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Staff and Board

Thomas Romero

Thomas Romero

*Heritage Center Staff & Executive 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.
Leland Chapin

Leland Chapin

*Heritage Center Staff - Curator & Media Coordinator*
Leland Chapin began working for the National Heritage Center in February 2017. Mr. Chapin studied fine art and worked in public education for over 15 years; several of those in New Mexico schools. His roots in Northern New Mexico date back to 1977, when both of his parents began working as Spanish language teachers at the Ghost Ranch conference center in Abiquiu. For 17 years his family spent summers in New Mexico , spending time between Santa Fe and Abiquiu. In 2001, as a corps member with Teach for America, he taught 4th grade on the Navajo Nation where he incorporated his fine arts background into the regular education curriculum.

At the Heritage Center, Leland manages the Social Media platforms and curates our contemporary Art Gallery. Developing relationships with Artists from within the National Heritage Area is a key part of our management plan.
Elmer Torres

Elmer Torres

President, Board of Directors
Elmer Torres is a member of San Ildefonso Pueblo whose strength in leadership is reflected in his experience and commitment to the 22 Tribes of New Mexico, his passion for improving education, and his work with various federal, tribal, state, county, and city government agencies. He held the positions of San Ildefonso Pueblo Governor and Tribal Council member, and during his 39 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Elmer was Tribal Liaison Director in the Government Relations Office.

After retirement, he started a second career as owner of Than Povi Fine Art Gallery.
Edmund Sanchez

Edmund Sanchez

Vice President, Board of Directors
Edmund Sanchez is a community representative from Cebolla New Mexico. He has been on the Board of Directors since early years of the organization, and currently serves as vice-president.
Christopher Madrid

Christopher Madrid

Treasurer - Community Member, Taos
The Rio Arriba County Commission established a new Department of Community and Economic Development in 2013 with the following strategic objectives:

1) Conduct ongoing outreach to our entrepreneurial, business, farming and ranching communities throughout the County, listen to them and understand their needs in order to direct them to timely and relevant resources based on their objectives and priorities.
2) Establish and further develop key partnership and collaborative efforts in order to promote a more effective and efficient system of support for our entrepreneurial, business, farming and ranching communities with the development of strategic networking system.
3) Provide support to the economic and community development efforts of other public institutions, nonprofit organizations and private sector entities.
Patricia Trujillo

Patricia Trujillo

Board Member - 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.
David Fernandez

David Fernandez

Board Member - 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.
Camilla Bustamante

Camilla Bustamante

Board Member - 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.
Eli Isaacson

Eli Isaacson

Board Member, Santa Fe County
Eli Isaacson
Judi Cantu

Judi Cantu

Board Member - Town of Taos representative.

Karl Cordova

Karl Cordova

Board Member - 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.
Anna Hansen

Anna Hansen

Santa Fe County Commissioner for District 2
Commissioner Hansen has been an active resident of New Mexico for over 45 years. She earned a Master of Art degree in photography with a minor in art history and a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the University of New Mexico. Commissioner Hansen started a design and consulting business in 1984 and later served as Director of Community Building and Development for Oshara Village, a sustainable village near Santa Fe Community College. In 2009, as art director, she helped establish Green Fire Times, a monthly newspaper with a focus on sustainability.

Commissioner Hansen is passionate about sustainability and committed to establishing connections between constituents and County resources. She currently serves on the following boards: Metropolitan Planning Organization, Buckman Direct Diversion, Santa Fe County Housing Authority, Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Authority, the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area, the Santa Fe County Audit Committee, and as a constituent, she serves on the City of Santa Fe River Commission.

Commissioner Hansen served on numerous local boards including New Mexico State Board of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (2003-2009, Chair 2003-2006), Chair of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (1999-2004) and the City of Santa Fe’s Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Commission (2007-2015).
Doris Rivera
Board Member
Doris Rivera joined the LANL Foundation in 2015 to support and train teachers as part of the professional development component of the ISEC program. She brings experiential science and excitement of learning to children and teachers in Northern New Mexico.

Doris worked with the Smithsonian’s LASERi3 project starting in 2012 where she was a classroom teacher and trainer and participated in the NM Strategic Planning Institute to bring the inquiry science program to the Chama Valley Independent School District. Prior to her work with inquiry learning, Doris taught K–5th grade for 18 years in the Farmington, Santa Fe, and Chama Valley school districts. She received her bachelor’s degree from Adams State University in Alamosa, CO, and her master’s degree in education from the College of Santa Fe. Doris is from Canjilon, NM, where she lives on a ranch with her husband, son, and daughter.
Mary Mascareñas

Mary Mascareñas

Board Member - Community Member, Llano
Samuel Delgado

Samuel Delgado

Board Member - Community Member, Santa Fe
Rosalie Vigil

Rosalie Vigil

Secretary, Board of Directors