NMSU, NM EDGE celebrates milestone in certified public official program

New Mexico State University's picture

Date: 02/07/2018
Writer: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, jmoorman@nmsu.edu

SANTA FE – The New Mexico EDGE graduation ceremony at the New Mexico Association of Counties’ Legislative Conference on Jan. 18 marked a milestone for the nationally accredited program administered by New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service.



The latest graduating class of New Mexico EDGE County College was honored at the New Mexico Association of Counties’ Legislative Conference in Santa Fe. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

Ten years ago, the first group of New Mexico public officials were honored for completion of the Certified Public Official designation.

“We had 19 CPO graduates in January 2008, of which most were county clerks,” said Mary DeLorenzo, program director for NM EDGE, which stands for Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the public sector. “Since that date, approximately 350 county, municipal and state officials have completed the first tier of the certified public manager training.

In association with founding partner NMAC, and its affiliations, the program has grown during the last 14 years to include three certified public official designations and 11 affiliation certifications. Approximately 675 individual certifications have been awarded in a variety of designations.

“Our counties are on the cutting edge,” DeLorenzo said. “They are the ones that developed this program. They’re the ones that started this program and 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 science, 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.”

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 nmedge.nmsu.edu.

Receiving certification diplomas during the closing luncheon of NMAC’s annual conference were:
– Bernalillo County: Mona Chewiwi, senior tax researcher, certified treasury official.
– Chaves County: Cindy Fuller, bureau of election chief, certified county clerk; and Dave Kunko, county clerk; certified county clerk.
– Dona Ana County: Nelson Goodin, county attorney, certified advocate in public ethics.
– Eddy County: Roxann Brannon, human resource director, certified public supervisor; Rick Rudometkin, county manager, certified advocate in pubic ethics.
– Guadalupe County: Monica Abeyta, project manager, certified public supervisor and certified advocate in pubic ethics; and Rose Fernandez, finance director and chief procurement officer, certified public supervisor.
– Lea County: Carrie Sandoval, bureau of elections administrator, certified public. supervisor; Cresley Spears, records technologist, certified public official; and Kelli Lynn Williams, recording secretary, certified public official.
– Lincoln County: Joe P. Kenmore, office of emergency services director, certified public official.
– Los Alamos County: Naomi Maestas, county clerk, certified public supervisor and certified county clerk.
– Otero County: Rachel Black, chief deputy treasurer, certified treasury official; and Laura Whiteside, county treasurer, certified public official and certified treasury official.
– Sandoval County: Josephine Romeo, tax researcher and manufactured home specialist, certified public official.
– Santa Fe County: Ivan Barry, quality control data analyst, certified public official; Renee Cedillo, delinquent tax system specialist; certified treasury official; Richard Francisco, fleet specialist, certified public official, Dean Kitchens, auto part technician, certified public official; Brianna Lury, payroll accounting specialist, certified public official; and Kimberly Martinez, department administrator, certified public supervisor.
– Taos County: Natalie Evans, GIS technician, certified public supervisor; and Orlando Marquez, appraiser, certified public supervisor and certified public assessment officer.
– Torrance County: Danielle Berrien, Cooperative Extension family and consumer science and 4-H agent, certified extension professional.
– State of New Mexico Public Education Department: Evelyn Valencia, accounting supervisor, certified public supervisor.

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