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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.

2024 Vision Council

We welcome Abhishek Mehta, MBA as the newest Co-Chair of the vision council

View his spotlight below.

  • Teresa Salazar | Vision Council Education Co-Chair | Chief Operating Officer, Cooperative Educational Services
  • Abhishek Mehta | Vision Council Business Co-Chair | Financial Advisor, New York Life
  • Barbara Balik RN, Ed.D., Healthcare Consultant, Aefina Partners
  • Rob Black, President and CEO, New Mexico Chamber of Commerce
  • Richard Bowman, Ph.D., Chief Information and Strategy Officer, Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Danielle Casey, President, Albuquerque Economic Development
  • Karla Causey, President & CEO, Black Chamber of Commerce New Mexico
  • Hilario “Larry” Chavez, Superintendent, Santa Fe Public Schools
  • Scott Elder, Superintendent, Albuquerque Public Schools
  • David Foster, Community Member
  • Myers Godwin, Albuquerque Director of Development, NDI New Mexico
  • Billy Gupton, Senior Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
  • Jessica Hernandez, Attorney, Kennedy, Hernandez, & Associates, P.C.
  • Elizabeth Kistin Keller, Ph.D., First Lady of Albuquerque, Principal Systems Analyst, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Diana Lopez, Health Promotion Specialist, New Mexico Department of Health
  • Reina Martinez, Division Manager, City of Albuquerque Behavioral Health & Wellness
  • Tony Monfiletto, Executive Director, Future Focused Education
  • Rodney Prunty, President & CEO, United Way of North Central New Mexico
  • Nireata Seals, Ed.D., Vice President of Enrollment Management & Student Success, Central New Mexico Community College
  • Garnett Stokes, Ph.D., President, University of New Mexico
  • Danette Townsend, Executive Director, ABC Community Schools & Interim Deputy County Manager, Community Services Division

For more information or to learn about joining the Vision Council, contact Executive Director Rising Together Sonya Lara.

Vision Council Spotlight

Abhishek Mehta
Abhishek Mehta, MBA

Abhishek currently works as a financial advisor for New York Life where he helps design business solutions in succession planning, investment planning, and estate planning. Abhishek received both his BA in Economics and Philosophy  and MBA in International Management from UNM in 2017 and 2020 respectfully. 

Abhishek is an active member in his community, his professional affiliations include: New Mexico Angels, NAIOP (Developing leaders), Asian Business Collaborative, Albuquerque 20/30 (Social Chair), Hindu temple Society of New Mexico (Teacher, Kindergarten to 5th grade). Abhishek aims to promote New Mexico, its business owners, and local residents alike to make for a more robust city to live and work. Abhishek’s passions include practicing yoga, studying history and philosophy, and performing dances and songs.

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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