discussIT Sessions

State Government: Service Strategies

Leading CIO’s from the Department of Information Technology, Human Services, Environment and the Department of Workforce Solutions will share the States vision and progress towards government identity management, self-service portals and bringing the amazon end-user experience to New Mexico.  The leaders will share efforts currently underway and highlight recent deployments of identity management solutions deployed by the state to better serve our citizens.  

Mark Fidel, Moderator: CoFounder and Corporate Development at RiskSense

RiskSense co-founder Mark Fidel is responsible for advocating and growing RiskSense’s client portfolio in the States of NM and AZ, where RiskSense is headquartered. Fidel is also a licensed New Mexico attorney, and brings more than 16 years’ experience in law and litigation.  Fidel holds a Bachelor of Arts and Economics degree with a major in Finance from NMSU. He earned an Executive Master of Business Administration degree from UNM and his law degree from the University of Denver.

Vincent Martinez, Cabinet Secretary & CIO, NM State

Vincent Martinez brings over 30 years of experience working in information technology to the role of State CIO, with the unique combination of having been a state government employee, a small-business owner, an executive in the technology private sector, and serving as a state legislator.

Most recently, Vincent Martinez served as the Managing Director of cloud and communications for the Department of Information Technology (DOIT) and was responsible for the delivery and operations of shared services to all state agencies. His experience with DOIT has provided him with a strong understanding of customer service, the importance of collaborating with departments and stakeholders, enterprise budgeting, and strategic service roadmap development.

Prior to DOIT, he worked for over 30 years in the private sector as both a business owner and executive, working for industry leaders such as Verizon, Fujitsu, NetApp and Dell-EMC with a focus on State and Local government and Education across the United States. Vincent Martinez was first elected to the New Mexico State House of Representatives in 1993 where he served two terms. He served as Vice Chairman of the House Transportation Committee and a member of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee where he also co-chaired the sub-committee on technology. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix. Secretary Martinez is a proud native New Mexican and is dedicated to this state and the transformative impact technology has for all citizens of New Mexico.

Sue Anne Athens, CIO, Department of Workforce Solutions

Sue Anne Athens, Chief Information Officer for Department of Workforce Solutions. Has led the Workforce Technology Division for the Department of Workforce Solutions for over 6 years on a transformation journey and will share recent success in identity management and behavioral analytics. She has over 20 years experience in the development, implementation, and management of Information Technology programs. She holds a master’s degree in computer science and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics. Sue Anne brings to the department a diverse background having worked in the private sector, federal government, and the Department of Defense. She embraces the concept of continuous improvement and the synergy and power that results from aligning IT with purpose, people, and values. Her career began as public servant in the Peace Corps, and she is happy to continue that commitment to service with DWS and the State of New Mexico.

Mary Montoya, CIO & CISO, NM State Environment Department

Mary Montoya is the Environment Department’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). She is responsible for managing the OIT Division and protecting the department from cyber security threats. In addition to leveraging information technology solutions to facilitate the department mission she ensures alignment with the NM state technology architecture as well as any federal agency requirements from EPA, OSHA and NRC. Collaboration with states, tribes and EPA is essential for setting a strategic vision that is informed by the experience of others. She has participated in several joint governance groups that include other state, tribal and federal members and whose mission is to develop a digital transformation vision and architecture to modernize environmental protection business transactions. This new approach is called E-Enterprise and expands on the Exchange Network system that has provided an electronic reporting framework used by delegated programs to send their environmental data to EPA for over twenty years. This new effort examines modern digital capabilities to effectively manage environmental regulations with varying delegated purview across many states, tribes and municipalities.

Sean Pearson, CIO, NM Human Services Department

Sean Pearson is the Chief Information Officer of the New Mexico Human Services Department. As CIO, Mr. Pearson oversees information technology operations for one of the largest agencies in New Mexico State Government that includes Medicaid, TANF, SNAP, child support, behavioral health, and other programs. Mr. Pearson has over seventeen years in information technology management and leadership. He holds a Bachelors degree in Information Technology, a Masters degree in Business Administration, several technical certifications and is a certified Project Management Professional.

