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NMSU, NM EDGE celebrates milestone in certified public official program

SANTA FE – The New Mexico EDGE graduation ceremony at the New Mexico Counties’ Legislative Conference on Jan. 17 marked the awarding of the first certified public finance professional designation for the nationally accredited program administered by New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service.


Large group of people in white, black and turquoise shirts
The latest graduating class of New Mexico EDGE County College was honored at the New Mexico Counties’ Legislative Conference in Santa Fe. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

Four of the 30 public officials receiving designations had completed the 24 three-hour classes required for the public finance professional designation. Earning the honor were Tracy Sedillo, Torrance County treasurer; Janice Y. Barela, Torrance County chief deputy treasurer; Amanda Tenorio, Torrance County finance director; and Waverly Bell, Village of Angel Fire general ledger accountant.

“The New Mexico finance curriculum through NM EDGE is designed to focus on the skillset unique to public finance,” said Mary DeLorenzo, program director for NM EDGE, which stands for Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the public sector. “This certification was launched in the summer of 2018 and honored its first graduates now.”

Classes include several on accounting key concepts such as fund accounting, financial statements and human resource accounting. Other classes include cash handling, internal controls, public finance law, debt management, finance policies, best practices and economics and revenue forecasting.

In association with founding partner NMC, and its affiliations, the program has grown during the last 15 years to include three certified public official designations and 12 affiliation certifications. Approximately 675 individual certifications have been awarded in a variety of designations.

“Our counties are on the cutting edge,” DeLorenzo said. “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.”

“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 A. 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 sciences, 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.”

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:
– Curry County: Todd Ulses, IT director, certified public official.
– Dona Ana County: Nelson Goodin, county attorney, certified public official.
– Eddy County: Charlie Powell, safety officer, certified public official.
– Harding County: C.J. Garrison, county clerk, certified public supervisor; and Courtney Mitchell, county Extension agent, certified public official.
– Lea County: Samantha Capps, senior appraiser and livestock specialist, certified public assessment officer; Shannon Lathrop, GIS analyst technician, certified public assessment officer; and Susan Marinovich, county treasurer, certified public treasury official.
– McKinley County: Sara Keeler, finance director, certified public official.
– Sandoval County: Anthony Rodriguez, reappraisal supervisor, certified public supervisor; Victoria Romero, accountant, certified public official; and Jennifer Taylor, administrative assistant, certified public official.
– San Miguel County: Matthew A. Elwell, warden, certified public supervisor.
– Santa Fe County: Jerome Blea, administrative assistant, certified public supervisor; Claudia Borchert, sustainability manager, certified public supervisor; Ashley Lopez, department administrator, certified public official; Margie Romero, department administrator, certified public official, and Jeffrey Spiller, solid waste maintenance foreman, certified public official.
– Socorro County: Sammie Yega, finance director, certified public official.
– Taos County: Bernadette Lopez, detention clerk, certified public official.
– Torrance County: Janice Y. Barela, chief deputy treasurer, certified public official, certified treasury official, certified public finance professional; Tracey Master, DWI prevention program coordinator, certified public official, certified public supervisor; Tracy Sedillo, county treasurer, certified public finance professional; Victoria Sedillo, office manager/business personal property and livestock, certified public supervisor; and Amanda Tenorio, finance director, certified public finance professional, certified public supervisor.
– Union County: Brenda Green, chief deputy county clerk, certified public official, certified advocate in public ethics; and Mary Lou Harkins, county clerk, certified public official, certified advocate in public ethics.
– City of Belen: Roseann Peralta, finance director/chief procurement officer, certified public official.
– Village of Angel Fire: Waverly Bell, general ledger accountant, certified public finance professional.
– State of New Mexico Public School Facilities Authority: Shatona Martin, contracts administrator/chief procurement officer, certified public purchasing professional.