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LAS CRUCES - Dora M. Dominguez, former Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce president, is the new director of New Mexico State University's Rural Economic Development Through Tourism project.
REDTT started as a temporary project in five southern New Mexico counties after former U.S. Rep Joe Skeen sponsored legislation that created and funded the program in 1992. Administered by the Cooperative Extension Service, the program now promotes tourism in 17 counties and has an annual budget of almost $400,000.
As REDTT program director, Dominguez plans to strengthen the accountability for funding and to reinforce the tie between grant money and the development of new tourism in the REDTT counties. She plans to encourage collaborations between counties and nurture creative, innovative programs.
Dominguez will work to encourage tourism at "all the hidden treasures that folks outside of New Mexico love to explore but that those of us from New Mexico have to take the time to explore. We can be tourists within our own state."
Dominguez said helping to organize the visit of President Bush to Las Cruces in
2002, and meeting him, was a highlight of her time at the chamber from 2000-2003. She also found great satisfaction in helping small business owners measure up to the challenges they face everyday.
"It's no small task to run and operate your small business," Dominguez said.
Dominguez grew up in Jal, and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Eastern New Mexico University in 1989 and a master's degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix in Albuquerque in 1997.
She and her husband, John Cordova, have a son, Alfredo. She enjoys gardening, running, cooking, scrapbooking, family and church.
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