Rising Together Vision Council

The Vision Council develops the overall vision for Rising Together initiatives by making recommendations about strategy, advocating for funders, policymakers, and the public at large.

Vision Council Purpose

The Vision Council serves in an advisory capacity for Rising Together.  

Members of the Vision Council pledge their individual and organizational support to the vision and goals of Rising Together and commit to work in alignment through their respective organizations and in collaboration with other partners to advance the strategies of the initiative.

2022-2023 Vision Council

  • Teresa Salazar – Vision Council Chair, Superintendent, Moriarty-Edgewood School District
  • Barbara Balik, RN, Ed.D., Healthcare Consultant, Aefina Partners
  • Tonna Burgos, Retired Educator, Rio Ranco Public Schools
  • Danielle Casey, President, Albuquerque Economic Development
  • Scott Elder, Superintendent, Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Del Esparza, President, Esparza Advertising
  • Myers Godwin, Albuquerque Director of Development, NDI New Mexico
  • Charles Griego, Mayor, Village of Los Lunas
  • Billy Gupton, Senior Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
  • Jessica Hernandez, Attorney, Kennedy, Hernandez, & Associates, P.C.
  • Elizabeth Kistin Keller, Ph.D., First Lady of Albuquerque
  • Diana Lopez, Health Promotion Specialist, New Mexico Department of Health
  • Reina Martinez, Special Project Coordinator Bernalillo County, Department of Behavioral Health Services
  • Angela Merkert, Ed.D., Retired Executive Director, CLNKids
  • Joshua Parsons, CFO, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Rodney Prunty, President and CEO, United Way of North Central New Mexico
  • Natalie Romero, Director of Learning Services, Moriarty-Edgewood School District
  • Nireata Seals, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success, Central New Mexico Community College
  • Danette Townsend, Executive Director, ABC Community Schools
  • Garnett Stokes, President, University of New Mexico

For more information or to learn about joining the Vision Council, contact Senior Director of Community Impact Sonya Lara.

Vision Council Spotlight

Del Esparza

Del Esparza, founder and CEO of Esparza Digital + Advertising was nominated and appointed by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington to serve on the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Denver Branch, the governing bank of New Mexico. 

In this role, Del will confer on developments in industry & the economy and oversee the Bank’s operations and policies. Del and the directors are also responsible for establishing the Bank’s discount rate, subject to review and determination by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Rising Together INITIATIVE

Healthy Beginnings and School Readiness
All children and families in central New Mexico launch a path to school success at birth.

K-12 Learning
All students in central New Mexico develop grade-appropriate learning skills on time.

Post-High School Readiness
All students in central New Mexico develop a post-high school plan that leads to a career pathway in which they thrive.

Adults in Education
All adults in central New Mexico have the resources needed to connect to a postsecondary pathway.

Community Resilience
Basic needs are met for all individuals in central New Mexico.



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