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Source: WESST Press Release2008 PNM Entrepreneurial Leadership Award Winners

award winners

Albuquerque, NM | June 20, 2008 – 

This year’s entrepreneurial award winners are all from outside of Albuquerque, a clear indication of the vibrancy of rural businesses in New Mexico.From Silver City to Santa Fe, these business owners have proven that a well designed and executed business plan can succeed outside of major metropolitan areas.

PNM and WESST started the Entrepreneurial Leadership Awards Program in 2000 to acknowledge entrepreneurial excellence in New Mexico.The program is designed to honor some of our state’s most successful women and minority-owned small and micro businesses who are frequently excluded from traditional awards programs.

Entrepreneurial Advocate: Roy Miller
State Director, New Mexico Small Business Development Center
Roy has served as State Director of the New Mexico Small Business Development Center (NMSBDC) network since August, 1996. He currently serves as a Board member of the New Mexico Rural Alliance, a member of the Board of Directors of the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University (NMSU), a member of the New Mexico Economic Development Department’s Certified Incubator Advisory Board and a Board Executive Committee member of the Association of Commerce & Industry. Under Roy’s leadership the NMSBDC has grown from 18 local offices to 24 full-time locations. The NMSBDC annual budget has grown from $1.1 million to $5.7 million in State and Federal funding under his tenure as State Director. Roy is a tireless advocate for small business in New Mexico.
Award Sponsor: WESST

Leadership Award: Neil Hise, Ty Juana Hise, Jennifer Hise, Aneile Cummins
CEMCO – Belen,NM
CEMCO is a 3rd generation family-owned and operated New Mexico business that has established itself as the worldwide leader in VSI Rock Crushing Technology. CEMCO is not only a leader in their industry but a leader by example for business in Valencia County. CEMCO makes over a million dollars of purchases from other New Mexico businesses annually. Their commitment to an educated, safe and community-involved workforce is exceptional. Not only does this company generate millions of dollars of revenue, it gives back to many community organizations, donating time and money.
Award Sponsor: Technology Ventures Corporation.

Rising Star Award: Michele (Mickey) Rogers
Pet Suites, Inc – Santa Fe, NM
Mickey Rogers is the kind of person who goes above and beyond for family, friends and clients. She donates her money, time, talents and merchandise to almost anyone who has a legitimate need. This, from a single mom with severe health problems who is considered legally disabled. Mickey started “Critter Sitters”, a pet sitting business which grew to over 2,000 clients and ultimately led to the creation of “Pet Suites, Inc.”, a state-of-the-art pet boarding and grooming business. Pet Suites, Inc. has increased 600% in its first two years of operation and employs 6 full-time and 3 part-time employees, several of whom are disabled. The plan for the business is to next open a second location and eventually form a national franchise.
Award Sponsor: Intel Corporation

Pioneer Entrepreneur Award: Nicole Villareal
Tre Taglio Homes – Rio Rancho, NM
As a woman who has defied the barriers women face in some parts of society, Nicole Villareal has worked her way through such male-dominated fields as the local fire department and now into the construction field. Through on the job training as an employee in a construction firm to owning and operating her own home building company, Nicole is a pioneer in her own right. Nicole’s many skills including design, electrical knowledge, tile design, painting and finishes, bookkeeping, contract review and sales have given Tre Taglio Homes its foundation for success. Not only is Nicole the owner/operator, but is also a wife and mother of 2 children under the age of two.
Award Sponsor: Irwin Union Bank

Emerging Entrepreneur Award: Elisa Dry
Tumbledown Gymnastic Studios – Santa Fe, NM
Starting as the sole teacher traveling with her gymnastics equipment to various venues, Elisa Dry sought to expand her business to a more permanent set up. Seeking out the help available to small businesses, she followed the advice given her by business development agencies and methodically has built her business to form her own studio. Tumbledown Gymnastic Studios holds 27 classes per week including a class for children with Down’s Syndrome and a class for deaf students. Future plans include expanding the facility and programs to offer 40 classes per week, expand training programs for gymnastic coaches, provide more classes to children with special needs and to offer training to teenagers pursuing collegiate cheerleading.
Award Sponsor: Modrall Law Firm

Rural Entrepreneur Award: Karen Carr
Karen Carr Studios – Silver City, NM
As a HUB-Zone and SBA registered woman-owned business in a rural area, Karen Carr has certainly gone the distance with her enterprise. A wildlife and natural history artist and illustrator, Karen is a business woman working with museums, publications and corporations worldwide. From illustration to museum displays, her studio has worked on projects for the Smithsonian Institution, the Audubon Society, Random House and Harper Collins among others. With a web-based project management system that she developed, Karen and her staff of 4 full-time employees and 5 interns are able to work with clientele and deliver material electronically. Karen also works with high school and college students, giving pro bono classes and offering intern positions in her studio.
Award Sponsor: The Loan Fund

Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Silvia Terrazas
Multiservicios SISA, Paleteria La Reyna Michoacana, Video Exitos 1& 2 – Las Cruces, NM
When Silvia Terrazas first came to this country, although she only spoke Spanish, she had a strong desire to open a business. She wanted to own a video rental business as she had previously in Mexico. Silvia began by looking to WESST for business and financial assistance. With a start-up loan from WESST in 2000, Silvia launched Video Exitos, Inc. in Las Cruces. Silvia Terrazas exemplifies a true entrepreneur—facing adversity and pursuing her goals with tenacity. She has grown a business while dealing with a language barrier and a handicapped child. Along with video rentals, Silvia now also operates a mercado selling an array of products, offers money transfer services and has added a paleteria (ice cream shop). Over seven years, she has expanded her business four times and has two locations with nine full-time and seven part-time employees.
Silvia Terrazas is a savvy businesswoman who believes in providing quality merchandise at reasonable prices for her customers. She not only provides jobs to local residents but motivates them to grow with the business. Silvia knows her community and meets their needs, but is always thinking of new ways to increase business and improve the quality of life in the Las Cruces community.
Award Sponsor: La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe

WESST (www.wesst.org) is a non-profit economic development organization with offices in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Gallup, Rio Rancho, Roswell and Las Cruces. The organization provides training, consulting and loans to entrepreneurs across New Mexico as well as business incubation services to members of the WESST Enterprise Center in Albuquerque.