Laura Rendon and Donna Trujillo

Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative Executive Assistant Laura Rendon (left) and interim general manager and Chief Financial Officer Donna Trujillo listen to a meeting of the Co-op’s Board of Trustees, July 28. Trujillo accepted the offer for the position of general manager, Tuesday, and will sign a contract in the coming weeks. She bested 27 other candidates for the position.

    Donna Trujillo will be the next general manager of the Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative.

    The Board of Trustees reached their decision, Tuesday, after interviewing the three final applicants.

    The other two finalists for the positions were Co-op Engineering Manager Adam Roybal and Rafael De La Torre, the deputy utility manager for Los Alamos County.

    Co-op Human Resources Manager Dwight Herrera said a total of 28 applicants applied for the position of general manager. He narrowed the pool to the top 10 candidates and Co-op attorney Karen Kilgore independently reviewed and verified the applicants’ credentials, education and work histories.

    The Board’s Screening Committee, which includes Board Vice President Leo Marquez, Trustee Dennis Trujillo and Trustee Lucas Cordova, also reviewed the applications and interviewed six candidates, three from New Mexico and three from out-of-state, prior to narrowing down the field to Trujillo, Roybal and De La Torre.    

    Board President Nick Naranjo and Marquez declined to comment about the Board’s decision to hire Trujillo. Instead, they referred all questions to Kilgore, who works for the Santa Fe-based law firm Cuddy and McCarthy LLP.

    Kilgore did not return phone calls, by presstime, inquiring about the Board’s decision.

    It is unknown how many of the 11 Board members voted in favor of Trujillo.

    She said her time as chief financial officer and interim general manager has been a busy, but rewarding experience.

    “I really enjoy working in this capacity and I have enjoyed working with the Board,” she said. “I would like to just continue making a difference.”

    She said that as general manager, she wants to continue to focus her efforts on bringing renewable energy projects to the Co-op’s service area.

    “I think the Board has done a really great job at flushing out the opportunities at working with different organizations in the community (on solar projects),” she said. “I would like to take more of a leadership role in pushing that effort forward.”

    Herrera said although Trujillo accepted the offer for the position, she has yet to sign a contract.

    Kilgore will create the contract and the Board will meet some time in the next week to review and finalize it.

    Trujillo was named interim general manager in October, after former general manager Joseph Sanchez resigned. She is also the Co-op’s chief financial officer.

    She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from New Mexico Highlands University and is a certified public accountant.

    Prior to her employment at the Co-op, she was the administrative services director at the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions for four years. There, she managed the Department’s finances, accounting, budget and grants.

    De La Torre did not return phone calls, by presstime, inquiring about why he decided to apply for the position.

    From 1989 to 2005, he was the Co-op’s director of engineering and operations.

    According to his LinkedIn profile, De La Torre has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University.

    Roybal has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University and a Professional Engineer license from the New Mexico Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors.

    Prior to his employment at the Co-op, he worked as an engineer for Xcel Energy, in Roswell.

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