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2021 Carlsbad 40 Under 40

  • Photo of Kimberly Browning

    Kimberly Browning

    Director

    Kimberly manages New Beginnings, which serves the Carlsbad community by providing pregnancy counseling, parenting classes and other support.

    • Employer:
      New Beginnings Caring Pregnancy Center
    • Nominated by:
      Norbert Rempe
    • Sector:
      Childcare
  • Photo of Richard Cage

    Richard Cage

    Lieutenant

    Lt. Cage has served with the Carlsbad Police Department for seven years and currently is the Professional Standards Supervisor. He is the coordinator for the department’s Field Training Program. Lt. Cage graduated from Northwestern’s Police staff and Command College. He was awarded supervisor of the Quarter in 2018. Lt. Cage volunteers his time with the Citizen Police Academy, Junior Police Academy and National Night Out. He spends his time assisting with Special Olympics and Shop with a Hero. Lt. Cage is father to Lily, Amara and Freya, and is engaged to to Sara Elkins. He enjoys sports, working out and is an avid reader.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad Police Department
    • Nominated by:
      Dale Janway
    • Sector:
      Government
  • Photo of Damien Capello

    Damien Capello

    Owner

    Damien has owned and operated Red Rocket Media for over 10 years. The company provides advertising and design services as well as video services to the region. Damien routinely donates media time to local organizations. He is a member of the Walter Gerrells Civic Center Board, a member of the Carlsbad MainStreet Board, Carlsbad Community Concert Board and an advisor to the Friends of the Living Desert. Damien also founded One Life Saved, an organization which advises ministries on technology use. Damien is a father to six.

    • Employer:
      Red Rocket Media
    • Nominated by:
      Jason Shirley
    • Sector:
      Entrepreneur
  • Photo of Gabriel Carrasco

    Gabriel Carrasco

    Journeyman Foreman

    Gabriel joined Bock Electric in 2018. He was recently promoted to Journeyman Foreman where he leads his team with excellence. Gabriel gives his time to Mission Carlsbad, a program which helps rebuild homes in Carlsbad. He is a husband and father.

    • Employer:
      Bock Electric
    • Nominated by:
      Ashley Bock
    • Sector:
      Oil & Gas
  • Photo of Alexandra Chase

    Alexandra Chase

    Licensed Massage Therapist

    Alexandra is a licensed Massage Therapist and a certified Medical Massage Practitioner, a field she has worked in since 2017. Alexandra opened her own practice in 2020. She volunteers for several area charities including Night to Shine, Oasis Church Girls Ministry Club, Celebrate Recovery Group and the annual Fearless Women’s Conference. Alexandra is a wife and mother who enjoys cooking, crafts and has taken up painting.

    • Employer:
      Chase Therapeutic Massage
    • Nominated by:
      Kim Cavender
    • Sector:
      Healthcare
  • Travis Combs

    Plant Manager

    Travis manages Sendero Midstream’ s Carlsbad Plant. He donates his time to United Way’s food distribution program and supports the nonprofit organizations Stuff the Bus Campaign, which collects school supplies for local children. On his downtime, Travis enjoys woodworking and travel.

    • Employer:
      Sendero Midstream
    • Nominated by:
      Clint Cone
    • Sector:
      Oil & Gas
  • Photo of Kinsley Costner

    Kinsley Costner

    Mining Engineer

    Kinsley is the mining engineer at Intrepid Potash where she works to capture accurate data nd improve forecasting tools at the company. Kinsley is a member of the Younger Leader’s Committee for the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. She volunteers with United Way of Carlsbad in her spare time. Kinsey enjoys hiking, traveling and rock hounding.

    • Employer:
      Intrepid Potash
    • Nominated by:
      Greg Bruce
    • Sector:
      Business
  • Photo of Jeff Currie

    Jeff Currie

    Owner

    Jeff Curie is owner of Cimarron, Skyhawk Diesel Compression. He is a certified diesel mechanic. Jeff spends his time as an appointed officer and volunteer of the Carlsbad Elks Lodge, volunteering to save rare local plants, and dedicates hours of time to volunteer with Desert Willow Rehabilitation Center where he acts as an advocate to neglected, abandoned and abused animals. 

