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NM EDGE provides leadership program to NM General Service Department employees

SANTA FE ? Forty-four New Mexico General Service Department employees completed a new leadership foundation program conducted by New Mexico EDGE. The participants were recognized during a certificate presentation program recently in Willie Ortiz Auditorium.


NM EDGE, which stands for Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the public sector, is a nationally accredited program administered by New Mexico State University?s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences? Cooperative Extension Service.

?This is the first leadership program we have delivered specifically to a state agency,? said Mary DeLorenzo, NM EDGE program director. ?It is the brainchild of GSD Cabinet Secretary Edwynn Burckle whose vision and commitment to his team laid the foundation for this project.?

With the additional guidance of Loss Prevention Bureau Chief Julia Lanham, who served as a project leader, the program was designed specifically for GSD to meet the goals set by Sec. Burckle.

Among those goals were improved communication, better problem-solving, demonstrative leadership, trust building, empathy and ongoing team building.

?This first leadership development program was a huge success,? Burckle said. ?I could not have been more satisfied with NMSU?s EDGE program and its partnership with us. The planning, delivery and results were top notch.?

This program has allowed NM EDGE to expand its certified public official training opportunities beyond its original partnership with the New Mexico Association of Counties, and the New Mexico Municipal League.

?We have a long history with NM EDGE programs working with county and municipal public servants. This has been a fantastic opportunity to leverage our resources to do a program with state government,? said Jon Boren, College of ACES associate dean and director of CES. ?It is a wonderful platform for us to build upon as we move forward.?

Both Burckle and Boren agree that the training was a win-win situation.

?The fact that 95 percent of the graduates rated the overall program as either good or excellent is phenomenal,? Burckle said. ?The high ratings meant the program hit its bullseye and that?s a direct result of having superb instructors who knew their material and audience, and our participants who saw the benefits of the program and fully embraced them.?

The project involved two cohorts of approximately 25 individuals in each cohort. The participants were all members of the GSD team in a mix of management levels, including some vetted as emerging leaders. Participants were assigned to table teams by Lanham and her colleagues.

The program consisted of a pre- and post-leadership self-assessment, an opening conversation, eight three-hour classes, a closing conversation and team capstone projects. Classes were held February through May 2016 one day per month per cohort. Each day consisted of two classes.

The eight classes came from the New Mexico Certified Public Officials curriculum and included foundations of communication, managing organizational change, developing a professional workplace, successful supervision, ?Congrats? You?re A Leader,? leading others, conflict resolution among employees and managing self for a sustainable career.

?Each table team created a capstone project that was implementable or would be implementable,? DeLorenzo said. ?One of the groups came up with a plan to go paperless and we understand that Sec. Burckle has implemented this plan with all of his division directors. They come to meetings with their iPads. They are not to print a thing and there won?t be a stack of material. During the meeting they go through everything electronically.?

Completing the program were Cynthia Archuleta, employee benefits bureau manager; Teresa Arias, leasing specialist; Karen Baltzley, chief information officer; Christopher Barela, surplus property bureau chief; Peter Barrington, asset management bureau chief; Jim Bordegaray, asset management bureau leasing manager; Chris Cardenas, custodial service manager; Andrea Carey, accounts payable bureau chief; Cindy Carrillo, worker?s compensation adjuster; and James Chavez, deputy director of transportation services.

Also Zella Kay Cox, director of administrative services and chief financial officer; Rod Crawley, property and casualty bureau chief; Travis Dutton-Leyda, procurement specialist ? eProcurement SME; Angela Dawson, human relations bureau chief; Lora Gonzales, account manager supervisor; Tomas Gonzales, facilities operation manager; Mark Hayden, bureau chief for legal matters; Diana Herrera, financial manager.

And Elizabeth Jeffries, real estate property manager; Jennifer Johnson, executive secretary and administrative assistant; Vanessa LeBlanc, procurement specialist; Christopher C. Lee, strategic planning officer; Chris ?Sonny? Lovato, maintenance supervisor; Mary Jo Lujan, alternative dispute resolution bureau chief; John Maldonado, aviation bureau chief; Natalie Martinez, IT procurement specialist; Lawrence Maxwell, director of state purchasing; Teresa Montoya, accounts receivable supervisor.