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Morales, Holguin among Leadership N.M. graduating class


Two Las Crucens are among the graduating class of the 13th Leadership New Mexico Connect New Mexico Program, titled “The Next Generation of Leadership.”

Both Amanda Morales, newly appointed executive director of United Way of Southwest New Mexico, and Irma Holguin, administrative manager of Allen Theatres, Inc., successfully completed the three-session, multi-month program, which ran from September through mid-January.

“Both Amanda and Irma are clearly leaders, not only in the Las Cruces area, but they’ll be making an impact across the state,” said Leadership New Mexico Marketing Director Allison Mady. “Each of them has a passion for what they’re doing, and it was wonderful working with both of them during the program.”

Open to 25-40 year-old New Mexico professionals, Leadership New Mexico is designed to offer the opportunity to develop personal leadership skills, learn how New Mexico systems and structures work and explore critical issues facing the state. 

Morales and Holguin were among 35 participants from around the state, collectively representing the various geographic regions and communities, from the public, private, government and non-profit sectors.

“The whole experience was really great,” Morales, 29, said. “It was amazing to connect with different people from across the state and to get all their different perspectives reflecting their different backgrounds and experiences.”

Although she was initially hesitant about the commitment of time the program would involve, Morales said that by the end of the first session, she and her colleagues were convinced it was going to be worth it.

“We just finished on Friday [Jan. 17], and the time commitment was a concern for everyone at first,” she said. “But that hesitation went away pretty fast. Being able to examine yourself and your leadership role is very empowering. I learned that I have the power to influence others around me while developing my own skills at the same time.”

The program featured sessions in Los Alamos, Las Cruces and Roswell, she said, adding that the Los Alamos session focused on the state’s technical prowess, while the Las Cruces session emphasized the continuing role of White Sands Missile Range and the emerging role of Spaceport America and the Roswell session focused on agricultural and tourism themes.

Connect New Mexico “The Next Generation of Leadership” encourages participants to cultivate new ideas and introduces participants to recognized leaders who provide insight into a wide range of issues and topics.   

In addition to the Connect New Mexico “The Next Generation of Leadership” Program, other Leadership New Mexico programs include the Core Program and the Local Government Leadership Program.

Leadership New Mexico’s Core Program involves senior-level leaders who represent the various geographic regions, communities and business sectors. The Core Program sessions include topics such as health and human services, economic development, education, environment and natural resources, as well as government, crime and justice issues.

Leadership New Mexico was founded in 1995 as a statewide leadership organization dedicated to identifying and enhancing leadership throughout New Mexico by providing a forum for participants to strengthen their knowledge of challenges and opportunities facing our state. Its participants and alumni are from diverse ethnic, gender, regional and business backgrounds, with more than 1,700 participants from 87 communities across the state having participated in its programs.

Leadership New Mexico is accepting applications for the 2020-2021 Connect New Mexico Program “The Next Generation of Leadership” and Core Program.  The application deadline is March 15. Visit www.leadershipnm.org or call (505) 398-1500.


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