    • Employer:
      Cimarron/Skyhawk Diesel Compression
    • Nominated by:
      Katie Sandbom
    • Sector:
      Oil & Gas
  • Photo of Kathleen Davis

    Kathleen Davis

    Executive Director

    Kat is a graduate of New Mexico State University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. As director of the Arts & Cultural District she works to illuminate he arts and cultural scene in Carlsbad. She is a member of the Carlsbad Downtown Lions and Carlsbad Rotary Club, and her volunteer work has carried her as far as South Africa. She is a native of Ireland, where she still travels. Kat enjoys music and singing and has taken up the guitar.

    • Employer:
      Pearl of the Pecos Arts & Cultural District
    • Nominated by:
      Sarah Jones
    • Sector:
      Nonprofit
  • Photo of Christopher Dominguez

    Christopher Dominguez

    Geotechnical Engineering Department

    Christopher has spent five years with Nuclear Waste Partnership where he assisted the company with worker safety and training. Christopher is a volunteer first responder with the Underground Mine Rescue Team, volunteers time a local schools to share knowledge at geotechnical engineering and robotics, and is part of NWP’s youth group. He enjoys long-distance running when not working, but also spends time writing and traveling. Christopher has a goal of visiting every major league baseball stadium some day.

    • Employer:
      Nuclear Waste Partnership
    • Nominated by:
      Jared Sorenson, Maelene Soto
    • Sector:
      Government
  • Photo of Raymond Dominguez

    Raymond Dominguez

    Admissions Advisor

    Raymond assists students at the University with admissions, guiding their understanding of seeking a degree in higher education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international business and three minors. He leads the university’s Spanish speaking campaigns to provide resources for students to overcome barriers to higher education. He volunteers with Carlsbad’s Class Act, and represents the university at the Carlsbad Farmer’s Market and Eddy County Fair. Raymond enjoys the outdoors and hiking, photography and languages.

    • Employer:
      New Mexico State University Carlsbad
    • Nominated by:
      Juanita Garcia
    • Sector:
      Education
  • Photo of Freddy Espino

    Freddy Espino

    Multi-media Classroom Tech

    Freddy earned a bachelor’s degree in Information Communication Technology and uses his knowledge to aide New Mexico State University’s multi-media department. Freddy serves on the Non-Exempt Employee Council and Distance Learning Committee. He is a member of the University’s Collaboration Council and Diversity Committee as well. Freddy volunteers his time with Keep Carlsbad Beautiful RiverBlitz team, the university’s Taste of Culture program. He spends his spare time doing volunteer lawn care for retired staff members.

    • Employer:
      New Mexico State University Carlsbad
    • Nominated by:
      Monty Harris
    • Sector:
      Education
  • Photo of Stephanie Fuentes

    Stephanie Fuentes

    Registered Nurse, ICU

    Stephanie spent the last year caring for COVID-19 patients in the Intensive Care Unit of Carlsbad Medical Center. She is the recipient of the CMC Healthcare Hero Award and DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad Medical Center
    • Nominated by:
      Melissa Suggs
    • Sector:
      Healthcare
  • Photo of Nicole Fuentez

    Nicole Fuentez

    Administrative Professional

    Nicole is the first face members and parents of the Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad see. She carries out various duties at the Club, managing the front desk, coordinating with staff and parents and volunteering her time to ensure the success of programs. Nicole joined the Club in 2018 and is proud to say her children are members of the nonprofit which serves Carlsbad’s children.

    • Employer:
      Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad
    • Nominated by:
      Valerie Waddle
    • Sector:
      Nonprofit
  • Photo of Katie Jo Gomez

    Katie Jo Gomez

    Owner

    Katie has called Carlsbad home since 2014. In 2020 she refocused her efforts on reopening a local daycare closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sunnyside Daycare serves 82 Carlsbad families. Katie is a member of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, and volunteers her time with various community organizations. She is a wife and mother to four. She enjoys hunting, boating and hiking.

