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Staff and Board

Thomas Romero

Thomas Romero

Director
Thomas Romero is Executive Director of Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area, serving in this position since August 2011. His working career over fifty years includes a combination of responsible management-level public sector positions and an extensive practice in management consulting to government and businesses.

Mr. Romero has been engaged in the last twenty years in volunteer services with non-profit organizations. His positions included serving as President of El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe for twelve years, and he has served as an officer in Creative Santa Fe, the Río Tesuque Land Alliance, the Arthur Haddock Foundation, and the Santa Fe Community College GROW Foundation. In 1990 Mr. Romero was recognized as one of the Outstanding Colorado Hispanic Leaders. In 2005 he was honored by the New Mexican as one of Ten Who Made a Difference.
Sandy Cata

Sandy Cata

Office Manager
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.
Camilla Bustamante

Camilla Bustamante

President - Community Member, La Cienaga
Camilla Bustamante PhD. MPH is a native Santa Fean with familial ties in La Cienega and Pecos, Camilla has deep rooted connections in the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area. She has served on regional and community planning boards and committees in the interest of preserving the heritage and traditions that serve to strengthen community and sustain practices that have supported the indigenous definition of sustainability, "Healthy Environment, Healthy Culture, Healthy People" (Cajete, 1999). Dr. Bustamante has actively participated in the development of the NRGNHA Management Plan and other important initiatives that have led to the organizations viability since 2003.
Patricia Trujillo

Patricia Trujillo

Vice President - NNMC Representative and Community Member, Guache
Patricia Trujillo, Ph.D. is the Director of Equity and Diversity and an associate professor of English and Chicana/o Studies at Northern New Mexico College. She was born and raised in the Española Valley, NM. Dr. Trujillo is invested in community-based action research like the work she does as faculty advisor for the AFSC@Sostenga Farm at Northern. She serves on the boards of the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area, Tewa Women United, and on the advisory board of NewMexicoWomen.org.
Christopher Madrid

Christopher Madrid

Treasurer - Community Member, Taos
David Fernandez

David Fernandez

Secretary - Community Member, Taos
David Fernandez de Taos is a Native Taos New Mexican whose Spanish family heritage here is from the early 17th century and whose Navajo family heritage goes centuries more farther back than that. He has been a published author and newspaper writer and columnist for the past 44 years whose present writing includes the English-language column "The Blessing Way" and the Spanish-language column "Espiritu del Norte" in The Taos News; is author of his self-published book "Divine Light and Divine Blood" about the Taos Morada in 2010; and numerous other works.

David is a life-long participant in the spiritual, cultural, historical, and political aspects of life in El Norte and beyond; is a former Taos County Commissioner; and is active in ministries of the Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Taos. His special interest is to advance the spiritual rapprochement and relations among the cultures and peoples of the Northern Rio Grande region and beyond.
Lucia Sanchez

Lucia Sanchez

Secretary - Rio Arriba County Planning Representative
Lucía is a native of La Villita, New Mexico. Like several generations before her, Lucía is a farmer who raises many traditional agricultural crops and livestock with her family. For the past twelve years, Lucía has served her traditional community irrigation system as an elected official on Acequia De Alcalde commission. The Acequia De Alcalde is one of many centuries-old irrigation and water governances systems in New Mexico.

Lucía currently works for the County of Rio Arriba as the Director of the Planning and Zoning. She is responsible for the oversight of the County's land use planning. Lucia has over 10 years of experience with both the public and private sector in regional planning, community development, urban design and public administration. Lucía's work in Rio Arriba County compliments the mission of the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area "by promoting sustainable communities, heritages, languages, cultures, traditions and the environment of the region through partnerships, education and interpretation." Lucia's degrees include a 2004 B.A. in Anthropology and a 2004 B.A. in Spanish from the University of New Mexico.
Mary Mascareñas

Mary Mascareñas

Vice President - Community Member, Llano
Ben Chavarria

Ben Chavarria

Board Director - Santa Clara Pueblo Representative
Edmund Sanchez

Edmund Sanchez

Board Director - Community Member, Cebolla
Elmer Torres

Elmer Torres

Board Director - San Ildefonso Pueblo Representative
Elmer Torres is a small business owner of Than Povi Fine Art Gallery, located in San Ildefonso Pueblo, he is also a retiree of Los Alamos National Laboratory, after nearly 40 years of service. He started as a chemical technician and through the years moved up the ranks, retiring from the Director's office as the Tribal Liaison Director.

Elmer is a former Governor of the Pueblo of San Ildefonso, he has also served as Lieutenant Governor and Tribal Council Member.
Judi Cantu

Judi Cantu

Board Director - Town of Taos Representative
Samuel Delgado

Samuel Delgado

Board Director - Community Member, Santa Fe
David Griscom

David Griscom

Board Director - Santa Fe County Planning
David Griscom has lived and played in the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area since 1970. Mr. Griscom has worked in Economic Development in New Mexico for over a decade, and helped establish the North American Wind Research & Training Center in Tucumcari. He has worked with a variety of local and national organizations on promoting economic development as a means to diversify the economy, including the North American Institute, Regional Development Corporation, and the Southwest Energy Alliance. He has an MBA, and currently serves as the Economic Development Manager for Santa Fe County
Karl Cordova

Karl Cordova

Board Director - Superintendent, Pecos National Historical Park
*Karl Cordova is the superintendent at Pecos National Historical Park and the official National Park Service representative on the Board of Directors. Karl is a 24-year veteran of the National Park Service and he has worked in six different parks and served as legislative fellow for the U.S. Senate and the National Park Service. Karl's experience of working with local communities and national policy are a natural fit for the Board of Directors. Karl's family has roots that are nine generations of ancestors in Taos and Santa Fe counties. This unique blend of history and experience brings a perspective that can help support the mission of the National Heritage Area. He looks forward to the many great years to come in the Northern Rio Grande NHA.
Rick Hendricks

Rick Hendricks

Board Director - New Mexico State Historian Representative
Rick Hendricks, PhD, is the New Mexico state historian. He received his BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1977 and his PhD from the University of New Mexico in 1985. He is a former editor of the Vargas Project at the University of New Mexico. After the conclusion of the project, he worked at New Mexico State University, most notably on the Durango Microfilming Project. He has written extensively on the history of the American Southwest and Mexico.