Moises Padilla, Executive Director
Moises Padilla grew up and now raises his family in Los Padillas in the South Valley. His work focuses on building a strength-based approach in schools that supports children and their families. He previously served as the dean of students of Atrisco Heritage Academy where his team created, built and implemented a community school that would function as a change agent for a community that is 93 percent Hispanic and in which most members live at or below the poverty line. He also has worked with incarcerated youth at Foothill High School at New Mexico Youth Diagnostic Development Center (YDDC). He is further developing his community-based approach as a Kellogg Leadership Fellow. Moises understands the value of community partnerships and works closely with community agencies and nonprofits to advance his goal of developing classrooms and school cultures that foster self-confidence, esteem and academic success for all students.
Amber Reno, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Amber Reno is a New Mexico native who spent most of her childhood in Tucumcari and Socorro. As a youth, she attended Aim High, an alternative school that sparked her desire to serve young people through education. Amber received a B.A. in Communicative Arts Education and an M.A. in Secondary Education from UNM. Most recently, she completed an M.A. in Education Administration through Eastern New Mexico University.
While she has spent most of her career as a high school English Language Arts teacher, before taking this position, Amber spent two years working as an instructional coach and intervention specialist, which allowed her to support students who needed additional services or different instructional approaches. Additionally, Amber has worked with the Upward Bound program for the last five years, providing academic and social supports to student who will be first-generation college attendees. With an extended family that includes a number of teachers, Amber thinks of education as the family business. She knows that a quality education is one that empowers students to affect positive change in their own lives and in society in general, but she is also aware that meaningful learning only occurs when students are invested in their work. As such, she is committed to engaging students in thrilling learning that develops the skills and knowledge that will allow students to successfully pursue their educational and professional goals.
Jaqi Baldwin, Director of Student Support
Jaqi Baldwin was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is an advocate committed to ensuring that systems and programs are respectfully and authentically meeting the needs of young people in her hometown. As Director of Student Support, Jaqi is excited to spearhead the innovative infusion of social and emotional supports for all Siembra students to enhance academic success. She has dedicated the past ten years to working with and for young people in the Albuquerque community in the areas of school social work, protective services social work and community and mental health intervention and prevention work.
As a mental health clinician, Jaqi provides individual, family, and group interventions to support students. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of New Mexico and Masters’ degrees in both Clinical Social Work and Government & Not-for-Profit Business Administration from New Mexico Highlands University. With this background, Ms. Baldwin is in a unique position to not only provide and implement social/emotional support but also offer industry-relevant support for Siembra students in the entrepreneurial pursuits. Ms. Baldwin is also a licensed high school teacher and feels passionately about being a part of a team that offers education options and opportunities to our most precious resource – our youth.
Jessica Aranda, Director of Community Engagement
Jessica Aranda is spearheading Siembra’s collaboration with entrepreneurs and industry partners. Before joining Siembra, she spent 7 years at an Albuquerque-based manufacturing social enterprise. She also served as the Executive Director of an economic justice organization in Chicago. Jessica has extensive experience in strategic planning, media and communications, project management, curriculum design and implementation. She has also launched dozens of non-profit organizations in Illinois and New Mexico in addition to training advocates and organizers throughout the country.
Originally from New Mexico, Jessica earned a B.A. in Anthropology and Latin American Studies from Beloit College and an M.A. in Contemplative Education from Naropa University. Committed to building relevant and innovative opportunities for learning and growth for students and families, she is proud to be part of the Siembra team.
Russell V. Combs, Entrepreneurial Expert
Russell V. Combs is experienced in many aspects of business incubation best practices, including incubator management, entrepreneurship training, development of technology-based facilities and training programs, management of governmental programs supporting economic development, as well as business consulting in the private sector. He currently serves as Managing Director of the WESST Enterprise Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico and most recently finished his tenure as Executive Director of the Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University Erie, PA. Previously he directed a regional multi-facilities business incubation project in Northern Virginia. His administrative experience has included direction of the Tech Ventures division for a community development non-profit corporation. This included management of a youth entrepreneurial development program, a technology-based business incubator, and four community technology centers. He has directed the administration and marketing of an Economic Development Zone initiative in rural New York, which included strategies of growth, business incubation, and expansion for over 65 businesses. The program was recognized globally for its successes as an “incubator-without-walls” project. He also served as the director of a Microenterprise, Entrepreneurial Assistance and ARC Second Stage Business Counseling Program, including a state-of-the-art computer lab focusing on workforce development and skill sets improvements. This initiative resulted in over 100 small business start-ups within a six-year period with a 94% success rate. Mr. Combs also was the architect and administered the formulation of a five-community human services and economic development initiative resulting in creation of five diverse programs that received special recognition from New York State Department of Youth and Department of Social Services, as well as New York Department of Economic Development for business retention and expansion strategies within the five communities. Mr. Combs has worked in the private sector as CEO and Senior Consultant of his own business that restructured failing companies. All businesses assisted remained in operation retaining over 1,000 jobs.
