Travel Update

Safe practices, requirements, and status of tourism businesses in New Mexico.  

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Jen Paul Schroer

Cabinet Secretary

New Mexico Tourism Department

Secretary Jen Paul Schroer was appointed as Secretary of Tourism by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in January 2019. Prior to her appointment to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Cabinet as Tourism Secretary, Jen served as the President & CEO of New Mexico Hospitality Association, where she led the merger of two state level trade associations and went on to pass key legislation to help boost tourism development. Jen helped launch a series of cross-collaborative initiatives that helped bridge business and government to spur economic development, established an endowed scholarship fund for hospitality and tourism students, and enhanced continued learning opportunities for hospitality and tourism professionals by hosting professional development programming at statewide conferences.


Victoria Gregg

Research Director

New Mexico Tourism Department

Victoria Gregg has been the research director for the New Mexico Tourism Department since 2016. Her background includes work within the fields of experimental psychology and education research, and she uses this diverse experience to inform marketing strategy and industry insights for the Tourism Department and its partners. She believes that data can be used to inform every aspect of decision-making at the organizational level.


Russell Wyrick

Executive State Director

New Mexico Small Business Development Center Network

Russell Wyrick, State Director of the New Mexico Small Business Development Center Network comes from an entrepreneurial background and has a long history with the Small Business Development Center program. His first connection was as a client. Following high school, the SBDC worked with him and provided assistance in starting his first business. After many years of successful entrepreneurship, Russell returned to the same SBDC center that had assisted him and began serving as a part-time business advisor. Russell’s passion for the SBDC program has given way to his many accomplishments nationwide. During his tenure at a rural SBDC center in West Plains, Missouri, he worked to transform that center into a high performer for the state. The next accomplishment was at the Best Southwest SBDC in the Dallas, TX area where again, he was instrumental in implementing processes and procedures that transformed a struggling center into a top preforming center for the North Texas SBDC network. In 2013 the Best Southwest SBDC was named SBDC of the Year for that region and Russell was selected as the North Texas State Star. 

During his 14 years of small business ownership, he experienced success in manufacturing and service ventures, performing work for clients such as Dell, Hewlett Packard, Fujitsu, Texaco, Chevron, Hertz, Estee Lauder, Lenovo and Apple, as well as various schools, colleges, local, state and federal government agencies. 

Education

Russell holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management form Northwood University, a Certificate in Financial Management form Cornell University, and is nearing completion of his MBA from Missouri State University.


Ivan Corrales

Deputy District Director

Small Business Administration

Is a native New Mexican who joined the Airforce after graduating high school and retired after 21 years of military service. He has served in the following capacities during his tenure with SBA since 2010; Economic Development Specialist, Business Opportunity Specialist, Veteran Business Development Officer, Small Business Development Center Project Officer, District International Trade Officer, Women Business Center District Office Technical Representative and Emerging Leaders Program Manager.


Shelley Brown

Lender Relations Specialist

Small Business Administration

Supports the lending community with SBA loan programs and regulations. In addition to assisting and training lenders, Shelley will counsel business owners to start, build and grow their businesses. Prior to joining SBA, Shelley worked at USDA Rural Development as a Loan Specialist of the guaranteed Business and housing loan programs. Shelley joined the federal government after serving 25 years in the private sector as a mortgage loan officer and an account manager specializing in training, marketing, sales and finance.


Larry Donahue

PARTNER

Law 4 Small Business

Serving New Mexico, Illinois
Mr. Donahue is a seasoned high-tech business executive and 25-year attorney, with a focus in contracts, negotiations, business transactions, intellectual property and Internet law. He has over 25 years of business development and IT consulting experience. His former clients (as a consultant) ranged from small startups to the Fortune 50, including GE Capital, Bank One, IBM and Amadeus.

