Chamber names new director

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The Socorro County Chamber of Commerce has named Deb Caldwell to the position of Executive Director, replacing Terry Tadano, who has resigned after serving as the executive director for approximately six years.

Susann Mikkelson/El Defensor Chieftain: Deb Caldwell has been named the new director of the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce. Caldwell poses in front of the Chamber’s guest art wall, featuring work from the 3 Cranes Gallery this month.

“I am very excited about my new position,” Caldwell said. “The Chamber has so many diverse functions in the community. There is a lot to learn.”

Caldwell brings a breadth of experience in technical writing, management and team leadership, including over 25 years with IBM. Caldwell has most recently consulted with IBM, the Food and Drug Administration, and others, as a corporate coach — conducting team development, training and succession planning.

Originally from Socorro, where she graduated high school, Caldwell she left to pursue a university degree at New Mexico State University when she was 18. During her career, she completed a master’s degree in counseling psychology at Santa Clara University in California and worked for two years as the director of Healthy Families Arizona in Tucson.

Caldwell returned to Socorro about four years ago to be close to family, where she has continued her corporate leadership work as a consultant.

Caldwell is also engaged in the community through her service as secretary of the board for Amigos de la Sevilleta, in the San Miguel Church choir and as a guest speaker/lecturer for the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce, Socorro County Consolidated Schools and New Mexico Tech.

Caldwell took over at the chamber on Jan. 6. Tadano is still in the office to help with the transition, including training Caldwell and finalizing some projects.

One of Caldwell’s first priorities — though there are many — is to complete the Socorro Chamber’s annual map of the community. Together with the help of Tadano and Caldwell’s husband, Don, membership lists are being reviewed for accuracy and updates being made.

“I’m looking forward to meeting all of the chamber members over time, to better understand what a dynamic chamber of commerce can do for them.” Caldwell said. “I also hope to further expand our offerings and membership.

“Right now, my head is full of new information.”

Tadano’s plans are a bit up in the air following his departure from the Chamber. He is looking forward to some quiet “retirement” time, and will continue to help the chamber and the city of Socorro where he is able.

“I was getting burnt out, and realized it was time for a change,” Tadano said. “I am very excited about this new leadership. I think a lot of good things will come.”

“Terry has done so much good in this position,” Caldwell said. “I look forward to jumping in and continuing where he left off.”