Mr. Combs received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dayton Bible College, Dayton, Ohio, in 1972. Since graduating, he has continued his studies in Business Administration and Management, as well as Management/Labor Relations. He received his designation as a Credentialed Business Incubation Professional, awarded by the National Business Incubation Association, in 2009. He has served as President of the Virginia Business Incubation Association. He is active in the National Business Incubation Association, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and is a frequent presenter at their conferences as well as other state and regional incubation conferences. He was also a presenter at the International Business Incubator Conference in Hong Kong.
Edward Tabet-Cubero, Bilingual Education Expert
Edward Tabet-Cubero is a veteran bilingual educator who currently serves as Associate Director of Dual Language Education of New Mexico. DLeNM is a non-profit technical assistance that supports schools and policymakers in their efforts to provide emerging bilingual students with equal opportunities to learn by building upon their linguistic and cultural assets. With a BA and MA Ed from New Mexico State University, Edward has promoted bilingual education across the US as a classroom teacher, award winning site administrator at the elementary and secondary levels, district office administrator, and university instructor. In 2014, Edward was selected as a WK Kellogg Leadership Fellow where he is applying his skills in collaboration with a leadership cohort across a variety of sectors to improve outcomes for families in New Mexico. In his role as Secretary for The NM Coalition for the Majority, Edward is frequently called on by legislators to share his expertise regarding educational policy focused on diverse student populations. His current focus is on the convergence of best practices in the education of emerging bilingual students, instructional leadership, and public policy.
Javier Martínez, Attorney and State Representative
Javier Martinez serves as Policy Director and General Counsel at the Partnership for Community Action (PCA), a community-based organization that works to build political and economic power in Albuquerque’s South Valley. Javier is a product of Albuquerque’s public schools and graduated from the University of New Mexico, becoming the first in his family to attend and graduate from college. In 2010 Javier graduated from the UNM School of Law. For the past 15 years, Javier has advocated on behalf of New Mexico’s most vulnerable families. He has fought to ensure access to health care for all families regardless of immigration status, advocated for smart-growth development policies, pushed for permanent investments in early childhood education, and fought tirelessly to protect civil rights for all. Javier lives in Albuquerque’s North Valley with his wife, Diana and their children Marisela and Camilo. Javier represents Albuquerque’s House District 11 in the New Mexico State House of Representatives.
Taylor Chavez, Entrepreneur and Student
Taylor Chavez is the founder of Startup Teen, an organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurial education and assisting teens with the mentorship and resources needed to get their ideas off the ground. In addition, she is the co-founder of Teeniors, a startup enabling tech-savvy teens to assist senior citizens with their technology needs. Taylor, a junior in high school, is passionate about entrepreneurship and organized the first ever Startup Weekend exclusively for Teens. In 2014, she received the Hautepreneurs, Haute Honors Award as Teen Rising Star Youth and spoke at TEDxABQ in 2013.
Daniel O. Trujillo, CPA, CFE, CGFM, CGMA
Daniel Trujillo has been doing state and local government audits for various entities including New Mexico school’s in his time as an auditor. Daniel is a CPA licensed in New Mexico and has sat on governing council of a local charter school between 2010 and 2013. Daniel also is a Certified Governmental Financial Manager and Certified Fraud Examiner. Daniel has experience planning, performing and evaluating audits and continuously seeks continuing education to stay up to date with changing requirements and regulations. Daniel currently sits on the Board of Directors for the UNM Alumni Association and is a member of their finance committee.
Daniel Trujillo earned his BBA and also his MACCT from the University of New Mexico; Robert O. Anderson School of Management. He is a member of the AICPA, NMSCPA, ACFE and the AGA.