Education

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Minor in Economics, New Mexico State University, 1991

Juris Doctor of Law, Concentration in Intellectual Property, Chicago-Kent College of Law, 1995

Bar Admissions

US Patent & Trademark Office, 1994,
Illinois, 1996,
New Mexico, 2005


Vanesa Lewinger

Human Resources Advisor

Law 4 Small Business

Vanesa is an innovative, experienced and self-motivated Human Resources professional, adept at creating and nurturing an employee-oriented culture of professional excellence, focused on goal-attainment, and utilizing a process oriented approach to obtain win-win results. Vanesa has over ten years of progressively responsible Human Resources experience, including employee relations, payroll entry/processing, benefits administration, Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), policies, 401k administration, and workers’ compensation administration.

Education

Bachelor of Science, Bridgewater State College, 2004


Stephanie L. Schaeffer

Associate

Law 4 Small Business

Serving New Mexico
Stephanie focuses her practice in the areas of commercial litigation, real estate law and bankruptcy law. Since 2003, she has represented parties in business litigation and transactions, foreclosure actions, workout negotiations, real estate and lease negotiations and other commercial matters, and represents businesses and individuals in bankruptcy cases.

Education

Juris Doctorate, University of New Mexico School of Law, 2003

Master of Science, New Mexico State University, 1999

Bachelor of Science- Biology, San Jose State University, 1995

Bar Admissions

State of New Mexico 2003U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico 2003


Ian Alden

Associate

Law 4 Small Business

Serving New Mexico
Since his admission to the State Bar of NM in 2015, he has represented individuals and small business clients in a wide variety of matters ranging from personal injury and civil rights litigation to business formations and tax disputes. As a law student at the University of New Mexico working in its Business & Tax Clinic, he got his start helping clients create new businesses or resolve old tax debts with the Internal Revenue Service and the State of New Mexico’s Taxation and Revenue Department. He gained a passion for using the law as a way to lift people up and help them realize their potential. Taking that passion forward, his current practice with L4SB focuses on issues that matter to small businesses at every stage of their development, from startup to liquidation – and everything in between. With an LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University, Mr. Alden specializes in tax law and enjoys helping clients to maximize their tax efficiency through proper choice of entity (or entities) and strategically planned transactions.  Mr. Alden was selected as a 2019 New Mexico Rising Star Award Recipient, a distinction which recognizes no more than 2.5% of attorneys in each state.
In his free time, Mr. Alden enjoys acting and volunteering in the Albuquerque theatre community.

Education

Bachelor of Arts, Theater, University of New Mexico, 2012

Juris Doctor, University of New Mexico School of Law, 2015

Master of Laws, Taxation, Boston University, 2017

Bar Admissions

New Mexico, 2015


Kathy Komoll

CEO, New Mexico Hospitality Association

The New Mexico Hospitality Association is the state’s number one non-profit resource for travel, tourism and lodging stakeholders.  Prior to joining NMHA in 2018, she served as the Executive Director for the New Mexico Association of Food Banks, was a Vice President of Real Estate, Community & Government Relations for Furr’s Supermarkets, and was the owner of Avanti Corporate Services.  She has a degree in English literature, a strong background in organizational management, and is a trained facilitator and certified mediator.

Kathy has worked in every county in New Mexico (and loves all of them), will fight anyone who says New Mexico chile isn’t the best, has read every Hillerman novel (Tony and Anne), and is currently “researching” New Mexico wines from across the state.


Ricky Serna

Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS)

Ricky Serna is a first-generation college graduate from Española, NM. He earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership, both from New Mexico Highlands University. He has worked in public education for more than a dozen years, most recently as the interim president at Luna Community College, where he successfully led an effort to overcome significant accreditation and governance challenges. He also served as the Vice President for Advancement at Northern New Mexico College and spent nearly five years with the New Mexico Higher Education Department, providing field oversight for a statewide project that aimed to increase student graduation rates within 21 school districts. Ricky has served on the New Mexico Highlands University Board of Regents, the Las Vegas City Schools Board of Education, New Mexico’s ACT Council, the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation, and as president of the Española Valley Chamber of Commerce Board.

In his role as Deputy Secretary, Ricky provides oversight for:

  • DWS’s 23 field offices across the state
  • Economic Research and Analysis department which is responsible for reporting the state’s labor market data to the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Communications, Marketing and Government Affairs
  • The Training Department which conducts workshops on various workforce-related topics to communities and organizations across the state