NewSpace NMLeading, Innovating and Growing our Global Space Economy – Space Software and Applications

The global space economy is estimated to grow over 800% in the next 20 years. NewSpace NM is here to attract, foster and promote the technological and economic energy of the space industry in New Mexico. The fact is, we have always been a gateway to new frontiers – guided by grit, resourcefulness, tenacity and the brilliant night-sky that captures our aspirations. Space applications and software are a huge part of this growing global economy. New Mexico space is positioned to lead. This panel will explore the possibilities!

Casey Anglada DeRaad, NewSpace NM

Casey Anglada DeRaad, NewSpace NM CEO, is leading NewSpace NM to foster an entrepreneurial, business-focused commercial space ecosystem in New Mexico and to connect ideas, people, and resources to ensure a healthy future for our New Mexico space economy. She has extensive experience in satellite technology development as well as building a $5M/year comprehensive STEM program for the AFRL, including establishment of the very successful AFRL Scholars internship program and the University Nanosat Program for over 350 university students per year to build and launch small satellites. Her experience includes partnership building; business development; investment leveraging; tech transfer; workforce development. She has an BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico and has over 30 years of experience in technology engagement, strategic planning and investment portfolio development.

Danita Macon, Director of IT, Virgin Galactic

Danita Macon joined Virgin Galactic as the Information Technology Director in 2018 and oversees selection, installation, configuration, test, and management of server networks for all locations, along with a world-class IT team.

She maintains their high standards for IT hardware and software, and administers VG’s IT policies, as the onsite manager of connectivity, systems/data protection and ensure security and compliance through VG’s IT systems. She maintains working relationship with commercial space partners to ensure a functional IT service is provided.


Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, Danita was with Nike for five years most recently as the Director of Global Logistics where she provided technical leadership for multiple global business projects, including $19.9M global Inbound Logistics Management Visibility (ILM VIZ) and $3M Shelby / Winchester Link Remediation (SWLR) by troubleshooting and resolving complex issues with minimal impact to business processes. She managed the team who analyzed and implemented global SAP enhancements in alignment with operational priorities. She ensured integration stability between SAP and WMS for Nike-owned distribution centers (DCs) and third-party logistics providers (3PLs).


She was with the University of Memphis for twelve years in multiple IT leadership roles, including the Director of Enterprise Infrastructure Services. She holds Master of Science degrees from Portland State University in Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management and from the University of Memphis in Business Administration Management Information Systems.

Dr. Peter Wegner, Blacksky
Fritz Schlereth, Director Marketing, Descartes Labs

Fritz heads Product at Descartes Labs, where he is super excited to work with a brilliant team on disruptive applications of high-scale computing, machine learning, and satellite imagery. Fritz has a passion for start-ups and emerging technologies and his background includes stints in social media (founding team at Dynamic Signal), adtech (Adify – $300M exit), capital markets, Accenture Technology Labs, and Xerox PARC.

Bold Moves in Broadband


Moderator: Nerissa Whittington, Principal, bigbyte.cc
Misti Willock, Director of Sales and Strategic Partnerships at Sacred Wind

In a telecommunications career spanning over 20 years, Misti has worked for large carriers like CenturyLink, Windstream, and Time Warner Oceanic as an individual contributor and as a manager in sales and engineering roles.  In 2018, after working closely with Neo Nicolaou and John Badal, she accepted their invitation to work with Sacred Wind.  As the Director of Sales and Strategic Partnerships at Sacred Wind, Misti oversees sales efforts and product development as well as identifies collaborative relationships with public and private organizations that have similar missions and values as Sacred Wind.  The key to successful partnerships for Sacred Wind is a mutual desire to serve the underserved.

