Finding a suitable replacement for Socorro County Manager Delilah Walsh was the main order of business at the Board of County Commissioners’ bi-monthly meeting on Tuesday. The list of qualified candidates was finalized at a special meeting June 5 at the county annex building.
Interviews were conducted during special meetings Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.
The selected six candidates for the first round of interviews were:
• Jhonathan M. Aragon of Los Lunas. Experience: Currently serves as a Valencia County Commissioner since 2013 where he also serves as the statewide representative to the National Association of Counties Board of Directors. He has been employed as a Veterinary Assistant since 2006. Education: Associates Degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences/Psychology.
• James W. Green of Santa Fe and Socorro. Experience: Served with the State of New Mexico for over 23 years working in various management and executive positions including Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Chief Financial Officer with NM Department of Health, Operations Manager with the Department of Finance and Administration, Auditor with the NM Energy Minerals & Natural Resources Department as well as professional experience with NM Human Services Department and NM Department of Transportation. Most recently Green, a native of Socorro, served as Tax Administrator for the Pueblo of Tesuque. Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Business Management.
• Michael A. Hawkes of San Antonio. Experience: Over 26 years of management and executive level experience. Hawkes currently works as a project manager at the NMT/EMRTC First Responders Training Program. Hawkes also served as Executive Director at El Ranchito de Los Ninos, an education and health services program for children and as the Executive Director of the Alamo Navajo School Board, Inc. for over 11 years. Hawkes also served with the NM State Police for 24 years, retiring as Deputy Chief/Inspector. Education: Associates Degree in Criminology, Bachelor’s degree in General Studies/Psychology, and master’s degree in Public Administration.
• Lindsey D. Lopez of San Antonio. Experience: Over 10 years of program and executive management experience and an avid volunteer in the Socorro Community. Currently serves as the Center Director for Head Start – Early Childhood Education for Socorro County. Lopez has also worked as an occupational therapist, rehabilitation program director and business development specialist. Education: Associates Degree in Occupational Therapy, Bachelor’s Degree of Holistic Health, Master’s Degree in Public Health and currently pursuing a Doctorate in education.
• Ronnita M. Montoya of Polvadera. Experience: Over 15 years of experience at Socorro Electric Cooperative where she is currently employed as the Accounting Department Supervisor, a position she has held for the last three years. She also has a background in ArcGIS software and IT development. Education: Bachelor’s Degree in General Business with a minor in marketing.
• Theresa A. Rivera-Rosales of Socorro. Experience: Rivera-Rosales is the only internal candidate and currently serves as Socorro County’s Director of the Community Alternatives Program & DWI Misdemeanor Compliance Office. She is an avid community volunteer and she has a background in corrections, substance abuse treatment, human resources management, office management and bookkeeping. Education: Associates Degree in Criminal Justice, Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice/Psychology and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration.
Walsh will be leaving Socorro County in July to work for the City of Las Cruces.
As of press time at noon on Wednesday, no announcement had been made by the county commission on who the next county manager would be.