    • Employer:
      Sunny Side Daycare
    • Nominated by:
      Katelyn Pierce
    • Sector:
      Childcare
  • Photo of Jennifer Granger

    Jennifer Granger

    Program Director

    Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She serves as a Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and volunteers with the Calvary Assembly of God. Jennifer is a wife, aunt and pet lover who enjoys cooking, outdoor adventures and afternoon naps.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad Community Foundation
    • Nominated by:
      Mike Antiporda
    • Sector:
      Nonprofit
  • Photo of Nikki Herring

    Nikki Herring

    Banker

    Nikki is a banker at Carlsbad National Bank. She is a wife and mother to three: Corbin, Olivia and Everleigh. Nikki has worked to further her banking career by attending Cannon Financial Institute. She volunteer with United Way of Carlsbad.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad National Bank (CNB)
    • Nominated by:
      Anita Jones
    • Sector:
      Business
  • Photo of Adrian Hedden

    Adrian Hedden

    Senior Reporter

    Adrian joined the staff of the Current-Argus in 2016. He serves as the energy and environmental reporter on staff, and has been awarded Reporter of the Year by the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, and several awards from the New Mexico Press Association. Adrian holds a bachelor’s degree in online journalism from Central Michigan University. Adrian is a founding member of the Carlsbad Mental Health Group which raised funds for local firefighter training, and a member of the 2019 Eddy County Leadership Class. He is a fan of heavy metal music, professional wrestling and is learning to play golf.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad Current-Argus
    • Nominated by:
      Jessica Onsurez
    • Sector:
      Business
  • Photo of Amanda Henry

    Amanda Henry

    Social Worker

    Amanda is a Louisiana native that has called Carlsbad home since 2013. In her work she helps Carlsbad students set and achieve goals. She volunteers her time with Backpacks for Hunger, and spends time at her local church. She enjoys visiting with family and friends and meeting new people.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad Enrichment Center
    • Nominated by:
      Bobbie Jo Willingham
    • Sector:
      Education
  • Photo of Sarah Jones

    Sarah Jones

    Library Director

    Sarah served at the Carlsbad Public Library since 2018 and was promoted to director in 2020, where she helped navigate the library through the COVID-19 pandemic. Sarah has created collaborations with other community organizations and businesses in her new role while enacting outreach programs for the community, including “Story Walk” and “Makers Space.” Sarah is a mother who spends her spare time in community service including the organization of a social book club.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad Public Library
    • Nominated by:
      Angie Barrios Testa
    • Sector:
      Government
  • Photo of Ashly Key

    Ashly Key

    Executive Director

    Ashly Key became director of Carlsbad MainStreet in 2020, leading operations and fundraising of the nonprofit in its support of businesses in downtown Carlsbad. She is a member of the Carlsbad Rotary Club, founding member of the Carlsbad Mental Health Awareness Group and a graduate of Leadership Eddy County class of 2019. Ashly is a wife and mother who enjoys volunteering and the outdoors.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad MainStreet
    • Nominated by:
      Jason Shirley
    • Sector:
      Nonprofit
  • Photo of Sky Klaus Soto

    Sky Klaus Soto

    Director Marketing and Publications

    Sky became the director of marketing and publication at the University in 2018. She is a member of the Carlsbad Mayor’s Higher Education Taskforce and serves on the university’s Exempt Committee. Sky is a Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, a member of the Rotary Club of Carlsbad and Pearl of the Pecos Art District Committee, and serves on the Creative Carlsbad board. She is a photographer who specializes in fashion, portraits and events. She enjoys pottery and ceramics and spending time with her pets and new husband.

    • Employer:
      New Mexico State University Carlsbad
    • Nominated by:
      Dr. Andrew Nwanne
    • Sector:
      Education
  • Photo of Jennifer Lemons

    Jennifer Lemons

    Repository Sciences and Operations Program

    Jennifer’s work has carried her from the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center and Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to the Carlsbad offices of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Jennifer serves as the current president of the Assistance League Carlsbad chapter, which aids students via Operation School Bell and raises funds via the annual Christmas Tree Auction. She enjoys traveling, hiking and reading in her spare time.

    • Employer:
      Los Alamos National Labs Carlsbad
    • Nominated by:
      Cindy Elkins
    • Sector:
      Government
  • Photo of Lynde Longbine

    Lynde Longbine

    Elementary School Principal

    Lynde leads Desert Willow Elementary as principal. She is a Carlsbad native who attended Puckett Elementary as a student and returned to the classroom as an educator as an adult. She works to create a welcoming and inclusive environment at the elementary which serves Carlsbad students.

    • Employer:
      Desert Willow Elementary
    • Nominated by:
      LaVern Shan
    • Sector:
      Education
  • Ricco Martinez

    Process Specialist

    Ricco serves as a Process Safety management coordinator while working as a Process Specialist at Sendero Midstream. Ricco is also owner of two merchandising companies, and spends time volunteering in his community. He has organized and hosted two benefit car shows and donates time to the Carlsbad Boys & Girls Club on behalf of Sendero.

