RGALT Staff & Board
Cecilia has served as the Executive Director of Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust (RGALT) since 2007. In addition, Cecilia owns and operates a certified organic farm in Polvadera , NM which serves a number of Albuquerque’s fine restaurants, grocery stores in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, as well as Farmer’s Markets in Socorro and Albuquerque. The farm business was established in 1997. She served on the board of NM Farmer’s Market Association for 10 years, and served on the governing council for NM Food & Agriculture Policy Council for five years.
Sarah Wentzel-Fisher is the editor of edible Santa Fe. She also works at La Montañita Co-op, and for the National Young Farmers Coalition. In her free time she visits farms (she highly recommends this activity), experiments in her kitchen, and keeps chickens in her backyard.
John Leeper is a Civil Engineer who is currently a Senior Project Manager at AMEC Environment and Infrastructure in Socorro New Mexico. Prior to that Mr. Leeper spent more than fifteen years working for the Navajo Nation’s Department of Water Resources. In that capacity he worked on a variety of Navajo Nation and regional water management and development issues.
William C. (Bill) Hume, retired in 2009 after seven years as Director of Policy and Issues on the staff of Governor Bill Richardson. His specialty areas of responsibility included water policy, government-to-government relations with New Mexico’s 19 sovereign Native American tribes and pueblos, Mexican affairs, and foreign government contacts. Prior to his government service, Hume was on the staff of The Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico’s leading newspaper, for 36 years – the last 16 as Editor of the Editorial Page.
John Utton practices law with Sheehan and Sheehan, P.A. primarily in the areas of water rights, administrative law and water planning; federal and state water rights litigation, including stream system adjudications; land use planning and zoning; and real estate and development. Utton has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of New Mexico Law School, teaching classes in natural resources and water law. He is a member of the American Bar Association Committees on Water Resources and Land Use Law.
Ms. D’Antonio has over 20 years of experience as an environmental planner, manager, and regulatory compliance and policy specialist the public works (transportation and water resources), defense, and land development sectors. Ms. D’Antonio began her career at the USACE, where she worked in the Regulatory Branch issuing CWA Section 404 permits, and in the Environmental Branch writing NEPA documents and ESA Section 7 biological assessments for the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher and the Rio Grande silvery minnow. Ms. D’Antonio’s professional experience also includes public outreach and involvement; conducting Phase I environmental site assessments and preliminary site investigations; CWA Sections 404 and 402 permitting; agency coordination and consultation; and participating and leading interdisciplinary collaborative teams.
Ron Thomas, an electrical engineering professor at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, studies lightning, particularly the lightning that accompanies volcanic eruptions. In 1989, he joined the faculty of New Mexico Tech, in Socorro, where an abundance of thunderstorms has long drawn researchers interested in lightning. He helped develop the portable lightning sensors that the National Weather Service and the National Severe Storms Laboratory now use, downsizing the equipment to fit into picnic coolers.