Every community benefits from a strong Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce benefits from a team of dedicated volunteers that serve on the board of directors, committees, at the office, or with the many activities and events have helped this organization be a real community asset.
Our Mission is...
Vivienne Van Sweden, Tourism Coordinator
Bio coming soon!!!
H.M. Burleson, President
After high school, I attended T. C. U. in Ft. Worth, Texas and was employed in the Defense industry and communications industry for more than 30 yrs. After retirement, he spent 4 rewarding years driving a "special needs" school bus for Durham Transportation. On a visit to Raton/Cimarron area in the summer of 2011, I was inspired to move to Raton in 2012. He is impressed by the friendliness of the people, the awesome views, fresh air, pure water, the fantastic climate and the lack of traffic. I become an amateur actor in the Shuler and has been appointed Treasurer at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
As president, I will work hard to convince people to work together, share ideas, time, energy and money to attract people and business to this great part of New Mexico. I believe I can inspire and share my enthusiasm with others to make Raton appealing for retirees, vacationers, and business opportunist. We need to encourage graduating students to stay / return her and raise their families. We then have a responsibility to provide business and jobs for them to be able to do so.
Darla Fernandez, Vice-President
Raton has been my home for 58 years. We have seen the best of times and the worst of times. As the new Vice-president of the Raton Chamber, I will work with everyone to promote our city to it's full potential.
Patty Romero, Secretary
Patty Romero was born in Raton, NM and raised in Des Moines, NM at the Archuleta Ranch. She has resided in Raton for the past 24 years. She has worked in the Health Field for 16 years which included duties as a Purchasing Manager, Procurement, Contracts, RFP’s at MCMC and is currently working as the Admissions/Marketing Director at RN&R. Mrs. Romero enjoys spending time with her family and values the time she spends with them. Patty looks forward to assisting the Board of Directors to achieve the Chamber’s Mission and Strategic Plan goals for the community.
Jim Hunter, Treasurer
Jim is the son of Bert & Mary Ann Hunter, born in Springer, NM & raised in Miami, NM on our family Farm & Ranch. Growing up I was actively involved in 4-H, raising numerous animals.
During school years I was in elementary band, Jr. High basketball, and High School Ski Club. After graduation from Springer High School in 1981, I attended New Mexico State University studying Occupational Business / Retailing. During my college years I worked for Professional Pest Control & Domino's Pizza, where I began a career in corporate management. I managed several stores in Alamogordo, NM, El Paso, TX, & moved to Flagstaff, AZ working with one of Domino's Pizza's largest franchisee's. After my move to Phoenix, AZ, I worked for Corporate Pizza Chain – Pizza Hut, furthering my career being a NTO instructor, Supervisor Candidate, & adding many awards to my wall. The Domino's Pizza franchisee president asked me to return. I took a non-profitable store with low sales, and grew the business to new sales records. Upon the retirement of my franchisee, Domino's Pizza, Inc. purchased the majority of his stores and I became the supervisor of 9 stores where I gained a wealth of knowledge. After my Supervisor role, the turn of the economy, & corporate decisions to change upper management led me to still a new experience. Switching occupations to Corporate Company Circle K, I worked my way back up the ladder to manage 2 stores in Phoenix, AZ. After being robbed twice at gunpoint, having my car stolen during second robbery, my father’s death in 2009, I decided to move to Raton to be there for my ageing mother. The move led to yet another change in my career. I started with Wells Fargo in 2009 in Springer, NM, and a year later moved to the Raton branch.
As I became more involved with the public in Raton, I was selected to become a Chamber of Commerce Board Member. Because of my experience & ideas it wasn’t long before I was elected as Treasurer. As Treasurer and Board Member, I will use my business experience to maintain the budget and help make secure decisions to provide Raton with exciting events that will attract neighbouring communities, states, tourists, and business to join our community.
Paul Jenkins, Board Member
Born and raised in southern California; Served in US Air Force 1966-1972. Graduated class valedictorian fromDakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, South Dakota, in 1975 with dual majors in Human Resources and Community Services. Left seminary to go into the business world. Operations supervisor and retired mortgage banker. In 1999, married to Marlene Weseloh, a retired Licensed Vocational Nurse. Moved to Raton in 2005 and immediately became active as founding member of Raton MainStreet. Co-founder of GrowRaton! with Kathy Harris in 2010 and currently serves as President and as a member of the Raton Basin Economic Development Advisory Committee. Former President of the North East Economic Development Organization, Inc. dba NEEDO-NM and still serves on NEEDO-NM Executive Committee.. Loves to watch movies and TV dramas!
Shiela Tafoya, Board Member
Bio coming soon!
Brijesh Patel, Board Member
Bio coming soon!
Board Member Vacancies
The Raton Chamber of Commerce has up to three vacancies on the Board of Directors. Per our bylaws: There shall be no less than five and no more than nine Directors. Directors must be members of the Raton Chamber of Commerce , or an authorized voting representative of a business or organization that is a member of the Chamber.
Individuals interested in serving on the board are asked to submit a letter of interest along with qualifications. Please mail your letter of interest and qualifications to Raton Chamber of Commerce, 100 Clayton Road, Raton, NM 87740.
Raton Chamber of Commerce Says Thank you to departing Board Members Debbie Gabriele & Ty Clinesmith.
Debbie Gabriele: Having received her BS in Medical Technology in 1980, Debbie spent 15 years in hospital management until she made a career shift to Long Term Care in 1995. At that time, she received an MBA from Texas Woman's University, as well as the Texas License for Nursing Home Administration. Debbie moved to Raton in 2005 as an administrator for SunBridge Long Term Care. After seeing the need in the local community, she started Colfax Senior Care Assisted Living home. Debbie has truly filled a great need with that project and is in the planning stages of building a Retirement Community for this area. In the past, she has served on the boards of, or held membership in, Raton Chamber of Commerce, Raton Main Street, Alternatives to Violence, Professional Business Women, the Raton Planning and Zoning Commission, The Health Council, The Alzheimer's Association and the New Mexico Health Care Quality Committee. Debbie currently holds active Licenses in both Texas and New Mexico as a Nursing Facility Administrator. We wish Debbie all the best and thank her for her service to Raton.
Ty Clinesmith: Ty was born and raised in Pratt, Kansas and moved to Raton in November 2001 After serving 10 years in the US Air Force. Ty is married to Chris Clinesmith and they have five children and two grandchildren. Chris is the Raton Middle School Health Teacher and Ty is employed by Baker Hughes, a Service Company for the Oil and Gas Industry, as an Account Manager. Ty is also a partner owner of Pegasus Flight Services, LLC, a full service FBO serving the Raton Municipal Airport and surrounding area, a private pilot, and a volunteer pilot for the Civil Air Patrol and Angel Flight South Central. We wish Ty the best of luck and thank him for his service to Raton.
The Raton Chamber of Commerce mourns the passing of Steve Porter. Steve served as President but had to resigne in February of 2014 to attend to serious health issues. We were deeply saddened to learn that his battle with a lung infection was lost on the evening of March 24th. Steve had a 30 year waste and recycling professional and returned to the Raton area three years ago. He was active in the Raton Rotary Club, was employed by the City of Raton as the Recycling Coordinator and had just taken a new job with New Mexico Rural Water Association. Steve brought five years of non-profit management experience to the Board of Directors and successfully implemented many programs and projects throughout his career. His past volunteer effors include serving as a Chapter President for the Boulder City, Nevada Jaycees and Chamber of Commerce. We will remember Steve as a man who gave more than he was asked and did so with grace and a positive attitude. Rest In Peace Steve~