    • Employer:
      Sendero Midstream
    • Nominated by:
      Clint Cone, Ekta Patel, Valerie Waddle
    • Sector:
      Oil & Gas
  • Julian Martinez

    Supervisor

    Julian supervises pipeline and measurement personal at Sendero Midstream. Julian is the an avid liaison between Sendero Midstream and producers and land owners in the area. Julian has also lent time to make the Stop the Bleed program a success, and spearheaded collection of donations for Lakeview Christian Home.

    • Employer:
      Sendero Midstream
    • Nominated by:
      Clint Cone
    • Sector:
      Oil & Gas
  • Photo of Kyle Martin

    Kyle Martin

    Fourth grade educator

    Kyle joined the Desert Willow team from Puckett School. He is a 13-year veteran of education teaching fourth grade students. Kyle, after overcoming a health issue that required months of physical therapy, returned to Desert Willow where he is a leader and mentor for other educators.

    • Employer:
      Desert Willow Elementary
    • Nominated by:
      LaVern Shan
    • Sector:
      Education
  • Photo of Dr. Adenieki Mornan

    Dr. Adenieki Mornan

    Obsetrician/Gynecologist

    Dr. Mornan received her medical degree from St. George’s University in Granada. She joined the Women’s Health Services department in Carlsbad in 2019. Dr. Mornan’s passion for medicine extends to advancing women’s health and preventative medicine. Her volunteer work has taken her to Haiti, and closer to home prompted her to explore the creation of forum for women’s health practitioners. Dr. Mornan rounds out her time with gardening, CrossFit and reading.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad Medical Center
    • Nominated by:
      Melissa Suggs
    • Sector:
      Healthcare
  • Photo of Gaby Morrison

    Gaby Morrison

    Travel Accountant

    Gaby Morrison has worked with NWP since 2017 and served in several capacities. She is the recipient of the Edgewater Technical Associates Employee Appreciation Award, NWP’s Everyday Hero Award and Salt of the Earth Award. She volunteers her time with the Carlsbad Battered Women and Family Shelter, the Carlsbad Library, is a D.A.R.E. role model, and has dedicated hours to the Carlsbad Boys and Girls Club as well as the annual RiverBlitz event. Gaby enjoys spending time with her fiancé Evan Desjardins, her pets, baking and traveling.

    • Employer:
      Nuclear Waste Partnership
    • Nominated by:
      Donavan Mager
    • Sector:
      Government
  • Photo of Danielle Prell

    Danielle Prell

    Owner

    Dani is a Carlsbad native who explored many jobs, including management of the Riverside Country Club. This year Dani launched Designs by Dani, offering handmade jewelry designed with her unique eye. Dani learned silversmithing from her father, and explores graphic art in addition to jewelry design. She exhibits her work at the Carlsbad Artist Gallery and can be found at the Carlsbad Farmer’s Market. She volunteers with the Carlsbad Art Association and local food kitchens. Dani is currently renovating a bus into a tiny house to travel around the country.

    • Employer:
      Designs by Dani
    • Nominated by:
      David Prell
    • Sector:
      Entrepreneur
  • Photo of Jacob Puckett

    Jacob Puckett

    Assistant Store Director

    Jacob joined the United Family, owners of Albertsons Market, while attending Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He has been with the company 12 years, recently joining the Carlsbad team as assistant store director. Jacob’s volunteerism has carried him to Kenya, Niger and Jamaica where he built homes and schools. He also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army. He is a board member for the Carlsbad Community Anti-Drug/Gang Coalition and Packs for Hunger. Jacob is husband to Kaitlin and father to 2-year-old Elea. The family enjoys walks and riding bikes together.

    • Employer:
      Albertsons Market
    • Nominated by:
      David & Angie Testa
    • Sector:
      Business
  • Photo of Jessica Rios

    Jessica Rios

    Owner & Operator

    Jessica is owner and operator of Way West Services LLC and recently opened Way West Curbing in 2020. The companies keep her busy as she undertakes the financials of both while also lending a hand in the community. She can be found at the Eddy County Fair’s junior livestock supporting the area youth and contributes to events at Loving Municipal Schools where her children attend. Jessica is a wife and mother who also enjoys hiking, hunting, traveling and DIY projects.

