Officers and Board Members
Dr. Carmen Gonzales President of the SFCC Foundation board, Dr. Gonzales, serves on the Executive and the Leadership and Board Development Committees. Formerly vice president of Student Success at SFCC, Dr. Gonzales currently serves as the principal investigator for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program. She also serves on the board of directors of the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation, which awards grants and scholarships to teachers and student teachers. Dr. Gonzales was formerly vice president for Student Success and a faculty member in in the College of Education at New Mexico State University, where she also worked in the College of Extended Learning.
Dr. Martha Romero is an elected member of the SFCC Governing Board and serves as a Governing Board representative to the SFCC Foundation. She is vice chair, and also serves on the Leadership and Board Development Committee. Dr. Romero was president of a community college in California, and established several leadership development institutes in California. She is the founding director of the Community College Leadership Development Initiative at Claremont Graduate University and taught graduate seminars in Organizational Development at the University of Colorado, University of New Mexico, and Claremont Graduate University. She served as vice president of Instruction at Pikes Peak Community College and president and superintendent of Siskiyou Joint Community College District. She now serves on the board of Everest College in Phoenix, a private for-profit college, and is a member of the SIAS University Foundation, an American university in rural China.
Stephen Gaber Treasurer and Chair of the Finance & Investment Committee Stephen Gaber was a founder and CEO of the Investment Counseling division of Mesirow Financial. A Chicago native, he worked at Mesirow from 1972 to 1996, when he retired and moved to Santa Fe. President of the Doris Goodwin Walbridge Foundation, he was a board member and treasurer of the Santa Fe Community Foundation from 2003 to 2008 and 2011 to 2016 and board member and treasurer for the Con Alma Health Foundation from 2008 to 2014. He earned a BS from Washington University and an MBA from the University of California-Berkeley.
Ms. Patricia McNeill serves as secretary and is a member of the Executive and the Leadership and Board Development Committees. She had a 25-year career in fundraising, working as a consultant to nonprofit organizations on grant writing and capital campaigns. Ms. McNeill previously was vice president for Development at Sonoma State University and worked at three universities in the California State University system. She has a BA in Art History from Mills College, an MA in Art and Education from Columbia University Teacher’s College, and a MAT in Music Education from George Washington University.
Ms. Elise Arena co-chairs the Leadership and Board Development committee. She has vast experience in diplomatic service and has worked in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and North Africa. She has served on numerous boards, including Glen Echo Park Partnership of Arts and Culture in Maryland, Art Perspectives International, the National China Garden Foundation, and the U.S. National Arboretum. She earned a BA from Hunter College, an MPA from American University, and she also studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, the Université de Paris-Sorbonne, Instituto Cultural de Guadalajara, and the Universidad Iberoamericana.
Edwin Barker is Co-chair of the advisory committee for Science on a Sphere® at SFCC. He spent more than 40 years as a planetary astronomer with the McDonald Observatory and five years at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, for which he still consults. He has published and presented papers on all the objects in our solar system, the space environment, 50+ comets, asteroids, and extra-solar planets. He volunteers as a math and biology mentor at Capital High School and served for six years on the board of Menaul School in Albuquerque. Mr. Barker’s degrees are from New Mexico State University, Kansas University, and the University of Texas- Austin.
Sandy Zane and her husband Ned Bennett own Zane Bennett Contemporary Art. Ms. Zane is an accomplished artist and has exhibited her prints and paintings in more than 25 solo, juried, group, and invitational exhibitions, primarily in New York and New Mexico. She has served on the board of the NMSU Foundation, and currently serves on the boards of Creative Santa Fe and Creative Startups. In 2012, Ms. Zane was a Remarkable Woman Honoree of the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Ms. Zane and Mr. Bennett are philanthropists, contributing to Alzheimer’s research, the Safety Foundation of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and to Santa Fe-area educational and arts organizations, including the New Mexico Museum Foundation and the New Mexico School for the Arts. Ms. Zane earned a BA in Arts Administration from Bard College.
