Sandra “Sandy” Cata is a life-long resident of Northern New Mexico. Born in Las Vegas, NM, she was raised in Velarde on the family farm/orchard, and attended local schools, graduating from McCurdy High School in Española. Sandy is a wealth of knowledge and information about the past and current residents and history of the Española Valley. She started her working career in Santa Fe, working for the State Department of Education, and later worked for 35 years for The Los Alamos National Laboratory in many different capacities.
Sandy has been with the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area for six years, and serves as the Office Manager. She is also the Grants Coordinator, maintaining contact with all grants recipients to monitor grant compliance and reporting. Sandy reviews and maintains records on grantee match contributions and coordinates site visits and reporting on each of the projects. She believes in the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area Inc.'s mission, and is an ardent promoter of the Heritage Area and its partner projects.