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Rio Grande Trail Commission - Commissioners


Cabinet Secretary McQueen Photo

Ken McQueen

Cabinet Secretary - Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department

Governor Susana Martinez has appointed Ken McQueen as cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. Mr. McQueen most recently served as the vice president of WPX Energy, where he also previously worked as a director, manager, and engineer at the company. In that role, Mr. McQueen managed the company’s assets in the Four Corners area of New Mexico, Colorado, and in addition, part of Wyoming. Secretary McQueen brings over 35 years of domestic and international energy experience. Earlier in his career, he was a joint venture engineer at Vintage Petroleum Inc., and a petroleum engineer at Amerada Hess Corp. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Tulsa’s School of Petroleum Engineering and on the University of Tulsa School of Petroleum Engineering Advisory Board. He is a former Farmington resident and holds a Bachelor of Science in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa.

Christy Tafoya

Christy Tafoya

Director - New Mexico State Parks

Christy Tafoya is the Director of New Mexico State Parks and is committed to providing safe and fun recreation and educational opportunities for the public while protecting valuable State Park resources. An archaeologist by training, Ms. Tafoya has extensive experience in park resource and program management. Ms. Tafoya holds a Bachelor of Arts in 1991 from Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA, double majoring in history and historic preservation. She received a Master of Arts in anthropology in 1997 from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. Tafoya also served as President of the Environmental Education Association of NM and was a board member for the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area.

Rebecca Latham

Rebecca Latham

Cabinet Secretary - New Mexico Tourism Department

In January 2015 Governor Susana Martinez appointed Rebecca as the Cabinet Secretary of the Tourism Department. With more than a decade of experience in advertising and marketing, Rebecca is a passionate tourism professional who has served New Mexico's hospitality industry since 2006. She brings a wealth of experience across all aspects of the marketing spectrum including economic development, strategic messaging, brand development, public relations, and communications. Under her leadership the Tourism Department is focused on building awareness and driving travel to The Land of Enchantment through the New Mexico True campaign, which delivers a 7:1 ROI at the tax base level (Longwoods Intl 2015).

Tom Church

Tom Church

Cabinet Secretary - New Mexico Department of Transportation

Tom Church was appointed Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Transportation by Governor Susana Martinez in 2012. A career employee of the agency, Tom has served in multiple management and policy positions since 1994. He has managed the agency bond programs, quality programs, and is an advocate for performance management. Church has focused the agency on performance results and customer service. NMDOT maintains 30 thousand highway miles in a vastly rural state. The department and its 2,400 team members are responsive to the safety of the people and the betterment of the transportation system in New Mexico.

image of Kelly Zuni

Kelly K. Zunie

Cabinet Secretary - Department of Indian Affairs

Kelly K. Zunie was appointed by Governor Susana Martinez to be the first female Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department. She is a graduate of George Wythe University, where she received a BA in statesmanship. Secretary Zunie is part Cherokee and Zuni, and is an enrolled member of the Zuni Pueblo. Her background includes professional training and experience in critical issues facing New Mexico’s Native American population, such as public health, energy, and emergency management.

Fernando Martinez Director of Mining and Minerals Fernando Martinez

Director - Mining and Minerals Division

Prior to being named Director of the Mining and Minerals Division in 2011, Fernando Martinez held a number of senior natural resource positions in New Mexico state government. He served the Environment Department as Chief of the Drinking Water Bureau, and served the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department as Manager of the Mining Act Reclamation Program, and Director of the Energy Conservation and Management Division.

A native of northern New Mexico and a graduate of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, his educational background is in Biology and Environmental Science and Management. He has over 23 years of diverse technical and managerial experience in the natural resources field that includes work in mined land reclamation, water, and energy programs.

Pete Mattox

Southern New Mexico Trail Coalition

Pete Mattox is a resident of Mesilla, New Mexico. He holds an undergraduate degree in geography from NMSU and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in history from the same institution. He has spent many seasons working in the backcountry for Outward Bound and the Appalachian Mountain Club. A long-distance backpacker, he has hiked the full lengths of the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide Trails.

Laurie Wearne

Talking Talons Program Director

Laurie Wearne has 18 years of experience across all levels of organizational activity with an emphasis on environmental education and using non-releasable wildlife such as hawks, falcons, owls, reptiles and bats. Wearne has extensive experience constructing and refining the TTYL science-based environmental education and prevention curriculums and with engaging the NM State Youth Conservation Corps, Forest Service, Young Adult Conservation Corp, FS Youth Conservation Corp, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Next Generation of Conservationists Crew in conservation resource restoration work and educational outreach. Wearne has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of New Mexico.

Toner Mitchell

Trout Unlimited

Toner Mitchell was born and raised in Santa Fe and attended college in New England, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. He began his professional life as a staffer for a U.S. Senator in Washington, D.C. and subsequently worked as a hazardous waste consultant involved in the logging, agriculture, mining, and chemical industries in California and Alaska. He has also been a fly fishing guide for over twenty years on rivers all across the western U.S. Mitchell is currently the New Mexico Public Lands Coordinator for Trout Unlimited, and splits time between TU’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project, Western Water and Habitat Project, and the Southwest Native Trout Initiative. He is a proud husband and father, and his favorite stretch of river in the world is the Rio Grande from the Colorado border to Velarde, New Mexico.

Dana Feldman

Hiker and Backpacker

Dana Feldman is an avid hiker and backpacker. During 2015, she section-hiked hundreds of miles of the Appalachian Trail in each of its thirteen states. This has given her firsthand experience of what it takes to make and hike a great long distance trail. Feldman also has hiked in a dozen other states, made it to the bottom of the Grand Canyon three times and hiked to the top of eighteen states. Feldman brings years of government service to the commission. Most recently, she was the Deputy Director of the City of Albuquerque's Cultural Services Department. Previous to this she was a speech writer for a past governor of Kentucky and worked for this state's Environmental Cabinet. She has a Bachelor's in English from the University of Louisville and a Master's of Science in Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.




Legislative Advisory Members

Carlos R. Cisneros - (D)

Senator - District 6

New Mexico Legislature - Carlos R. Cisneros

Jason C. Harper - (R)

Representative - District 57

New Mexico Legislature - Jason C. Harper

Jeff Steinborn - (D)

Senator - District 35

New Mexico Legislature - Jeff Steinborn
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