    • Employer:
      Way West Services LLC
    • Nominated by:
      Eric Rios
    • Sector:
      Oil & Gas
  • Photo of TaNessa Sedillo

    TaNessa Sedillo

    Owner & Operator

    TaNessa opened Cheer and Tumble Athletics, LLC in 2016 serving Carlsbad kids by providing a safe space to learn, explore and be active. TaNessa’s business boast over 300 kids, creating affordable options for local families.

    • Employer:
      Cheer & Tumble Athletics
    • Nominated by:
      Morgan Najar
    • Sector:
      Entrepreneur
  • Photo of Dr. Derek Senior

    Dr. Derek Senior

    Chief of Medicine

    Dr. Senior received his medical doctorate from Texas Tech University. He leads the Carlsbad Medical Center at Chief of Medicine. Dr. Senior is also a youth advisor at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. He is a husband and father to two sons, James and Charles, with a baby girl on the way. In his downtown, Dr. Senior enjoys playing piano and guitar and is a sports fan.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad Medical Center
    • Nominated by:
      Melissa Suggs
    • Sector:
      Healthcare
  • Photo of Tiffany Shirley

    Tiffany Shirley

    Executive Operations Manager

    Tiffany works to share drug-prevention and life-skills information as a member of the Coalition. She also serves as CFO of the World of Life Church, while she and her husband own and operate several small businesses. Tiffany’s volunteer work includes hours given to local nonprofits and organizations including Class Act, Riverblitz and Days of Caring. Tiffany, a mother, enjoys travel with her family, photography and writing and sporting events.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad Anti-Gang/Drug Coalition
    • Nominated by:
      Joana Wells, Hayden Barrera
    • Sector:
      Nonprofit
  • Photo of Nick Suardi

    Nick Suardi

    Doctor of Physical Therapy

    Nick is a licensed physical therapist with advanced certification in several areas including strength and conditioning and weightlifting. Nick is a graduate of St. John’s University and University of Jamestown. Nick also works as a personal trainer at Body Evolution Gym, and has founded Explosive Edge Athletics program to work with youth athletes. He enjoys cooking, movies, fitness and sports.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad Physical Therapy & Wellness
    • Nominated by:
      Holly Roth
    • Sector:
      Healthcare
  • Photo of Jennifer Tupper

    Jennifer Tupper

    DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

    Jennifer is a member of the Cardiovascular Associates practice at Carlsbad Medical Center. She holds a doctorate in nursing, and said she is continuing her education. She is a member of the New Mexico State University Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society and volunteers with 4-H. She is a mother to three, Savannah, John and Skylar, and spends her downtime with her children, in the outdoors and cooking.

    • Employer:
      Pecos Valley Physician Group – Cardiovascular Associates of Carlsbad
    • Nominated by:
      Melissa Suggs
    • Sector:
      Healthcare
  • Photo of Edward VanScotter

    Edward VanScotter

    Assistant Museum Director

    Edward became assistant director at the Carlsbad Museum and Art Center in 2016. Since then he has assisted the museum in its rebranding efforts and planning collections and exhibits. Edward holds a bachelor’s of art and master’s of art in museum studies. He is a member of the Pearl of the Pecos Arts & Culture District board and participates in the Carlsbad Public Library Book Club. He is a husband and father to two daughters.

    • Employer:
      Carlsbad Museum & Art Center
    • Nominated by:
      Dave Morgan
    • Sector:
      Government
  • Photo of Jarrod Young

    Jarrod Young

    Owner & Operator

    Jarrod began an entrepreneurial career providing car detailing services via Top Notch Detailing. He opened Bon Appetite Bistro in 2020. Bone Appetite, a food truck, offers regional foods to Carlsbad and Eddy County.

    • Employer:
      Bone Appetite
    • Nominated by:
      Antonia Galindo
    • Sector:
      Entrepreneur
  • Photo of Hongxia Zhao

    Hongxia Zhao

    Assistant Professor

    Hongxia joined New Mexico State University Carlsbad in August 2019 where she served as an assistant professor in the early childhood education program. During her time with the university she spearheaded a Shared Book Reading program for youth, assisted with the GEER grant application and Higher Learning Commission accreditation team. She serves on the program advisory board of the Education/Early Childhood Education Committee. She volunteers her time with the Christian Children Ministry Child Care Center and Hillcrest Preschool. Hongxia enjoys hiking and exploring nature, and especially enjoys cooking.

    • Employer:
      New Mexico State University Carlsbad
    • Nominated by:
      Monty Harris
    • Sector:
      Education