Northern New Mexico's Community Network

Meet the La Plaza Board of Directors

[pete] Pete Warner (2002 President)

Pete retired in June from Bank of America Northwest Division (formerly Seattle-First National Bank) after a 35 year banking career in California and Washington. He and his wife, Mary Ann, had been visiting Taos since 1992 and in 1997 they bought a second home here. Upon his retirement they decided to move here full time, and are presently in the process of remodeling the home into a permanent residence. During his banking career Pete was always active in the communities they lived and worked in. Some of his recent board memberships include: Bellingham-Whatcom County Economic Development Council; Skagit Valley College Foundation; Seafirst Foundation; Bellingham Community Child Care Center; United Way of Whatcom County (Executive Board). In addition, he has been involved in numerous other community groups and activities as a participating member. His hobbies are travel, skiing, and flying his own airplane.

Pete was first elected to the board in 1999; his current term runs until 2003.

[ira] Ira Schwartz (2002 Vice-President)

Ira is a retired teacher and administrator from a public school system in New York where he also served as a consultant to the NYS Education Department. Following his retirement in 1993 he worked for 3 1/2 years as the coordinator of a teacher enhancement project that was funded by the National Science Foundation and administered by Hofstra University in New York. He continues to maintain his hand in educational matters as an occasional consultant and presenter. He moved to Taos with his wife Lorraine in 1996 after visiting during vacations for almost 10 years. He is on the board of directors of the Hondo Mesa Community Association and publishes their newsletter. He also serves as treasurer for the Taos County Swim Club.

Ira was appointed to the board in May 1997 to fill a vacancy and elected to a full term in 1998; his term runs until 2002.

[gene] Gene Goetz (2002 Secretary)

Gene is Director of Development for Boys and Girls Club of Northern New Mexico. He and his wife, Chris, an artist, moved to Taos in 1994. Prior to moving to Taos, he was a management consultant, working with public and closely-held corporations, non-profit organizations, schools, colleges, and government agencies thoughout the U.S. His specialty is rebuilding organizations and managing strategic growth. Chris and Gene have five grown children.

Gene was elected to the board in 1998; his term runs until 2002.

[pam] Pam Romero (2002 Treasurer)

Pam Romero studied foreign languages in college. Since family is a major part of her life, she decided to come home to work. Pam is currently the Data Processing Manager at Centinel Bank of Taos. She has fourteen years experience in banking, nine of which have been in the Data Processing Department. Pam enjoys photography, hiking, camping, reading and shopping on the Internet.

Pam was first elected to the board in 1999; her current term runs until 2003.

thosThos Myers

Thos teaches Media Literacy,computer literacy and Digital Story Telling and maintains the Chamisa Mesa High School web page ( and the computer lab. He also works with the Taos Teen Council whose mission is to "celebrate, support, and empower youth."

Thos also sponsors youth who attend the Teen Media Conference each year at the Taos Talking Picture Festival. He has lived in Taos for over 25 years and worked at the TCA, ran his own business, and been involved with the education and training of youth throughout the community for many of those years. He has 2 children who are now both going to college. visit his web page.

Thos was elected to the board in 1996 and re-elected in 1999; his current term runs until 2002.

[reva] Reva Suazo

Reva is employed as Realty Specialist in the Taos Pueblo Real Property Management Program under the Office of the War Chief Branch of Tribal Government) and the Taos Pueblo Central Management System (CMS). As a staff member of the Real Property Management Program, she administers the program in accordance with the goals and objectives and prepare the annual budget for the program. The Real Property Management Office assists the Taos Pueblo Tribal Government with projects for community land use and development, tribal issues in reference to Indian lands, and the documentation of use rights possession. Her position is a technical resource for tribal government and is usually assigned as part of a team when dealing with issues or projects.

Reva was elected to the board in 1998 and re-elected in 1999; her current term runs until 2002.

[mats] Mats Wichmann

Mats is a computer consultant with over nineteen years professional experience in technology fields, including operating systems and databases. He also teaches technology short courses for an intenational training provider. Mats has been around the Internet since 1979 when it was still known as Arpanet and email was an exciting new application. He is active in the Latir Neighborhood Association and the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CNA). Visit his web page.

Mats was elected to the board in 1997; his term runs until 2000. To: Mats was first elected to the board in 1997; his current term runs until 2003.

Damon S. Benson

I have been in Taos for over 12 years working as the Patient Financial Services Director for Holy Cross Hospital. I was married on July 15th of this year and we have two children (Logan, 8 and Colton, 4). I am currently on the steering committee for the MIRA project of the Kellogg Foundation. I am also a board member for Taos Medical Services Foundation. I have in the past worked with Habitat for Humanity of Taos, Taos Feeds Taos and various other non-profit groups. I am excited about an opportunity to work with Laplaza because I know that it is through the empowering technologies available today like the internet that we as a community and the nation as a whole will improve its life standards for everyone.

I have for several years been a supporter of La Plaza. In fact, when many with the hospital were looking into alternative internet providers, I was strong in my support for Laplaza. As witnessed by our connection last year to Laplaza for wireless service, my committment has paid off.

My interest in the board has resulted somewhat directly from my involvement in the Kellogg Foundation's award of a Managing Information in Rural America grant (MIRA). I have personally seen how the use of this electronic media has brought groups of divergent people together and has been a vehicle of improvement for each of those individuals. As the fiscal agent's representative on the steering committee, I have been a part of the grant's efforts. As our role in the MIRA project for Northern New Mexico is winding down, I believe that participation on the La Plaza board would be a perfect fit allowing me to continue efforts toward the overall goal of bringing the benefits of connectivity to an even wider audience.

Damon was appointed to the board in 2000 to fill a vacancy and elected to a full term in 2000; his current term runs until 2002.

mary ann Mary Lane Leslie  

Mary Lane moved to Taos in October, 1996. This is her chosen permanent home, although she was bom and reared in Texas. After practicing law in El Paso for almost twenty years, she is now limiting her practice to New Mexico. She focuses her practice on probate and estate matters, subdivision and other real estate, and mediation of all types of legal cases. In addition, she and her brothers and sister have a real estate company in the panhandle of Texas. From July, 2000 until July, 2001 Mary Lane was the County Attorney for Taos County government. Since last summer, Mary Lane and her husband Doug have been building a house near the gorge. Doug is fulfilling a life long dream by doing most of the work himself with Mary Lane as purchasing agent and materials pricer.

Mary Lane is committed to Taos and community enhancement. In the non-profit sector, Mary Lane has volunteered for mediation work for the Eighth Judicial District Court, Habitat for Humanity, Taos Talking Pictures (TTP), and spent a year as Executive Director of TTP. She is very involved with her parish church, St. James Episcopal where she was chairman of the Welcoming Committee. She serves as secretary of the Taos Bar Association this year. She has two step children and two grandchildren, three dogs, a cat, a bird and two horses she dearly loves. An avid but mediocre skier, she also likes hiking and backpacking and riding.

For questions regarding our website:
   E-Mail - La Plaza Telecommunity