Dr. Cecilia Y.M. Cervantes is interim president of the Santa Fe Community College. Most recently, Dr. Cervantes worked as a consultant in curriculum development at the Minneapolis Public Schools. From 2008-2015, Dr. Cervantes was president of Hennepin Technical College, the largest technical college in Minnesota. She was president of the College of Alameda from 2002-2008 in Alameda, California, and associate vice president for Lifelong Learning and Career Technical Education at El Paso Community College from 1998-2002. She was provost for the Transmountain Campus El Paso Community College District from 1998-1999, chief instructional officer at Doña Ana Community College in Las Cruces from 1994-1998, vice president of Academic Affairs at Western New Mexico University from 1992-1994, and dean of Continuing Education and dean of Arts and Humanities at the Community College of Denver from 1989-1992.
Dr. Cervantes has also served as director of federal projects at Community of Denver, director for the National Early Childhood Bilingual Multicultural Resource Center (Head Start) for Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, assistant professor of reading and coordinator for bilingual education at Metropolitan State University-Denver, and reading coordinator for the Right to Read Project at the Denver Public Library. Dr. Cervantes has a PhD from the University of Colorado and an MA and BA from the University of Texas-El Paso.
Ms. Deborah Boldt, is the executive director for the SFCC Foundation and serves as an ex officio member of the board. She also serves on the Executive, Finance, and Leadership and Board Development Committees. Ms. Boldt spent 25 years in national and international fundraising and program development, and has worked in Brazil, Argentina, and India. She was a program officer for the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation and for the Con Alma Health Foundation. She has an MPA from Antioch University and studied studio art at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and at the Instituto Allende.
Natalie Fitz-Gerald was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and came to the United States in 1981. Her professional experience includes positions with South African Airways, Computer Sciences South Africa, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Mathison & Hollidge, Century Capital Associates, and Aeon (Pty) Ltd. Ms. Fitz-Gerald consulted for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, later becoming a bank director there. She helped form Nozala Investments, a women’s economic empowerment corporation. She founded and co-designed Luc Benoit Designer Accessories, and later Casa Nova Gallery in Santa Fe.
Ms. Fitz-Gerald serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Museum, the LongHouse Foundation, the Museum of Arts and Design (formerly the American Craft Museum), the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, the Center for Contemporary Arts, Leadership Santa Fe, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and the Women’s International Study Center. Natalie also advises for the Santa Fe Community Foundation Development Committee, the La Familia Medical Center Development Committee, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Advisory Board. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and later received advanced degrees from the London Business School and the Stanford University School of Business.
George Gamble, is an elected member of the SFCC Governing Board and serves as a Governing Board representative to the SFCC Foundation. He is a retired cultural anthropologist from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he worked mainly in public health and medical research. Mr. Gamble served on the Santa Fe County Health Policy and Planning Board, and has served as a volunteer tutor in the public schools. He completed his BA at Long Island University and his PhD at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In the midst of his education, George served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, Africa, where he helped build rural schools and teacher housing.
Serves as a member of the Art on Campus Action Committee. Dean of School of Liberal Arts; School of Arts, Design, and Media Arts. Came to SFCC in 1997 as Chair of Social Sciences and Humanities to teach introductory psychology courses. Community college-level administrative, counseling and teaching experience spanning over 25 years with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Vince Kadlubek is CEO of Meow Wolf, the immersive art installation in Santa Fe attracting attention from around the world. Mr. Kadlubek oversees 150 employees and raised $7 million to further grow and develop Meow Wolf. He not only launched three new businesses in 2016 and 2017, but he is also chair of the Santa Fe Planning Commission.
Mr. Fred Nugent financial expertise includes managing a departmental budget in excess of $26 million, and he has extensive and comprehensive domestic and international legal and business experience. He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, and he earned a juris doctor from Seton Hall University.
