Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico Celebrates an Exciting Start to 2023 Growing, Thriving, and Making an Impact

The Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico (CFSNM) has had an exciting first quarter of 2023. We are happy to announce a new member to our Board of Directors, celebrate Savannah Zamora’s acceptance into a prestigious program, welcome a new staff member to our team, and share how we are making an impact in southern New Mexico with our 2023-2028 strategic plan.

At the beginning of the year, we welcomed our new board member Ricardo “Rico” Gonzales. Gonzales is native New Mexican who grew up in Socorro, New Mexico. Gonzales graduated from New Mexico State University and is a proud Aggie. He currently serves as the Vice President in New Mexico for El Paso Electric. His previous roles include serving as the Director of New Mexico/Arizona Government Affairs and Public Relations for El Paso Electric, and early in his career, Gonzales served the New Mexico State Legislature as a Senate Analyst and Leadership Staff for the Majority Office. Gonzales treasures spending time with his family. He, his wife, Amanda, and their two young daughters call Las Cruces home.  Since childhood, Gonzales has been an avid basketball player. He continues to show his love for the game and his community by coaching a local basketball team. Gonzales is a wonderful addition to the CFSNM board, and we are happy to have him as part of our CFSNM team.

A big congratulations to our very own Savannah Zamora for being accepted into the Executive Leadership Institute for Chief Financial Officers (ELI for CFOs). Zamora is a native to Las Cruces and an alumna of New Mexico State University. She has an extensive background in volunteer work and seeks opportunities to travel and experience new adventures. Zamora joined our team in 2020 as our Administrative Coordinator and currently serves as our Finance, Scholarship, and Grants Coordinator. The ELI for CFOs is a year-long learning opportunity that focuses on community leadership for foundation financial professionals. We look forward to seeing Zamora continue to flourish and how she will utilize the new skills and knowledge she gains to continue to better our communities in southern New Mexico.

Joining as our Director of Impact and Outreach, Diana O’Brien brings far-reaching experience in the fields of non-profit work, higher education, early childhood, and behavioral health to our team. In these areas her community involvement is extensive. O’Brien works as an adjunct faculty member at NMSU’s College of Health, Education, and Social Transformation, in addition to serving as a board member for both the New Mexico Association for Infant Mental Health and the Tierra Del Sol Housing Corporation. She also is a co-lead ambassador for the Doña Ana County Early Childhood Education Coalition, a behavioral health co-sector leader of Doña Ana County Resilience Leaders, and a member of LC3 Behavioral Health Collaborative. O’Brien is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has worked with people across the lifespan in diverse settings. She is also the founder of the Random Acts of Kindtrip which continues to be her passion project to spread kindness throughout areas she travels. O’Brien looks forward to working collaboratively with communities throughout southern New Mexico to support efforts that positively impact our quality of life now and for generations to come.

We are excited to share our 2023-2028 Strategic Plan. As we look towards the future, we remain focused on the greatest needs of our communities in southern New Mexico. A community foundation represents a wide variety of ideas and interests of donors who are united in a common purpose: to build and strengthen their community. Our strategic plan acknowledges this and expresses our continued and shared commitment to improving lives. Yet, we realize that the plan itself will not achieve success unless we share our goals, incorporate them into our daily business practices, and remain diligent as stewards of charitable giving. Our focus includes expanding our scholarship opportunities and building our Greatest Needs Funds to make an impact and further the work in an array of sectors. With the support of outstanding staff, donors, the board of directors, and our community at large, we can positively impact southern New Mexico now and for generations to come. We invite you to be a part of our mission. Together, we can strengthen our communities and truly make a difference.

About Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico: The Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico serves as a community resource, connects donors to needs, and supports charitable organizations in their work. At the Community Foundation, we are committed to improving the quality of life in southern New Mexico. Our organization is supported by a broad base of individuals, families, corporations, and institutions connected by the desire to improve the community. We manage over 315 endowments, including 47 non-profit organizational endowments in southern New Mexico, and are home to over 35 scholarships and three annual grant cycles. As a center for charitable giving, we support countless meaningful causes in the twelve counties we serve, which include: Catron, Chaves, Doña Ana, Eddy, Grant, Hidalgo, Lea, Lincoln, Luna, Otero, Sierra & Socorro.

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