Roger A. Gonzales, M.Ed., Acting Chief Executive Officer
Roger A. Gonzales is an experienced professional with various legislative, educational and executive management and over twenty years of proven success. He has represented organizations and initiatives seeking strategic planning, outreach, legislative campaigns and other advocacy strategies across various areas including economic development and revitalization, construction and capital outlay, healthcare, innovative technologies, and education.
Roger has served as a member of the New Mexico Highlands University Board of Regents and as President of the Associated Students of New Mexico, representing over 130,000 students of higher education. In addition, he holds the title as the longest-served President Pro Tempore of the Associated Students of New Mexico Highlands University Student Senate.
Since 2012, Roger has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Gonzales & Associates, LLC, a professional firm providing management solutions and consultation services to governmental and community entities that includes municipalities, school districts, counties, not-for-profit organizations (NPOs), and has aided in the evaluation of individual client needs, identification and implementation of critical procedures, and by offering leading-edge solutions that improve their organization’s efficiency and effectiveness. The firm provides support and oversight for the Mora County Entrepreneurial Network, a partnership funded primarily by Los Alamos Connect, the principal economic investment by Los Alamos National Security, LLC and Los Alamos National Laboratory, administered by the Regional Development Corporation, in September 2013. Since his tenure, he has been successful in identifying and securing nearly $2,056,787 in creative enterprises investments, entrepreneurial network capacity building initiatives, and technical support and assistance, and equipment for entrepreneurial initiatives through his community and region.
Mr. Gonzales currently serves as the President of the Los De Mora Local Growers’ Cooperative, Inc., a 35-member agricultural cooperative designed to serve as an economic conduit between local agricultural producers and emerging commercial markets.
Mr. Gonzales actively serves on numerous boards, foundations, councils and commissions within his Region and the State of New Mexico including most notably that as Chairman of the New Mexico Rural Economic Development Council of the New Mexico Economic Development Department. He has been appointed by former Secretary Jon Barela and reappointed by current Department Secretary Matt Geisel to serve as the Councilman for District Four, to represents the interests of rural agricultural producers on both the New Mexico Food and Agriculture Council’s Executive Board and the NM ACI Agricultural Policy Committee. In May 2017, Mr. Gonzales was sworn in as a newly appointed member of the United States Senate Republican Taskforce on Hispanic Affairs in Washington, D.C and in September 2018, he was appointed to the Leadership Council of the National Small Business Association (NSBA).
Vice President, Office of Learning & Academic Opportunity
Gloria M. Lopez serves as Vice-President for HELP-New Mexico, Inc. Office of Learning and Academic Opportunity and has 26 years of experience in Head Start and in Early Childhood Education. She provides leadership and supervision for approximately 130 staff members, whose primary focus is to implement high quality education for young children and self-sufficiency for families.
Ms. Lopez earned a Bachelors of Art from Cal State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California in Spanish with a minor in Mexican-American Studies with an endorsement in Elementary Education. She has 38 credits in Early Childhood Education from New Mexico State University, as well as eight credits in graduate studies. She has experience in providing training and seminars in various areas such as early childhood and education, parent engagement, program governance, management, and leadership development and advocacy.
Civic affiliations and memberships consist of New Mexico Head Start Association, Region VI Head Start Association, New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children, Luna County Early Childhood Coalition and Deming Cesar Chavez Charter High School. She is also a 2003 fellow from the Head Start Johnson & Johnson Management Program at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a former Office of Head Start Federal Peer Reviewer. She is dedicated and committed to advocating on behalf of children and families at the local, state and national levels.
Vice President of Finance and Administration
Sandra Steckler serves as the Vice President of Finance and Administration. Prior to joining HELP New Mexico, Ms. Steckler was a state government public servant for the State of New Mexico. She has over twenty-seven years of experience in financial management, accounting, procurement, payroll and auditing. She was the Chief Financial Officer for the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) for four years; Financial Control Division Audit Bureau Chief, Statewide Procurement Card Administrator and Controller Analyst with the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) for eighteen years; and Court Accountant with the Second Judicial District Court for five years. She also has more than two years of banking industry experience.
Ms. Steckler has a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a concentration in Finance from New Mexico State University. Ms. Steckler has been active on the executive committee for the New Mexico Chapter of Association of Government Accountants (AGA) and member for over sixteen years. She has served in past AGA positions as the Chapter President, Past President, Vice-President, Chapter Membership and Chapter Historian.