Special Episode 1

Viante New Mexico Fosters Bipartisanship

Jan 3, 2020 | Podcasts, Public

Hosts Rhiannon Samuel, Executive Director of Viante New Mexico recaps the August 2019 anniversary event and shared the panel discussion.   

About This Episode

Hosts Rhiannon Samuel, Executive Director of Viante New Mexico gives a foreword to a legislative panel held at Viante’s Anniversary Event in August 2019. Panel moderator and Co-Chair of Viante New Mexico, Deena Crawley, fosters a bipartisan conversation between democrat, Senator Michael Padilla, and republican Jim Townsend to identify the areas of agreement. 

Deena spent the first portion of her career inside an advertising agency and has worked in a variety of industries including retail, public health, automotive, real estate, higher education, and finance. She is a two-time Effie finalist, a former President of the American Advertising Federation–NM and has been inducted into the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management Hall of Fame as a Young Alumni. In her current role as Chief of Staff, Marketing Director and Executive Team Member at Dion’s, a regional restaurant based in Albuquerque, she nurtures all brand touch points including advertising, communications, community relations, and social media. She is a volunteer for Make A Wish New Mexico, a mentor for Fathers Building Futures, and is a graduate of Leadership NM. She cares deeply about her home state of New Mexico and works hard to improve the things that cause people to consider moving away.

 Representative Jim Townsend a native New Mexican, born and raised in an agriculture family in Southeastern New Mexico. Representative Townsend began his career in the oil and gas industry with Southern Union Co and then the last 33 years with Holly Corporation, Holly Energy Partners and HollyFrontier. He retired in 2011 as Senior Vice President of a Holly Energy Partners and Vice President of Holly Frontier. Representative Townsend led the operations of Holly Energy Partners for many years and led the single largest capital investment of HollyFrontier in the formation of UNEV Pipeline Company and partnership developed between Sinclair Transportation and Holly Corporation, approximately $500M.  He has served on the Board of Directors for Holly Energy Partners serving on the Conflicts Committee and Personnel  Committee. Representative Townsend was elected to represent New Mexico House District 54 in 2015 and was named by his peers as the house minority leader in 2019.

Senator Michael Padilla grew up in Los Padillas, a rural farming community that his family helped settle over 150 years ago, and is located inside of the district he represents. Padilla has always been involved in the Democratic Party of New Mexico, serving as a precinct chairman, ward chairman, county central committee member and state central committee member. He has also served on numerous boards and commissions prior to becoming a senator, including Youth Development Incorporated, Special Olympics New Mexico, Junior Achievement of New Mexico, Association of Commerce and Industry of New Mexico, the New Mexico State Workforce Development Board, and several others.

Senator Padilla founded Altivus CRM Solutions, a contact center and consulting firm, in 2000. The company specializes in building contact centers and providing a number of operational consulting services affecting people, process, and technology. He still serves as Chairman and CEO of the company.

Senator Padilla is the youngest of five children. His parents, David and Gina Padilla, were unable to raise him and his siblings, so they grew up in foster homes across New Mexico, the All Faiths Receiving Home for Homeless Children, and with various family members. He started working when he was eleven years old, and is proud of the way he was raised.

Senator Padilla is a member of the New Mexico State Senate, representing District 14 since January 2013. Senator Padilla serves on nine legislative committees, including as the chairman of the science, technology, and telecommunications committee.

Senator Padilla’s primary focus as a legislator is to eliminate widespread poverty that affects most of New Mexico.



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