NMCAN’s team is a group of dedicated professionals, accountable to each other, our Youth Leaders, and the young people we serve.

Board of Directors

President
Sara Keller
Southwest Capital Bank

Vice President
Jeff Hoehn
CLNkids

Treasurer
Sandy Garcia

Secretary
Antoinette Pacheco

Members

Lalita Moskowitz, JD
American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico

Karen D.W. Patterson, PhD
University of New Mexico

Ewa Ryba
US Bank

Staff

ArikaSanchezArika E. Sánchez, Director of Policy and Advocacy

Arika develops and implements the organization’s policy and advocacy agenda. She has previously worked for United Way of Central New Mexico, The Legal Aid Society in New York City, and Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii. Arika was a graduate fellow at the Justice Action Center and is a current member of the State Bar of New Mexico, volunteer attorney for a homeless legal clinic, and Junior Achievement volunteer. Arika holds a Juris Doctor from New York Law School, Master of Public Administration from the University of New Mexico, and Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. arika.sanchez@nmcan.org

ClaireCanfieldClaire Canfield, Director of Engagement

Claire oversees program development and implementation, which includes fiscal and administrative management. She is a native New Mexican with roots in Laguna Pueblo and in Albuquerque. Claire received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History from the University of New Mexico. She has worked at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in several capacities, including program management, volunteer coordination, fundraising, and event planning. Claire is currently obtaining her Master of Social Work at New Mexico Highlands University, and is a certified facilitator in the Western Michigan University’s Fostering Success Coach Model. Designed specifically to improve outcomes for those impacted by foster care, this research-based model provides support to young people around problem solving, planning ahead, and seeking resources. claire.canfield@nmcan.org

Dante Bautista, Office Assistant

Dante works on organizational operations by providing administrative support and assistance to all staff. She is a Native New Mexican with roots in Laguna Pueblo and Albuquerque. Dante is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts at the University of New Mexico with concentrations in History and Psychology. dante.bautista@nmcan.org

ElenaFletcherElena Fletcher, Community Engagement Coordinator

Elena builds and manages relationships with dedicated mentors and passionate community partners, connecting them to our young people. Living in New York City and in-between photo editing jobs, Elena decided to volunteer for GDS’s Camp Excel. She immediately fell in love with helping young people reach their potential. She continued her career in publications but always made time to volunteer with young people. In 2015, Elena moved to the Land of Enchantment and joined AmeriCorps VISTA as a volunteer Community/Family Engagement Coordinator through YDI’s ELEV8 in Wilson Middle School. Elena holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Pratt Institute and Master of Arts in Photography and Urban Culture through the Sociology Department, University of London, Goldsmiths. elena.fletcher@nmcan.org

Ezra Spitzer, Executive Director

Ezra joined NMCAN in 2007 and has had the privilege of being Executive Director since 2012. Previously, he served in the U.S. Peace Corps in the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan where he worked closely with a women’s crisis center and a youth empowerment center to build organizational capacity and cohesive strategies. Ezra also worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, helping resettle political refugees, and has mentored youth from the juvenile justice system as they transition to adulthood. Ezra holds a Master of Public Administration and is co-chair of the NM Children’s Court Improvement Commission. ezra.spitzer@nmcan.org

GemaGonzalezGema Gonzalez, Youth Engagement Coordinator

Gema works to provide support, guidance, and coaching to young people engaged in NMCAN opportunities and programming. Gema was raised in Sunland Park, New Mexico, a small city next to border town, El Paso, Texas. While she attended the University of New Mexico, she participated with El Centro De La Raza and a mentorship program called Women’s Impact. Her time in college is what led Gema to become highly passionate about civic engagement, women’s issues, education and youth advocacy. In 2016, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Interpersonal Communication with a minor in Sociology and became the first person in her family to graduate from college. She is truly excited and humbled to be a part of the NMCAN family and hopes to become a stronger advocate for first-generation, Mexican American students, women, and young people. gema.gonzalez@nmcan.org

Jeannette Stahn, Operations Manager

Jeannette supports the NMCAN team to do its best work. She oversees human resources, vendor relationships, office and fiscal management, and ensures that our values of authentic youth engagement and race, equity, diversity, and inclusion are woven throughout the organization. Jeannette is an urban Diné and has lived in New Mexico her entire life. Her former work at the University of New Mexico involved supporting programming for young people interested in pursuing a health career and navigating higher education. She holds a Master of Arts in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies and Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of New Mexico. jeannette.stahn@nmcan.org

Kayla Strickler, Community Engagement Coordinator

Kayla supports NMCAN’s vision by building and maintaining relationships with partners that support and serve young people in the community. A graduate of the University of New Mexico, she double majored in Communication and Religious Studies with a minor in Music. In college, she found her passion for nonprofits, working with several organizations both locally and in Texas. After graduation, she took that passion abroad with the World Race, an 11 month journey partnering with nonprofits in 11 different countries, many of which serve young people without parental figures or that have been victims of sex trafficking. Kayla is native to Albuquerque and in her free time enjoys finding new restaurants and the best green chile cheeseburgers the 505 has to offer. kayla.strickler@nmcan.org

LoriOteroLori Otero, Program Assistant

Lori provides planning and logistical support to NMCAN programming and collects and analyzes organizational data. Lori is a native New Mexican who has a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. In high school and college, she devoted many hours to volunteer work. Her journey has led her from the Rio Grande Zoo to NMCAN where she is very excited to be. She looks forward to being a part of the NMCAN family for years to come. She is an avid crafter, and loves Escape Rooms. lori.otero@nmcan.org

LorilynnViolantaLorilynn Violanta, Director of Advancement

Lorilynn provides leadership for fundraising, relationship management, communications, public relations, and strategic partnerships. Lorilynn is dedicated to advancing socially just and influential change in our community, and prior to joining NMCAN, she managed a $2 million portfolio at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She also guided fundraising activities for The Posse Foundation and Free Arts of Arizona. Lorilynn has a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College in New York City and currently serves on the board of Albuquerque Community Foundation’s Future Fund and New Mexico Asian Family Center. lorilynn.violanta@nmcan.org

megantetreaultMegan Tetreault, Youth Engagement Coordinator

Megan offers support, guidance, and coaching to young people engaged in NMCAN’s programming. Having aged out of the foster care system at 18, she has been personally involved with NMCAN programming since 2011, and she received a Bachelors in Psychology from University of New Mexico in 2016. With eight years of experience working in the field of child welfare, Megan is proud to dedicate her career to assisting young people in reaching their fullest potential despite the adversity that they have faced and will continue to face moving forward in life. megan.tetreault@nmcan.org

Rolando Fernandez, Youth Engagement Coordinator

Rolando supports NMCAN’s mission by offering support, coaching, and guidance to young people within NMCAN’s programming. Rolando was born in Austin, Texas but spent the majority of his youth in southern New Mexico. Shortly after high school he joined the NM National Guard as a 31/B (Military Police). Rolando graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and a double minor in Religious Studies and Military Science. Currently he is a member of Youth Running 505 and is a Second Lieutenant in the NM National Guard as an Infantry Platoon Leader. Rolando is passionate about our local community and the success of our youth. He hopes to have a positive impact and support young adults in their journey as many have done for him. rolando.fernandez@nmcan.org