board. “These are exciting times for our region and for New Mexico and I am delighted to have the opportunity to leverage my experience to aid in driving our strategic plan from concept to impactful outcomes,” commented Bussey.

In accordance with its recent restructuring and new inclusion of public sector service on its voting Board, AREA is excited for the continued service of public sector leaders such as Julie Morgas Baca, Bernalillo County Manager; Walt Benson, Bernalillo County Commissioner (as the chair of AREA’s Public Sector Advisory Council); and Wayne Johnson, Sandoval County Manager. It is also eager for the addition of more public sector leaders from around the region in the near future.

Danielle Casey, President & CEO of AREA, commented “The Board of Directors was integral to creating our AREA 1.0 Strategic Plan and transforming our organization from a 501(c)(6) to a 501(c)(3) public charity, but most importantly, to our continued success since our original launch in the 1960’s. Welcoming new leadership will ensure strong continuity and drive to success for many more decades to come.”

The full Board of Directors roster can be viewed online.


About AREA

The Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is leads and executes strategies designed to grow and diversify the economic base of the greater Albuquerque region, creating a prosperous, diverse and inclusive economy and elevating the standard of living for all. AREA provides confidential assistance to businesses considering the area for expansion and new investment. Since its creation in 1960, AREA has recruited more than 250 companies and more than 35,000 jobs to the Albuquerque metro area. AREA also provides retention and expansion assistance to existing industry. For more information, visit

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