Kimball Sekaquaptewa, Chief Technology Director for the Santa Fe Indian School

Kimball Sekaquaptewa is the Chief Technology Director for SFIS. Since 2009, Mrs. Sekaquaptewa has addressed regional broadband connectivity issues through the construction of middle mile networks by working with tribes and community anchor institutions to aggregate demand and harness local expertise to build tribally-owned networks. Her work with six Tribes in New Mexico resulted in the construction of two 60-mile fiber optic networks bringing high speed Internet rural underserved Pueblos, resulting in an increase in speeds by over 3000%, while cutting costs by over 90% in some communities. In 2006, her early work to build tribal capacity and the next generation of native IT professionals included a $1.2 million National Science Foundation Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers award that provided critical science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities for native youth. In 2016, she helped with a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant that will connect twelve Tribal libraries to the SFIS distance learning center, expanding native language classes and promoting language revitalization.

Mrs. Sekaquaptewa is from the Hopi Tribe of Arizona. She currently resides in Cochiti Pueblo where she is the mother of three children. She holds an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and is a Woodrow Wilson fellow with a Masters of Business Administration in Education from the University of New Mexico.

Daniel Brashear, Network Operations Manager at Plateau

Disaster Preparedness and Resiliency in Utilities

A short discussion on resiliency, planning, and response. Our panelists will be from the ABCWUA, PNM and NMGas

Moderator | Kelly J. Hamilton, Deputy Secretary at the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Justin Lovato, Cyber Security Specialist at the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWA)
Spencer Wilcox, Executive Director of Technology and CSO at PNM Resources
Manny O’Bryant, MSBC, CBCP, Administrator, Strategy and Business Continuity Information Technology TECO An Emera Company

Manny O’Bryant is currently Administrator, Strategy and Business Continuity at TECO, an Emera Company and a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP).

He’s a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., with a Bachelors of Business Administration degree and has a Master’s of Science degree in Business Continuity (MSBC) from Norwich University, Northfield Vermont.

Additionally, Manny is a principal member of the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Committee on Emergency Management and Business Continuity also referred to as the NFPA 1600: Standard on Continuity, Emergency, and Crisis Management.

He is a past executive board member of the Greater Tampa Bay Chapter of the Association of Continuity Professionals (ACP) and a member of the Epsilon Pi Phi (EPP) Emergency Management Honor Society. Manny was employed by IBM for over 18 years and has for more than 18 years been with TECO. In his current role, Manny provides overall direction and integration for the information technology strategic planning process ensuring alignment with corporate business strategies and provides assurance for business continuity and emergency management.

Smart Cities and Digital Transformation: What it Means for the City of Albuquerque

Smart Cities, Digital Transformation, IoT.  Find out how the City of Albuquerque has been using technology to transform operations.  Learn what Smart Cities in Albuquerque could look like.

Mark Leech, Deputy Director of the City of Albuquerque's Department of Technology and Innovation

Mark Leech is the Deputy Director of the City of Albuquerque Department of Technology and Innovation. Until February 2019, he was Technical Services Manager for the Albuquerque Police Department.  Before that, he led the City’s efforts in open data, transparency and innovation. As a software developer, he has worked extensively in both public and private sectors. 
In 2015 Mark was awarded the prestigious William Dixon First Amendment Award by the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government for his open data work. Mark moved from England to New Mexico in 2002 and holds an MSc. in Information Systems Engineering from the University of Wolverhampton, England.

Smart Campuses


Paul A. Romero, MA, CETL Executive Director of Information Technology at Rio Rancho Public Schools

Paul has been a lifelong technologist, educator and learner, with an unquenchable thirst for educational technology. He is known for being a passionate student of leadership who enjoys building collaborative teams focused on excellence. He is fluent in all areas of K-12 technology including design, engineering, software and operational systems and innovation. Paul has held the positions of CTO, CIO, Dean, Executive Director and Professor. Currently he is the Executive Director of Information Technology at Rio Rancho Public Schools and was the Chief Technology Officer at Albuquerque Public Schools in the recent past. 

Mark Reynolds, Associate Director at the University of New Mexico IT Department

UNM IT  continues to utilize technology to streamline University services and provide a safe environment for its students. Hear from Mark Reynolds who will share some of UNM’s “Smart Campus” techniques. Mark has been in Higher Education for 35 years, and telecommunications since 1973 with 45 years in voice, data, security, facilities, RF and Management.