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Leslie Martinez is Greater Las Cruces Chamber’s citizen of the year


“All of you make a difference every day,” Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Debbi Moore said Friday night, March 3, as the chamber’s annual banquet honoring Las Cruces/Doña Ana County businesses and business leaders.

Leslie Martinez was named the chamber’s 2023 citizen of the year. Fourtwenty Collections was honored as the emerging business of the year, Kona Ice as the small business of the year and Courtyard by Marriott at NMSU as the large business of the year. The chamber’s Crystal Apple award, honoring an educator, went to Las Cruces Public Schools Community Liaison Brigitte Zigelhofer, who has been with LCPS for more than 20 years. Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region, with offices in Las Cruces, was honored as the nonprofit of the year. Las Cruces Bulletin publisher and editor Richard Coltharp received the chamber’s community spirit award.

The chairman’s award, presented by the chamber’s 2022 chair, Craig Buchanan, went to Dr. Michael Law, who is chair of the chamber’s healthcare committee and incoming chamber vice chair and will be the chamber board chair in 2024.

Moore presented the chamber’s 2022 president’s award to Diana Peru, and also recognized Lensi Shakra as volunteer of the year.

Also nominated for citizen of the year were Samantha Conn, Amy Miller and Karl Ngyoe.

Also nominated for large business of the year were Memorial Medical Center and MountainView Regional Medical Center. Also nominated as nonprofit of the year were the Junior League of Las Cruces and 4 Paws and A Wakeup.

Also nominated for small business of the year were Austin’s Fine Jewelry and Mesilla Valley Pharmacy.