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Board Bios

    Jeff Gruber - President

    Jeff Gruber is a Senior Human Resource Executive with over 30 years of Human Resources experience. He possesses a diverse leadership background from multiple industries with organizations such as PepsiCo, Bell and Howell, NeuroSource and Caremark. His industry experiences include consumer products and marketing, manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications, distribution and food service. He relocated to Santa Fe in 2014 from Chicago.

    Jeff started his consulting practice, J N Gruber Group in 2014 and his HR practice expertise can be delivered as part of a consulting engagement or as an in-house interim Human Resources leader. Jeff holds an MBA from St. Francis College and a BS in Business from Indiana University. 

    Joe Palmeri - President Elect & VP Finance and Treasurer

    Joe is currently the Manager, Talent Acquisition & HR Management for Los Alamos National Bank. In this role Joe focuses on talent, policies and procedures and daily operations of the HR department.

    Originally from Rochester, New York, Joe moved to the Southwest in April 2016 and has worked in Human Resources for more than 14 years. Joe has worked in the service, retail, manufacturing, non-profit industries, and currently the financial industry.

    Joe received his Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management from St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, NY. He then went on to receive his Master of Science in Management with focuses in Business, Service and Project Management from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. He currently holds the SHRM-SCP certification.

    Joe enjoys many outdoor activities, including hiking and tennis. 

    Michael Ibarra de Perea - VP Professional Development and Programs, Recertification

    Michael is a Human Resource/Management Professional and former Naval Officer with over 10 years of experience leading people and empowering teams. He received a BS in Anthropology from Tulane University, an MBA from New Mexico Highlands University, and holds senior level certifications from the Human Resource Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resources Management. He currently serves as Director, Human Resources for Southwest CARE Center. Michael is a native of Santa Fe, currently residing in Albuquerque and an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management, Northern New Mexico Human Resources Association, Human Resource Management Association of New Mexico, and American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration.

    Dora Anaya - VP Programs

    Dora Anaya is a native New Mexican with 30 years of progressive
    Human Resources management, leadership, and sales management experience.  Dora has worked for Philip Morris, USA as a Territory Sales Manager and in the public sector with the New Mexico Department of Health (Labor Manager), the Division of Vocation Rehabilitation (HR Manager), the North Central Regional Transit District (HR Director) and is currently the Human Resources Director for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. Her experience covers all areas of Human Resources Management such as, compensation / classification, benefits, recruitment,
    retention, on-boarding, labor and union relations, Workers’ Compensation, risk management and alternative dispute resolutions.

    Dora graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Administration with a Concentration in Management and an Associate Degree in Business and Administration from the Santa Fe Community College.


    Merlinda Martinez - VP Marketing

    Merlinda is currently the HR Coordinator for La Familia Medical Center and is fully involved in recruitment, onboarding, performance reviews, benefits, employee relations and training. She joined La Familia in 2018.

    Merlinda is originally from Roswell, NM and has lived in Albuquerque, NM, Midland, TX, Wichita Falls, TX and Durango, CO.  

    She is a graduate of Midwestern State University with a BS in Psychology where she also worked as an HR Assistant.

    Merlinda Enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, family and friends, or just relaxing at home with Netflix and her cat Charlie.

    Jill Bellospirito - VP Membership

    Jill was most recently the Assistant Manager of Human Resources at Homewise, Inc. in Santa Fe.  She has been involved in a variety of HR activities including recruitment, hiring, onboarding, performance reviews, benefits, employee relations and more. She started her career in account management for a large healthcare company providing employee benefits to large organizations across the country and working directly with human resource professionals and decision makers as her clients.

    Wanting to help others, Jill became a licensed massage therapist and worked in a variety of resort and spa settings both providing therapeutic care and in management.  Jill is excited about this next chapter of her career in human resources as she feels it enables her to use all of her past experience and skills.

    Jill has a Bachelors degree in psychology with a minor in business from The State University of New York at Albany and is currently attending  Capella University for her Masters in Human Resource Management. She has already achieved a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management and within the next year Jill plans to take the SHRM certification exam.

    LaGina Glass - VP Administration and Secretary

    LaGina Glass moved to Santa Fe, NM from San Diego, CA in 2013. She studied business at San Diego State University and completed her studies at University of Phoenix with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She has widespread experience in human resources leadership in the retail, wholesale and financial industries. LaGina’s desire to help people, led her to the art of alternative healing where she further defined her passion and now serves as a Reiki Practitioner, Teacher and recently an Aromatherapist.

    She administers, teaches and brings awareness of the energy healing capabilities of Reiki to people in various settings and environments including the workplace. Her passion is to share the experience of Reiki and demonstrate the power of relaxation and the importance of self-care. Her vision is to bring Reiki into communities where access to such treatments and teachings are scarce.

    Carmen V. Chavez - VP of Communications - Newsletter

    Carmen has recently returned to New Mexico from Southern California. While in California, Carmen worked in hospitality at a very busy Holiday Inn located near Los Angeles International Airport. She was the Director of Human Resources at The Club at Las Campanas for five years and is now very happy to be back once again. She was instrumental during the transition of the club from developer to a member owned club. 

    Carmen is reconnecting with her many previous co-workers, new staff members, HR professionals in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque. She has been a member of SHRM National and finds the importance of networking with the local SHRM chapters both in California and Santa Fe.      

    Overall, Carmen has over 15 years of progressive Human Resources experience and is looking forward to the new chapter of her life at Las Campanas again.

    Carmen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

    Miche Garcia - VP Community Relations

    Miche Garcia is currently a Rehabilitation Counselor with New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. She started this new position in November 2017.  Her role focuses on providing Vocational Rehabilitation services to clients who meet disability eligibility criteria in order to achieve an employment outcome. Prior to that, Miche has worked in the human resources field since 2006. Miche has worked in the education, insurance, medical and government industries.

    Miche graduated Cum Honore from the College of Santa Fe with a Bachelors of Organizational Psychology in 2006. She received her MBA from the College of Santa Fe in 2009. She currently holds the Professional in Human Resources from the Human Resource Certification Institute and the Society of Human Resource Management – Certified Professional.

    Miche grew up in the house her mother was born in Santa Fe. She enjoys helping her father with the Acequia Madre and occasional rock hounding trips to nearby mines. She enjoys going on motorcycle rides, hiking and exploring new places with her new husband, Marshall.