Kelly has a Bachelor of Social Work degree as well as a Master of Social Work degree – both from New Mexico State University. She is a licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her work experience includes 13 years with Adult Probation and Parole Division of the NM Corrections Dept. where she was promoted the last five years as a supervisor for Probation and Parole in Eddy County. She then chose to work for the NM Human Services Department, now Children, Youth and Families Dept. She serviced as the County Office Manager/Protective Services Division in Chaves, Eddy, and finally Lincoln/Otero. Following her retirement from State employ, Kelly worked as a Clinical Social Worker at the Heritage Program in Lincoln County as well as the Clinical Supervisor for Mesilla Valley Hospital Treatment Foster Care Agency when it had a site in Lincoln County. She officially retired from active social work practice in March, 2013. She is active in church affairs at the Episcopal Church of Lincoln County.
Rita Combs retired in 2008 after a 32-year career as a Contract Specialist with the Federal Government at Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Illinois. During her career in contracting, she also served as an Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor for a period of seven years. Rita has been a volunteer at Ruidoso's White Mountain Elementary school and believes that all children deserve to live in a comfortable and caring environment. Together, she, and husband Rory Combs, moved to Ruidoso in 2009 and are the owners of Thunder Horse Gallery in Ruidoso. They have two grown children and three grandchildren.
Leon Kranz has been married to his wife Nancy since 1962. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Active in St. Eleanor’s parish since 2005, he is a member of the church choir and is a Eucharistic Minister. Kranz earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Wichita State University in 1962, and a Juris Doctor from University of San Diego in 1969. He was a member of the California State Bar Association from 1970 to 2005. An Aerospace manufacturing executive for 42 years, Kranz retired from his President and CEO position from Weber Metals, Inc., Paramount, CA, in 2005, moving from Southern California to Ruidoso. He has a long history of Board of Directors membership, including the following: Chairman, Weber Metals, Inc., Paramount, CA, since 1992; Spencer Theater, Alto, NM since 2015; Alto Lakes Special Zoning District Commissioner since 2014; Lead Director of Ladish, Inc., Milwaukee, WI, from 1997 to 2010; United Way of San Diego; President, Rohr Industries Employees Federal Credit Union, San Diego, CA, from 1974 through 1976.
The Reverend Laurie Benavides is a Deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande assigned to the Episcopal Church in Lincoln County, NM, where she is part of the Clergy Team. Reverend Benavides lives out her central ministry as a deacon by activating the community to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely, and by interpreting to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world. She is married to Dr. Roy C. Benavides and they have three grown daughters and one grandchild. Prior to ordination, she retired from a 31-year career in public education.
I am from Indiana, moving to New Mexico in 1973. We lived in Aztec for 32 years, raising 3 boys. I worked the last 13 years at a Rehab hospital in Farmington, NM. I started a Stroke Support and an Aphasia Support group which is so important for these survivors and caretakers. We moved to Ruidoso to be close to our son and his family. My first job in nursing was Pediatrics and I now work at the schools as a substitute nurse. I love kids and this job has made me very aware of the many students who need so much community support and assistance.