Meet Our Board of Directors
New Mexico Community Foundation (NMCF) Board of Directors is a volunteer group of community leaders and professionals with a deep passion for philanthropy and a commitment to the people and places of New Mexico. Their unique and diverse interests, vision, and experience provide inspired leadership on vital issues that impact all New Mexicans.
Read on to learn about Board members’ community work in New Mexico and beyond and to hear why they choose to serve NMCF.
Bruce Bleakman is a partner in REDW, The Rogoff Firm, New Mexico’s largest public accounting firm. With more than 20 years of experience in public accounting, he specializes in serving tribal governments and enterprises and has worked with tribes and pueblos in New Mexico, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, California, and Washington State. Bleakman is a nationally recognized speaker on corporate governance and audit independence issues and serves on the Albuquerque Public Schools audit committee and the investment committee of the nonprofit American Indian Graduate Center in Albuquerque.
Laura Hall, Vice Chair
Laura Hall is a senior portfolio manager with REDW Stanley providing investment advice to individuals, corporations, and pension clients. She is a voting member and Secretary for the REDW Stanley Investment Committee. Hall joined REDW Stanley after years of experience as a financial analyst and relationship manager with various major brokerage firms and financial institutions. Hall holds the IMCA Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) certification and the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation. She is a member of the CFA Institute, Investment Management Consultants Association, Financial Planning Association, and New Mexico Estate Planning Council. Hall has served as Chair of the firm’s United Way Campaign for three years after being a member of the Committee for a number of years. She also served as the Secretary and Vice Chairman of the Board of Public Accountancy for the state of New Mexico.
David S. Henkel, Ph.D.; CHAIR
Santa Fe, NM
David S. Henkel is Professor Emeritus of Community and Regional Planning at the University of New Mexico where he taught for 24 years, specializing in Natural Resources and Environmental Planning, Rural Community Development, and International Development. Previously he served the State of New Mexico as Director of Economic Development, Director of International Trade, chief planner for the NM office of the Southwest Border Regional Commission, and as a specialist in alternative energy. Dr. Henkel holds a doctoral degree in the Sociology of International Development and two degrees in South Asia Regional Studies. Living in northern New Mexico since 1975, he currently resides in Santa Fé. He has and continues to serve on the Program and Grants Committee of NMCF.
JoAnn Melchor, Secretary
Santo Domingo Pueblo, NM
JoAnn Melchor is from Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico and has extensive experience working with youth, parents, and communities throughout New Mexico, the U.S., and Latin America. She currently is Development Director of Keres Children’s Learning Center in Cochiti Pueblo and has served as Executive Director of Southwest Youth Services, a nonprofit based at the Native American Community Academy campus in Albuquerque, NM. Their mission is to provide positive youth development through educational, health and wellness, and youth leadership components in partnership with Native American communities and organizations. Melchor is a lifelong volunteer and advocate for programs and educational activities that promote the well-being of children and positive development of communities. Melchor serves on several boards in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
Cochiti Pueblo, NM
Regis Pecos was born, raised, and is a lifelong member and resident of Cochiti Pueblo. A member of the Cochiti Tribal Council for 28 years, he served numerous times as Lt. Governor and Governor. Pecos was one of the first Native Americans elected to a New Mexico local school board. He also served on the Board of the Santa Fe Indian School and chaired the Board for 15 years. He co-founded the New Mexico Leadership Institute, a Think Tank for native people, and has served in a number of US congressionally appointed positions.
Pecos is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the Honoring Nations at Harvard University and serves as a senior advisor and faculty to the Native Nations Institute of the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona. He recently received an appointment to the School of Public Policy as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico, where he has taught. He is also the only Native American member of the New Mexico Judicial Evaluation Commission, an appointment he received by the New Mexico State Supreme Court. He is also a member of the Board of the New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty.
