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NM EDGE, New Mexico Association of Counties honors graduating public officials

SANTA FE – The 15th group of New Mexico EDGE graduates was recognized during the New Mexico Association of Counties Legislative Conference on Jan. 19 in Santa Fe. The graduates join 370 public officials who have completed various designations in the certified public official program.


Group of people wearing black, white and turquoise shirts
Recent graduates of NM EDGE’s County College and the New Mexico Certified Public Managers programs were honored during the New Mexico Association of Counties Legislative Conference in Santa Fe. NM EDGE, a program administered by New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service, provides a comprehensive course of study to administrators, managers, elected officials and staff in local, state, tribal and national government agencies. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

NM EDGE, which stands for Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the public sector, is a nationally accredited program administered by New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service.

In association with founding partner, New Mexico Association of Counties, the nationally accredited program has grown during the last 14 years to include three certified public official designations and 11 affiliation certifications.

“New Mexico EDGE, a unique program of our land-grant university, affords participants the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills and education,” said Dean Rolando Flores of NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. “Our commitment at NMSU to be an engine for economic development takes many shapes, including the mission of NM EDGE to help have better government through education.”

The long-standing partnership between counties and the Extension Service has provided many programs for the citizens in agriculture, family and consumer science, youth development and, now, courses in governance.

“The success of the Extension Service is dependent on our collaboration with county government across the state,” said Jon Boren, director of CES. “NM EDGE is important to all of us, CES and the county governments. We look forward to the continued partnership to provide vital continuing education courses to our public servants.”

The success of the NM EDGE program has been the collaboration between NMSU, NMAC and the association’s affiliations, who design the curriculums for the various certifications.

“Our counties are on the cutting edge,” said Mary DeLorenzo, NM EDGE program director. “They are the ones that developed this program. They’re the ones that started this program and it has evolved to include municipalities and state agencies.”

To obtain a certification designation, the students must complete a number of classes, along with a portfolio demonstrating their application of the competencies learned in the classes. For more information about the designations, visit nmedge.nmsu.edu.

Receiving certification diplomas during the closing luncheon of NMAC’s annual conference were:
– Chaves County: Angelo Gurule, fire and safety service director, certified professional risk management; Steve Sorensen, engineering technician, certified public supervisor and certified professional risk management; and Andrea Stapp, NMSU Extension 4-H agent, certified extension professional.
–Cibola County: Dolores Vallejos, county treasurer, certified treasury official.
– Colfax County: Rick Aguilar, appraiser, certified public supervisor; and Desiree Silva, deputy assessor, certified public supervisor.
– Eddy County: Roxanne Brannon, human resource director, certified public official; Gemma Ferguson, county assessor, certified advocate for public ethics; and Anna M. Vasquez, assistant human resource director/risk manager, certified public official and certified professional risk management.
– Grant County: Vangie Gonzales, second deputy treasurer, certified treasury official; and Elizabeth L. Hernandez, first deputy treasurer, certified treasury official.
– Luna County: Danny Gonzales, human resources and payroll director, certified advocate for public ethics; Joanne C. Hethcox, budget and procurement director, certified advocate for public ethics; and Mark J. Jasso, emergency services director, certified public supervisor.
– McKinley County: Kathleen Arviso, county assessor, certified public assessing officer.
– Quay County: Franklin McCasland, county commissioner, certified public official and certified county commissioner; and Gloria Sue Dowell, county commissioner, certified advocate for public ethics.
– Rio Arriba County: David Trujillo, deputy county manager, certified public supervisor.
– Santa Fe County: Ashley N. Bravo, account technician, certified treasury official; Johnny P. Baca, traffic manager, certified advocate for public ethics; Debra Garcia, GIS analyst, certified advocate for public ethics; George R. Gurule, GIS mapper, certified CIS specialist; Rob Jackson, GPS technician, certified public official; Kimberly Martinez, department administrator, certified public official; Katherine Miller, county manager, certified public supervisor; Socorro Ojeda, administrative assistant, certified public official; and Matthew Roybal, GIS technician, certified GIS specialist.
– Sierra County: Eloy Armijo, CIS coordinator, certified CIS specialist.
– New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration: Michael P. Steininger, special director, certified public supervisor.
– New Mexico Technology Assistance Program: Tracy Agiovlasitis, program supervisor, certified public official.