Leadership Las Cruces kicks off

May 29th, 2014

Class focuses on economic development and small business

On Good Friday, April 18, the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce kicked off its Leadership Las Cruces Class by focusing on economic development and small business.

The classmates in charge of organizing the event were Brant Adams of Jacobs Technology, Yosef Abraham of the Carrillo Law Firm, Reza Mansouri-Rad of El Paso Electric Co., Russell Blundell of White Sands Missile Range and facilitator from the Leadership Committee Savonne Griffin of FirstLight Federal Credit Union.

The class made a trip to Santa Teresa, where they met with Southwest Steel Coil and were given a tour by its president, Ed Camden. Although most manufactures
were closed due to Good Friday, Camden was too busy to close shop for the day and his staff was hard at work filling orders.

It was enlightening to see all of the steel that is made in Doña Ana County, which is placed into several everyday products currently in households.

Jerry Pacheco joined the tour to talk about the many businesses currently in Santa Teresa and showcased Union Pacific and the massive array of product being moved throughout the state on a daily basis. The class also got an up-close view of the border and work being done in Mexico, which ships its products via truck across to the United States, through the port of entry in Santa Teresa.


After a stop at historic Chope’s for lunch, the group found its way to MFIVE, where Marci Dickerson – owner of MFIVE, Dickerson’s Catering, Sports Skill Institute, Hurricane Alley, The Game Sports Bar & Grill and the future Game 2 – spoke about how she started her business, a barbecue restaurant, out of the family barn and how her businesses have grown throughout the years to encompass more than 150 employees throughout the organizations and the economic impact she has on our county daily.

Throughout the road trip, the bus was divided into teams and participants played games that emphasized economic development, winners of the challenges received gifts from local Chamber members,
even pieces of the space shuttle were given away to contestants on the bus.

The day raised the bar for future leadership classmates to plan a day filled with unknown facts about the county and how exciting it is to be in Las Cruces during this time, in a fun and interactive way.

Once the day concluded, the class spoke about Santa Teresa and how so much is happening in that county that most of the class was unaware of.

On behalf of the leadership committee, the students who planned the leadership day and the board of directors, we would like to thank our guest speakers – Kiel Hoffman, president of Pioneer Bank and chair of MVEDA; Camden; Pacheco; and Dickerson – for taking time out of their busy schedules to inform the class about what is happening in the area. It was extremely enlightening and we appreciate their time and insight.

Next month’s class will focus on health care.