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Business/Economy

  • Wells to retire from LANB

    Steve Wells figured it was time.
    Last week, Wells notified the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Los Alamos National Bank and Trinity Capital Corporation of his intent to retire as President and Chief Administrative Officer of LANB and Secretary of Trinity effective Dec. 31.
     Wells serves as President and Chief Administrative Officer for LANB and as Secretary of Trinity, as well as a director on the boards of both Trinity and LANB. Wells has been employed with LANB since 1985. He served as Executive Vice President from 1985 to 1994, when he was named President.
    “My time with Steve has been very beneficial. We share a common passion for our customers, shareholders, employees and the community,” said John S. Gulas, CEO and President of Trinity and CEO of LANB. “Steve has been a great asset to me and LANB. I look forward to working with him over the next four months as we strategically plan for the bank’s future.”

  • Customer interaction top priority for Smith's manager

    You won’t find Smith’s Marketplace Director Erik Boehm sitting in his office unless there is some bit of business that absolutely requires it.
    “I hate my office, plain and simple. I’ve always been like that,” Boehm said.
    Boehm spends most of his 11- to 12-hour days out on the floor working with team members or assisting customers.
    “I love having that personal connection with my customers, especially in small towns like this,” said Boehm, who enjoys engaging in conversations that range from neighborly small talk to helping someone looking for advice on shopping for a healthier diet. “That’s really the best part of my day every single day. You get a chance to touch a lot of people. You affect a lot of lives, and hopefully for the better.”
    Building a team may be the favorite part of Boehm’s job.

  • Gun Show packs them in

    Sponsored by the Los Alamos Sportsman’s Club, the 2014 Gun Show has a new venue — the Knights of Columbus, 104 D.P. Road.
    And on Saturday morning, the show already was packed.
    Firearm vendors and enthusiasts in the community and from across the state were welcome to buy, sell, swap and browse. Firearm ammo and accessories were also available.
    The show, which started Saturday, will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today. General admission is $5 and children 12 and under are free. Passes for both days are $8 for adults and youth ages 12-18 are $3.
    All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed.
    For the previous 17 years, the Gun Show was at the Pueblo Complex, but last year’s event was touched by controversy when Los Alamos resident Nancy Schick opposed the use of school property for gun sales, although the Pueblo Complex is no longer a school — it is still owned by Los Alamos Public Schools.
    Schick, a former teacher at Los Alamos High School, cited the rash of gun violence in schools as one of the reasons for her opposition.
    Pueblo Complex is leased out for venues from various organizations throughout the year.

  • Business Spotlight: Doyle brings counseling practice to Los Alamos

    Karen Doyle has devoted her life to helping people seek the life that is ideal for them.
    A licensed independent social worker for more than 20 years, Doyle and Clinical Psychologist Dr. Howard Ottenheimer, Ph.D. have teamed up to help people with emotional issues.
    Splitting her time between Santa Fe and Los Alamos, Doyle opened up a practice in July at 110 East Gate Road. Doyle and Ottenheimer specialize in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Ottenheimer practices mostly in Santa Fe.
    Doyle has seven years of experience with DBT, which is designed to help people change patterns of behavior that are not effective, such as self-harm, suicidal thinking, eating disorders, depression and substance abuse. “It is a way to looking at both sides of a situation, role reversing and finding a middle ground to deal and not make things worse,” Doyle said.
    The treatment is not psychotherapy, but rather using life skills and the modules to modify unhealthy behaviors.
    The evidence-based therapy uses four modules as a guide for successful recovery.
    • Mindfulness: The capacity to pay attention and live in the moment, experiencing emotion and all senses with a conscious perspective.
    “The core component is mindfulness — the program demands to take a look at life,” Doyle said.

  • Entrepreneurs with panache

    The Summer Youth Business Grant Program recently wrapped up the summer by recognizing their young leaders with some treats and a chance to showcase their business. Three winners were selected to receive additional funds to continue their business. Adele Mitchell, JonMichael Weaver and Savannah Martinez each received additional awards to make additions to their programs.
    The top winner JonMichael, a LAHS Senior and the owner if Buddy’s beans received $350 and will continue on to a regional competition called Start Up in September at the Los Alamos Science Fest. Check out his Buddy’s beans, locally roasted coffee on Facebook. The event was sponsored by the LACDC, the LANS Community Programs Office and the Feynman Center, UNM-LA and Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA).

