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NMSU, NM EDGE celebrates largest certified public manager graduation group

SANTA FE – The New Mexico EDGE graduation ceremony at the New Mexico Counties’ Legislative Conference on Jan. 23 marked the largest group of certified public managers to graduate at one time from the nationally accredited program administered by New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service.


Large group of people in white, black and turquoise shirts
County officials receiving designation from New Mexico's Certified Public Manager and County College program were honored during the New Mexico EDGE graduation ceremony at New Mexico Counties' 2020 Legislative Conference in Santa Fe. NM EDGE, which stands for Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the public sector, is administered by New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)
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Certified public managers graduate from New Mexico EDGE, a nationally accredited program, were recognized during New Mexico Counties' 2020 Legislative Conference in Santa Fe. Pictured are, front from left, Lea County Commissioner Rebecca Long, NMC immediate past president; Joy Esparsen, NMC deputy director; Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover, NMC vice president; certified public manager graduates Santa Fe County Manager Katherine Miller and Gabriella Trujillo, Santa Fe County public works department operations manager; and Mary DeLorenzo, NM EDGE program director. Back row from left, Otero County Assessor Steve Boyle, NMC president-elect; Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage, NMC president; certified public manager graduates Santa Fe County Treasurer Patrick Varela, Les Francisco, Santa Fe County solid wast superintendent, and Torrance County Treasurer Tracy Sedillo; and Jon Boren, New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service director. NM EDGE is administered by NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

Joining the elite group are Katherine Miller, Santa Fe County manager; Patrick Varela, Santa Fe County treasurer; Les Francisco, Santa Fe County solid waste superintendent; Gabriella Trujillo, Santa Fe County public works department operations manager; Tracy Sedillo, Torrance County treasurer; and Tracy Agiovlasitis, New Mexico Technology Assistance Program manager.

“To obtain this designation, the graduates have completed the 300 hours of course work and implement a capstone project resolving a specific need in their work environment,” said Mary DeLorenzo, program director for NM EDGE, which stands for Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the public sector.

“The New Mexico Certified Public Manager program is a nationally recognized professional development program. The National Certified Public Manager Consortium establishes accreditation standards and monitors member programs. NM EDGE is the only accredited program in New Mexico,” said DeLorenzo.

In addition to the certified public manager recipients, 19 public officials graduated with designations in certified public official, certified public supervisor, certified advocate in public ethics, public purchasing professional and certified jail specialist.

In association with founding partner NMC and its affiliations, the original County College program has grown during the last 16 years to include three levels in the certified public manager designation and 12 affiliation certifications. Approximately 835 individual certifications have been awarded in a variety of designations to 520 public officials.

“Our counties are on the cutting edge,” DeLorenzo said. “They’re the ones that started this program originally and now 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 at every level of government.”

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 https://nmedge.nmsu.edu./

Additional candidates receiving certification diplomas during the closing luncheon of New Mexico Counties’ Legislative conference in Santa Fe were:
– Chaves County: Stephen M. Castro, road maintenance foreman, certified public official; and Mo Espinoza, training coordinator, certified jail specialist.
– Cibola County: Michael Dodds, DWI program coordinator, certified public official; and Kathy Gonzales, treasurer, certified public supervisor; and Dolores Vallejos, assessor, certified public supervisor.
– Lea County: Samantha Stroud, chief deputy assessor and livestock inspector, certified public supervisor and certified advocate in public ethics.
– McKinley County: Darrell McKinzie Jimson, facility management director, certified public official.
– Otero County: Matthew Clark, emergency services director, certified public official; and Sylvia Tillbrook, executive assistant, certified pubic supervisor and certified advocate in public ethics.
– Sandoval County: Alejandro Jeantet, tax researcher, certified public official; Jennifer Taylor, chief deputy treasurer, certified treasury official.
– Santa Fe County: Anna Martinez, GIS technician, certified public supervisor; Douglas Wade Jenkins, sergeant, certified jail specialist; and Richard Shetter, road superintendent, certified public official and certified public supervisor.
– Taos County: Sasha Sanchez, appraiser IV, certified public supervisor.
– Torrance County: Janice Barela, chief deputy treasurer; Kristin Oliver, human resource director, certified public official; and Noah Sedillo, chief procurement officer, public purchasing professional.
– New Mexico Governor’s Commission on Disability: Stan Ross, architectural access specialist, certified public supervisor.