Pecos, for 16 years, was the longest serving Executive Director of the New Mexico Indian Affairs Office. He has also received two New Mexico distinguished public service awards. He was Chief of Staff to the late Speaker Ben Lujan, serving in that position for 12 years. In January of 2013, Pecos became the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Majority Office in the New Mexico House of Representatives and the Chief of Staff to the Majority Floor Leader. He is also is the author of a number of publications about Pueblo language, Pueblo culture, federal Indian law and policies, environmental management, education, economic development, and water rights.
Santa Fe, NM
Originally from New York City, Kenneth Pin is the son of immigrants from Shanghai, China. At Hunter College, Pin majored in History and minored in Sociology. Pin moved to New Mexico in 1992 and attained a Master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning at the University of New Mexico in 2000.
Pin has worked as a Planner with Santa Fe County Land Use Department and as the Planning and Grants Officer for the Northern Pueblos Housing Authority working with the Pueblos of Taos, San Ildefonso, Picuris, and Tesuque. Thus began his association working in Indian Country. Pin’s primary responsibilities were to draft the Indian Housing Plans, in order to attain block grant funds from HUD.
Pin moved onto the Santo Domingo Tribe in 2003 as their Tribal Planner and eventually their Planning Director, staying on until 2014. From there Pin moved to the Pueblo of Isleta in an administrative capacity as their Public Services Director. Next, Pin served as Tribal Administrator at the Pueblo of Cochiti overseeing 7 programs.
Las Vegas, NM
Based in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Marshall Poole is a media producer and technical director of some of the country’s largest conventions. He was a founding board member and past president of the Northeastern (New Mexico) Regional Community Foundation. Poole is Interim President of the Animal Welfare Coalition of Northeastern New Mexico and liaison to Animal Protection New Mexico. He has been a volunteer and board member of a number of not-for-profit organizations. He is recipient of numerous awards, including the “Service Above Self” award from the Rotary District that comprises New Mexico.
Nancy Pope has more than 14 years of nonprofit program officer, operations, and fundraising experience in health and human services work. She is the current Manager of Operations and Program Manager for Presbyterian Center for Community Health. In her past, she has served as Vice President of Development for Adelante Development Center and Storehouse NM, as well as the Founder and Executive Director of New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger. In addition, as an independent consultant, she has assisted several community-based and state-based programs that addressed hunger: by providing strategic direction, operational planning, program development and management, and programming assistance and policy work, as well as directing fund development, writing statewide plans, and developing a granting process for a major corporation.
Pope’s first career was in the Investment Industry for over 20 years. She has served on numerous nonprofit Boards and Advisory Committees. Pope earned a M.B.A. from Loyola University in Chicago and B.A. in Marketing from Michigan State University.
Robert Otto Valdez, Ph.D.; former Chair
Robert Otto Valdez, Ph.D. is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Professor of Family & Community Medicine and Economics and conducts policy analyses and research at the University of New Mexico, where he serves as the Executive Director of the RWJF Center for Health Policy. He is an adjunct Senior Health Scientist at RAND and a Senior Fellow at Emory University’s Institute for Advanced Policy Solutions. He is internationally recognized as an expert on health services research methodology, the U.S. health care system, and health policy analysis. In 1998, Dr. Valdez served as Senior Advisor to the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. From 1993 to 1997, he served in a dual capacity at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Public Health Service and Director of Interagency Health Policy, Health Care Financing Administration. Prior to joining the Department of Health and Human Services, he served as a Senior Advisor to the White House on health care reform.
Santa Fe, NM
Tess Wilkes joined the NMCF board in 2016 and is happy to serve NMCF as a board member based in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she was born and raised. Since graduating from UNM Law School in 2012, Wilkes has held various public interest legal roles, serving clients from farmworkers to survivors of domestic violence throughout the state. Wilkes is currently a staff attorney at Santa Fe Dreamers’ Project. Wilkes is also the proud wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin and friend of fellow New Mexicans making great contributions to our state.