  • Central Avenue businesses take hit during construction

    Construction for the Central Avenue Project has hit local businesses hard, and the losses are mounting. CB Fox’s sales are down 10 percent, the Manhattan Project is down 30 percent and Ruby K’s foot traffic has dropped 25 percent in July and 35 percent to date in August. Now owners are assessing plans for getting through the winter.
    “I would say that the locals have been outstanding, and have supported us in droves,” said CB Fox General Manager Andy Fox.
    “But the problem is that this is July and August, and when we rely very heavily on tourism. So only a small fraction of our regular tourist shoppers have been able to find us and get into our store. So we are hurting from lack of tourist traffic in our most important tourist season, July and August.”
    Fox has had to reduce hours for part time employees and cut back on purchasing. He called the 10 percent drop “a ton of money. We won’t recover from that this year.”
    Ruby Alexander, owner of Ruby K’s, has also had to reduce employee hours.
    “It’s hurt our staff, trying to make house payments and pay bills, but I’ve had to cut hours because I was overstaffed for the number of people coming in the door,” Alexander said.

  • Arts, culture have big impact on state

    A study being released by state officials shows the arts and culture industries have a $5.6 billion economic impact in New Mexico.
    The Cultural Affairs Department released the report Wednesday during an event at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.
    Aside from detailing the dollars behind the state’s arts and cultural attractions, the report says there are shortfalls that need to be addressed if the state wants to realize even more of the sector’s economic potential.
    The report challenges businesses, government agencies and nonprofit groups to find more ways to take advantage of the state’s strengths.
    Researchers say the cultural and creative industries are changing thanks to technology, but New Mexico needs to do more to adapt.
    The study was done by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of New Mexico.
    Key data from the report include:
    • The arts and cultural sector contributes $5.6 billion to New Mexico’s economy each year.
    • Arts and cultural industries provide primary employment for 76,756 New Mexicans (9.8 percent of employment -- one of out of every 10 jobs).
    • Arts and cultural industries contribute $2.2 billion in wages and salaries annually.

  • Event planning goes 'green'

    Going “green” and becoming dedicated to sustainable living are buzz phrases in today’s society.
    Los Alamos resident Kimberly Hoch has started Piñon Events, a business which consists of conference and event management, but on a level where it is environmentally friendly and a way to reduce a carbon footprint.
    “I strive to provide quality event management services for everything from fundraisers to weddings, to large scale conferences and trade shows,” Hoch said.
    While living in Colorado, Hoch was employed by BBI International as event manager. BBI International was one of the first professional conference and event companies to implement full scale “no-low waste” greening services for the its events, Hoch said. The point was to use reusable, compostable, or recyclable materials for events, such as cups, napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, signage and marketing materials.
    “I’m particularly passionate about leaving the lightest footprint possible and continuing the greening initiatives I learned and implemented,” she said.
    Efforts a business can to achieve a green event may include full scale composting and recycling stations, use of bio-products for food and beverage disposable items, electronic marketing and reusable print marketing.

  • Roasting Peppers

    Smith’s employee Joseph Crocker roasts a 25-pound box of Hatch green chiles for a customer at the White Rock store Monday afternoon. The soil and growing conditions in New Mexico’s Hatch Valley contribute to the flavor of chile grown there. Most of the varieties of chile cultivated in the Hatch Valley have been developed at New Mexico State University over the last 130 years, according to Wikipedia.
     

  • Hunger Week, Summit address larger issues

    The Los Alamos County Council joined the New Mexico legislature in declaring July 14−18 as Hunger Week.
    Hunger Week — initiated to raise awareness about hunger throughout the state — coincided with the first End Hunger in New Mexico Summit, sponsored by the North Central New Mexico Economic Development District Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging and the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department. The summit took place July 17−18.
    “When people think of individuals or families going hungry, they often think of people living in extreme poverty, living in some distant land,” said Tim Armer, Executive Director for the NCNMEDD.
    “It might surprise them that there are many people experiencing hunger right here in New Mexico and most likely right in their own neighborhoods. People can have a house, a car and a job but still struggle with putting food on the table.”
    Here are some statistics about hunger in New Mexico provided by summit organizers.
    • New Mexico is one of the highest states facing food insecurity with at least 40,000 New Mexicans seeking food assistance each week, including many children or senior citizens. Currently New Mexico ranks No. 1 in the nation for childhood hunger and second for senior hunger.