New Mexico Economic Development Advisors Welcome a New Member and Award 2023 Funding to Continue Economic Growth in the Borderland

In 2021, El Paso Electric (EPE) in partnership with Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF) created the New Mexico Economic Development (NMED) Grant. The funds are held in partnership with the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico and a three-member board of advisors. The fund has awarded $3.0 million since its inception and continues to drive regional growth and economic vibrancy in southern New Mexico. Each year, $1 million is provided to economic development organizations focused on job creation, import and export business creation and entrepreneurship.

 The fund is governed by three independent board advisors which has included members Ed Camden, John Hummer and Jerean Camunez Hutchinson. Ed Camden completed his term on the board in 2022, while John Hummer and Jerean Camunez will continue throughout 2023 and 2024, respectively.  This year, the advisors have welcomed a new colleague to the table – Dr. Andrea Tawney.  Dr. Tawney will serve on the NMED board of advisors for the next three years.

 Dr. Andrea Tawney is the Vice President for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso where she oversees marketing and communications and fundraising. Before joining TTUHSC El Paso, Dr. Tawney served as New Mexico State University Foundation’s President. Under her leadership, the foundation launched the most ambitious cash campaign in the system’s history. Within five years, her team raised more than $100 million. In 2016, Dr. Tawney was named one of Albuquerque Business First’s 40 under Forty and a 2019 Women of Influence. In 2022, she received Diversity Journal’s Women Worth Watching in Leadership International Award.

Dr. Tawney is a proud Air Force veteran and earned a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. She holds a Master of Education and a B.A.S. from Northern Arizona University. She serves on a number of boards dedicated to advancing economic development for the region to include Borderplex Alliance, El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Texas Lyceum, and Aspen Latino Institute Alumni Chair for the Hunt Fellows. With her experience and partnership throughout the border region, Dr. Tawney will not only bring her professional knowledge and background as an advisor but also as a resident of Dona Ana County. We are honored to partner with Dr. Tawney as she begins her three-year term with NMED.

A meeting was held on May 11th to provide an overview of the 2022 projects and the 2023 funding was awarded. NM Borderplex and  Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance (MVEDA) are the 2022 and 2023 grant recipients. With this funding, NM Borderplex has seen great impact, including over $126 million in net new, 5-year household spending and $461 million in economic impact to the region. Their funding commitments include $805,000 deployed to support 9 companies in establishing 1,400 new economic based jobs. MVEDA has also seen great impact in establishing relationships with companies looking to expand to southern New Mexico. With this award, MVEDA created a list of site selection consultants who assist Fortune 500 companies with location data and site options. They learned the latest trends in economic development and company recruitment and were able to gauge the economic development efforts and activity of competing cities. The NMED grant allowed the investment in technology platforms that provided real time analysis of business trends and company site location requirements. As a result, relevant marketing content for target industry sectors was created and distributed in a timely fashion. In addition, the funding provided the opportunity to travel and meet with site selectors and company decision makers in person. As a result, MVEDA saw 261 companies engaged with interest in Doña Ana County. With this funding, NM Borderplex and MVEDA will continue their work that focuses on job creation, business support, and general economic growth achievement.

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