AREA Ambassadors are goodwill representatives of the organization, aligned with its mission. They champion AREA’s cause of growing the economy of the greater Albuquerque region.  Ambassadors are educated in economic development initiatives, strategies and priorities through workshops and forums. Through these programs, Ambassadors are able to speak firsthand of the work of AREA and can promote the greater Albuquerque area through an economic lens.

What is the role of an Ambassador?

Ambassadors assist the organization in:

  • As hosts in welcome tours, receptions, and events
  • As advocates during press conferences
  • As participants and guest speakers at Ambassador Training Programs

Who can be an Ambassador?

Any company actively contributing to AREA’s mission may have representation on the Ambassador Committee. Participants who attend a minimum of four designated events totaling 10 points will become certified Ambassadors.

These events include:

  • Quarterly Investors Luncheons – 2 points
  • Ambassador Trainings – 3 points
  • AREA Webinar Programs – 2 points
  • AREA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner – 2 points

Additional certification points are awarded to Ambassadors who refer new contributors.

Ambassadors with five or more years of continuous service achieve Emeritus status and no longer must meet minimum attendance at AREA events.  Emeritus Ambassadors will be recognized at the Annual Dinner in conjunction with the 505 Awards.

John Algermissen, NAI Maestas & Ward

Joan Archibeque, First National 1870

Lydia Ashanin,  True Health New Mexico

Beth Barela, Manpower of New Mexico

Jessica Bohan McElroy, New York Life Insurance Co. – Jessica Bohan McElroy

Nadine Buerger, US Eagle Federal Credit Union

Rathi Casey, UKUU Creative

John DuBois, Rio Grande Credit Union

Natalie Durham, Hub International

Mike Gorman, Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union

Lori Gunnare National Roofing

Melina Hamm, Hub International

Selena Hardy MA, Central New Mexico Community College

DJ Heckes, EXHIB-IT!

Joani Jones, Crowne Plaza Albuquerque

Liz Lopez,  Liz Lopez Photography

Lisa Ortega, Old Republic Title Company

Stephanie Peterson,  EXHIB-IT!

Betsy Rightley, KPMG LLP

Charlene Rimbert, Unite Private Networks

Jeffrey Slopek, Klinger Constructors, LLC

Jonathan Small, City of Albuquerque, Aviation Department

Rosanne Tena, Presbyterian Healthcare Services

Dezaree Vega Garcia, Sunny 505

Christi Zimmerman, Associated Builders & Contractors NM Chapter

“Having been an informal ambassador for many years, I am delighted to formally become an ambassador this year. Our community has so many strengths and opportunities before us, and it is up to us to raise our voices, tell our beautiful story, and realize our vision for Albuquerque and central New Mexico. Working together, we can elevate the narrative, grow our economy, and build a thriving community that capitalizes on all of our resources. “

Lydia Ashanin

Senior Director, Marketing and Communications, True Health New Mexico


Stay tuned for the next announcement of our Economic Development Training!

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