Organizational Development Specialist
Juan has over 40 years of consulting experience with educational institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. He has assisted with program development and evaluation, institutional relationship building, partnership management, community engagement, group facilitation, and strategic planning and analysis. He is deeply committed to social justice and is an advocate for community empowerment.
Fun fact: Juan is an avid outdoorsman – hiking, backpacking, biking, gardening, star gazing and talking to birds.
Board Vice President
Sandia National Laboratory, Business Management Professional
Vanessa Matuszewski-Peer was born and raised in Rio Rancho, NM, and graduated with her Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Business and Accounting from New Mexico Highlands University. She currently works at U.S. Bank as a Commercial Underwriting Credit Review Analyst. Vanessa also served as the President of the Board of Advisors at Fathers Building Futures and serves on the Loan Approval Committee at WESST. Vanessa constantly seeks opportunities to be involved in her community by volunteering. She enjoys hands-on volunteering at Fathers Building Futures, Junior Achievement, and New Mexico Kids Matters, which allows the unique experience of combining her MSW and MBA.
Fun fact: Vanessa is a female car enthusiast that loves getting her hands dirty by wrenching on cars. She has a project car that will someday be track-ready.
Mike Athens has over 18 years of experience in the financial industry helping New Mexicans access safe and affordable financial products. He has always had a strong affiliation with the local community participating in numerous community service organizations. Mr. Athens previously served as the CEO of Rio Grande Credit Union and Vice President of Association Services at the Credit Union Association of New Mexico. Mike has been married to his wife Sue Anne for over thirty years and together they have one son.
Fun Fact: Mike is a former Associate Peace Corps Director and helped support the American Mission in Tanzania, East Africa, and the U.S. Peace Corps in Washington, DC.
Founding Partner, Seven Sister Community Development
Vickie is a founding partner with Seven Sisters Community Development Group, LLC, a national community development consulting firm, the Principal of Kitseallyboy Consulting, LLC, and founder of Real Native Roots: Untold Stories Podcast.
Vickie specializes in culturally relevant approaches to organizational development. She has over 25 years of expertise in strategic planning, board development, leadership training, team building, asset building and executive coaching to Native and rural communities. She is recognized nationally as a skilled facilitator, trainer, and speaker. Vickie isa certified coach, trainer and facilitator for Emergent Learning, Leadership that Works, Institute of Cultural Affairs’ ToP Strategic Planning and Workshop Methods, True Colors, Nonprofit Management, Building NativeCommunities: Financial Skills for Families, and the Grove Team Performance Model.
Vickie has a Master in Social Work with a concentration in Community Planning and Administration from NewMexico Highlands University. She also holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Arizona State University. She is an enrolled member of the Navajo tribe, and her clans are Black Streak of the Forest.
Fun Fact: Vickie is a podcaster, rock collector, novice photographer, a music fanatic, always experimenting in the kitchen and often on a hunt for adventure.
Executive Support Specialist, Abriendo Puertas Opening Doors
Karina Burciaga has worked in the non-profit sector for over 10 years. Her scope of work has included immigrant rights, economic development, education, housing, and refugee & asylee services. She currently works at Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors as an Executive Support Specialist. She is a first-generation college graduate, with a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Fun fact: Karina thinks she can recreate anything from a tutorial like cooking, baking, arts/crafts, hair styles, and party decorations!