New Mexico IDEA honors five for boosting economy

Two members of the New Mexico Economic Development staff were among five people given awards by New Mexico IDEA for their work to improve the state's economy.

New Mexico IDEA is an organization of economic development professionals and others seeking to bringing new jobs and investment to the state.

Mark Roper, who is a Community, Business & Rural Development Team representative for the Economic Development Department serving southeast New Mexico, received the "New Mexico First" award.

Therese Varela, Economic Development division director for the Economic Development Department, was recognized with the "Public Servant of the Year"award.

"New Mexico has many talented and hardworking professionals, both in the Economic Development Department and in other organizations, dedicating countless hours to creating an environment where businesses can thrive and I thank NM IDEA for recognizing these individuals for their great work," New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela said in a statement. "I am grateful to their efforts and count on them as partners as we continue growing our private sector and creating jobs for New Mexicans."

Others receiving awards were:

  • Dr. Mark Van Wormer, executive director of the Union County Economic Development Corporation, received the "Dallan Sanders Award."
  • Paul Jenkins of Raton, received the "Volunteer of the Year" award for efforts resulting in the creation of the Greater Raton Economic Development Corporation and the seven-county North East Economic Development Organization (NEEDO).
  • Myra Pancrazio, executive director of the Estancia Valley Economic Development Alliance, received the "Developer of the Year" award for working to bring economic growth to her rural region.