Coalition picks director

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Region: Communities forge ahead in joint effort

By John Severance

The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities has a new executive director.

After a search, the coalition announced Friday that the MVM Group has been selected to provide Executive Director services to help move the Coalition forward.

The MVM Group is a strategic consulting firm focused on the intersection of business strategy, public policy and reputation management.

Partners DeAnza Valencia Sapien, Yasine Mogharreban Armstrong and Lillian Montoya-Rael lead the firm.
Sapien, a New Mexico attorney, will assume lead role of Executive Director for the coalition.

“The MVM Group is thrilled to have been selected to provide Executive Director services for the Regional Coalition,” Sapien said. “We are excited to engage with Northern New Mexico community leaders to help further the goals of the coalition to strengthen the region and create healthy and thriving LANL communities.”

The group is based out of Santa Fe and the contract goes into effect Aug. 1.

The contract calls for MVM to be paid $165,610 over a 12-month period. The group will receive a monthly payment of $13,800.84.

Also at the meeting, the coalition voted to make Santa Fe Mayor David Coss the group’s chair, Espanola Mayor Alice Lucero as vice chair and Santa Fe County Commissioner Danny Mayfield as secretary-treasurer.

After their initial Regional Coalition meeting, Sapien and Armstrong were approached by activist Holly Beaumont of Santa Fe who said, “I tried to Google MVM but I could not find anything.”

Armstrong said, “That’s because we are new.”

As a team, they are new, but the three partners have a lot of experience when it comes to business strategy, public policy and reputation management.

Members of the MVM Group were instrumental in implementing a similar regional effort with the North Central Regional Transit District in 2004. It was the first of its kind in Northern New Mexico.

In its RFP to the coalition, MVM wrote, “The process of establishing the NCRTD took only 18 months. Success was achieved as a result of a consistent, deliberate process of healthy dialogue and trust building. Through a series of facilitated public meetings, one-on-one conversations with each governmental entity, and transparency in document management and sharing, Valencia Sapien and Montoya-Rael were able to keep the effort on track. As a result, the NCRTD became the first transit district established in New Mexico.”

The partners have worked with other Northern New Mexico entities including the Regional Development Corporation, the City of Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce.

The group also has experience pertaining to LANL operations, including heading the LANL Community Programs Office, developing and implementing the standards for LANL’s community commitment, coordinating LANL’s community activities, and leading the creation of the lab’s small business program team.

Here’s part of the sales pitch MVM made to the coalition during its interview last month in Espanola.

“Whether it’s a new initiative or an established program that needs attention, the MVM Group helps clients implement collaborative, innovative and effective solutions to address their unique needs. This rare consulting practice provides an important, personal opportunity for the MVM Group Partners to work on a variety of meaningful, enjoyable, and legacy creating initiatives.

“The following proposal is not merely a response for an Executive Director but, rather, a comprehensive proposal for meeting all of the duties and responsibilities of the Regional Coalition of Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) Communities Executive Office. However, recognizing the need for an individual to serve as the lead to coordinate with the board and be delegated the authority to perform the functions assigned to it, the MVM Group proposes DeAnza Valencia Sapien as the Executive Director.”

“It was a good interviewing process,” Coss said. “And I am looking forward to moving ahead with MVM.”
Stover added, “The entire coalition took part in the interviewing process with the exception of Rio Arriba County.”