Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Las Cruces Sun-News Movers & Shaker 2022

Every year the Las Cruces Sun News names movers and shakers – people who will shape the community in the coming year. This year we’re proud to have a diverse selection of community members who will hit the headlines in 2022.

These men and women bring bold ideas to the table and cover just about every sector: business, government, sports, education, law enforcement, entertainment. Most are long-time residents, although one has moved here in recent months.

We have dedicated detailed stories to every mover and shaker. Click “Read More” after each paragraph to see how they make a difference.

Nicole Martinez

Managing Director of the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope | Nicole Martinez has been addressing homelessness and the associated needy needy in the community for a decade. With a $ 2.5 million grant available, you can expect that effort to go into hyperdrive. Continue reading.

Hatch's newly elected Mayor Jim

Slim whitlock

Hatch Mayor | James “Slim” Whitlock, a longtime resident and administrator of the Hatch Valley, is best known as a local grocery store owner. In November he was elected mayor. He has some great ideas for this little village. Continue reading.

Morgan Switzer, owner of NM Vintage Market, NM Vintage Wines and Old Barrel Tea Co., is a co-founder of Experience Mesilla.  She is pictured in NM Vintage Wines on Wednesday, December 8, 2021.

Morgan Switzerland

Mesilla business owner and Experience Mesilla founder | Going to Mesilla is a treat for many in Las Cruces, a place to take away guests from out of town or to visit while on vacation. Morgan Switzer wants to change that way of thinking. Going to Mesilla should be addicting and routine, she says. Continue reading.

New Mexico State head coach Jerry Kill plans to win the hearts and minds of southern New Mexico to win games at Aggie Memorial Stadium.  Pictured Sunday November 28, 2021.

Jerry Kill

New Mexico State University soccer coach | It’s rare for the state of New Mexico to spawn a bowl-bound soccer team, and insane new head coach Jerry Kill takes on the challenge. Kill has managed to turn lost programs into winners on the field many times and expects to do the same at Las Cruces. Continue reading.

Kiri Daines, Deputy Police Chief of Las Cruces, is pictured outside Las Cruces City Hall on Friday 3rd December 2021.

Kiri Daines

Deputy Head of Investigation and Support Services for the Las Cruces Police Department | Kiri Daines prefers the term “evolve” to “reform” when talking about changes in law enforcement. She said that reform means that something is broken, which is not necessarily what she sees it. Continue reading.

As a film liaison for Film Las Cruces, Jonathon Sepp markets the area to producers and ensures that they get what they need here.  Pictured Friday December 10, 2021.

Jonathon Sepp

Movie Las Cruces movie link | Movie stars Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis were likely to be in Las Cruces on the same day in 2021, each filming separate projects in town. Jonathon Sepp advises this is just the beginning. Las Cruces could be a Hollywood hotspot in 2022 and beyond. Continue reading.

Wendi Miller-Tomlinson, a PhD in Education, is assistant principal for teaching, learning and research at Las Cruces Public Schools.  Pictured on December 1, 2021.

Wendi Miller-Tomlinson

Deputy Superintendent for Teaching, Learning and Research at Las Cruces Public Schools | Wendi Miller-Tomlinson says there are some “hot topics” in the standards of the social sciences. That’s an understatement. Miller-Tomlinson has helped shape the nationwide revision of the standards and will be at the forefront of how the local district translates these standards into lesson plans. Continue reading.

Scott McLaughlin, Director of Spaceport America, is pictured in front of a replica of the Virgin Galactic VSS Unity spacecraft near the entrance to the spaceport, 20 miles southeast of Truth or Consequences, on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.

Scott McLaughlin

Executive Director of Spaceport America | It could be argued that no other business is as critical to the continued economic success of southern New Mexico as the aerospace industry. Scott McLaughlin, a Mayfield and New Mexico State graduate, is the main litigant on this matter. Continue reading.

Loretta Piña, the executive director of the Mesilla Valley Mall, can be seen at the mall in Las Cruces on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021.

Loretta pineapple

Managing Director of the Mesilla Valley Mall | COVID-19 and related economic uncertainties took their toll on shopping malls across the country. However, the Mesilla Valley Mall has maintained – if not increased – pedestrian traffic amid the pandemic. Loretta Piña chose a local and green company last year to improve the shopping experience. Continue reading.

Xavier Hall, PurLife Retail Manager, is pictured in Las Cruces on Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

Xavier Hall

PurLife National Head of Retail Business | Xavier Hall made his name on the soccer field during high school and college in Las Cruces. Now the former running back hopes to take New Mexico’s fledgling cannabis industry to great heights. Continue reading.

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