Program prepares leaders

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer

Participants in the Leadership New Mexico program will take part in a three-day session in Clovis this week focusing on educational issues and possible solutions.

Leadership New Mexico is a statewide program that exposes business and community leaders to the issues that affect the state, a press release from the program showed.

“The goal is to really expose them to a greater range of issues,” said Christiana Hudson of Leadership New Mexico. “We hope to give them a better understanding how their decisions affect the community and the state as a whole.”

The Clovis session will run from Thursday to Saturday and participants will tour Boersma’s A&T Dairy, Cannon Air Force Base and hear special speakers at Clovis Community College.

Blake Curtis and Wes Graham of Clovis are participating in the program this year. By the end of the program they will have traveled all over New Mexico learning economic development, health care, government, natural resources and crime and punishment.

“In the state of New Mexico you never know where you will find greatness; and it resides in hometown USA,” said Curtis, co-owner and manager Curtis & Curtis, Inc. “It’s been a wonderful program, because it’s given me the opportunity to make acquaintances with the movers and shakers in other communities.”

The participants will face a panel of Clovis schools administrators, teachers and students. He said the panel will provide them the opportunity to study the educational issues “where the rubber meets the road.”

Hudson said the program — which has more than 400 alumni — prepares state business and community leaders to encounter a wide array of issues. Her hope is participants will go back to their communities and make a difference.

“Our hope is that they will find an issue that resonates with them and they will either volunteer or seek to make a difference in their work,” Hudson said.

Graham, CEO of RE/MAX First Place Realtors, said since the program began in September, he has found an issue to focus on.

“The one issue that I think I’m going to continue to work very diligently on is the tax structure, to continue to make New Mexico a more attractive place to do business,” he said.