Danika Padilla leads the social and corporate responsibility planning for Meow Wolf as its director of Community Development, engaging local stakeholders and fostering long-term community relationships across all of Meow Wolf’s locations, including Santa Fe, Las Vegas, and Denver. Danika has a decade of political activism, fundraising, and nonprofit experience. Previously, she served as managing director at Rio Strategies and on the South Central Finance team of Hillary for America, traveling across Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas engaging supporters. Originally from Washington, Danika has a BS in Environmental Science from Washington State University.
Mr. Regis Pecos serves on the Leadership and Board Development Committee. He served multiple terms as lieutenant governor and governor of the Cochiti Pueblo, as well as on the traditional Tribal Council for 30 years. Mr. Pecos was chief executive of the New Mexico Office of Indian Affairs, chief of staff for Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives and Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs Ben Lujan. He was co-director for the New Mexico Leadership Institute and Indigenous Think Tank and faculty at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Mr. Pecos has published articles on subjects including education, environment, health, indigenous customary laws and governance, Pueblo language and culture, land tenure, water rights, and Indian policy and laws. Mr. Pecos has a BA from Princeton University, an MA from the University of California-Berkeley, and he attended Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Controller of the Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority. Graduate of University of New Mexico, active certified public accountant. Former CFO for the New Mexico Community Foundation.
Adam Stramel serves on the Finance Committee. He works as a vice president of Commercial Lending at New Mexico Bank and Trust. He has a BBA with a concentration in Finance from New Mexico State University and an MBA from the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management.
Jeff Szabat is a senior vice president and Retail manager with Century Bank, and has 34 years of banking experience. Before joining Century Bank in 2002, Mr. Szabat worked for Bank of America and its predecessors for 18 years, rising through the ranks from commercial teller to Santa Fe market president. Mr. Szabat has participated in many community activities, including volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, Santa Fe Plaza Painting, and scholarship fundraising events. He has served on nonprofit boards including the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, The Food Depot, and the Santa Fe American Little League. His BS is in Economics from Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Leona Zastrow serves on the Leadership and Board Development Committee. She is the founder and president of American Indian Art Appraisals, and is a member of the Appraisers Association of America. She was president of Secondary and Higher Education at St. Catherine Indian School and a visiting associate professor at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Zastrow has been both director of Native American Studies and director of Development at the College of Santa Fe. Previously, Dr. Zastrow served on the board of the National Art Education Association, the Kennedy Center for Arts Education, the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, and the Rotary Del Sur Foundation.
Mr. Richard Abeles, J.D., served as board president, as well as having served on the Executive, Finance and Investment, Leadership, Philanthropy, and Board Development committees. Mr. Abeles co-founded the Santa Fe Children’s Museum and has served on many local boards including the Metropolitan Water Board. He received his BA in Physics from Amherst College and his juris doctor from Harvard Law School.
Dr. Rachel Belash served as vice president of the board and chair of the Philanthropy Committee, and now chairs the board of the Mountain Cloud Zen Center. Her eclectic career includes teaching Spanish and Latin American Literature at Dartmouth and Vassar Colleges, Head of School at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, CT, and vice president of the Trust Division at Bank of America. She is a tutor for Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe, and previously served on the board of United World College USA. Her BA and MA are from the University of Oxford and her PhD is in Latin American Studies from the University of Kentucky.
Ms. Carole Brito served as chair of the Leadership and Board Development Committee. She now serves on the board of directors of the Santa Fe Community Foundation. Retired from New Mexico Highlands University, she spent 30 years as a K-graduate level educator. She is also founder and president of the consulting firm LEAD: Leadership, Education, Assessment and Development for Excellence. Ms. Brito has a BS from the University of New Mexico and an MA in Educational Administration from Highlands.
Dr. Robert Glick served on the Leadership and Board Development Committees. He is a former executive director of the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation. Dr. Glick earned his doctorate in Comparative Literature from Indiana University. He was a professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati, the University of Maryland, and a Visiting Fellow at Yale University.
Ms. Nancy Witter served on the Philanthropy Committee. A retired clinical psychologist, she has served on numerous professional and nonprofit boards in Santa Fe. She was a Phi Beta Kappa scholarship recipient, and earned a BS from the University of Iowa and an MS from Purdue University.