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Kathy Hansen

Director and Chief Executive Officer

Kathy serves as Director of Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University (NMSU) and CEO of Arrowhead Center, Inc., a non-profit corporation created to support the mission of NMSU. She leads Arrowhead’s efforts in entrepreneurship and innovation, focused on technology commercialization, student entrepreneurship, starting and growing businesses and creating public-private partnerships. She provides direction for Arrowhead Center programs, initiatives, strategies, goals, and performance in support of the organization’s mission; leads development of public-private partnerships for economic development; champions new business development opportunities; provides management oversight of programs, products, and services; and develops and monitors operational and programmatic budgets.

Hansen has served on the board and as an officer of several non-profit corporations, including the Science Education Alliance, Inc. She currently is a board member of the Arrowhead Innovation Fund GP, an early stage seed fund devoted to investing in innovation-based, scalable businesses. Hansen is also involved in the Borderplex Alliance, serving as co-chair of the Entrepreneurship Task Force.

Kathy can be reached at or at (575) 646-4220.


Dana DeRego Catron

Deputy Director | SBIR Program Director

Dana serves as Deputy Director of Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University, and serves as PI and director on multiple federal projects, programs, and initiatives focused on technology commercialization, R&D, and procurement, with an emphasis on SBIR/STTR programs and technology maturation. She is also the founder and director of the NM Clean Energy Resilience and Growth (CERG) cluster, funded through DOE. Ms. Catron has extensive experience and skills in technology commercialization, market validation, leadership, organizational and project management, strategic planning, program development and operations, grant writing and reporting, and grant management. She also serves as NMSU’s site director and is a member of the Internal Advisory Committee for the Accelerating Solutions for Commercialization and Entrepreneurial Development (ASCEND), which focuses on the commercialization of biomed tech out of research institutions. She has an outstanding track record of building and growing public private partnerships – particularly among academic and government institutions, such as the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and national laboratories. Dana received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science (focus on bovine genomics) from Washington State University and a master’s and Ph.D. (in progress) in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from NMSU.

Dana can be reached at or at (505)-469-8411.


Paula Garcia

Resident Manager at the Genesis Center

Paula Garcia is the resident manager at the Genesis Center. She holds down the fort and is an excellent friendly face for visitors to our buildings. She received her Associate degree in General Studies in 2011 from Dona Ana Community College, and is currently working on her Associate degree in Criminal Justice. Paula enjoys spending time with her family, and especially going to her granddaughter’s athletic events. As if she wasn’t already busy enough, Paula also actively volunteers in various Las Cruces community events, including TWEF, Toys for Tots, Gus Macker 3 on 3 basketball tournament and the Mariachi Mass.

Paula can be reached at or at (575) 646-6120.

Chris C

Chris Corbine

Aggie I-Corps Program Manager

Chris Corbine is an accomplished Program Manager for the Aggie I-Corps program, specializing in innovation transfer within New Mexico research institutions. With a background in aiding early-stage start-ups, Chris provides valuable mentorship, education, and resources to burgeoning entrepreneurs. A 20-year retired Air Force veteran, he served as an electronics technician and combat aircrew and systems expert on the HH-60G Combat Rescue Helicopter. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Leadership from Southwestern College in Winfield, KS and a Master of Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management from Liberty University.

Chris can be reached at 

Carlos Cuesta

Carlos Cuesta

Program Director, Nusenda Fintech Lab | Economic Development Officer, Arrowhead Center

Carlos Cuesta serves as the Program Director for Studio G and the Nusenda Fintech Lab. Studio G is a student entrepreneur incubator, while the Nusenda Fintech Lab serves as a hub for financial technological innovations. In these capacities, Carlos is at the forefront of fostering entrepreneurial spirit and advancing technological solutions in the financial sector.

Carlos is an Economic Development Officer at the Arrowhead Center. His academic credentials include a master’s degree in business administration with a Finance concentration, along with bachelor’s degrees in finance and international business, all acquired from New Mexico State University. In recognition of his dedication and excellence, he received the highest honors in the College of Business in 2019.

Carlos holds several certifications that further showcase his expertise. He is LeanStack Level 1 Certified, demonstrating his proficiency in lean startup methodologies. Additionally, he is Capitalization Tables Certified by Foresight, showcasing his understanding of financial structures crucial for startups. Furthermore, his Fintech Certification from the University of Chicago reflects his commitment to staying at the forefront of financial technology advancements.

For inquiries or collaboration opportunities, Carlos can be reached at or (575) 520-5943.

Kathy F

Kathy Foster

Director of Strategic Operations

Kathy Foster is the Director of Strategic Operations at Arrowhead Center, where she focuses strategic planning, and oversees the development and execution of several technology and innovation programs. With a background in broadcasting, public relations, and a strong track record in grant writing, program management, and building industry relationships, she brings a wealth of experience to her role. Kathy holds a BA in English from the University of New Mexico and an Executive MBA from the Anderson School of Management, equipping her with the strategic vision and leadership skills to drive Arrowhead Center's mission forward.

Kathy can be reached at 


Dr. Becki Roan Graham

Senior Program Manager

Becki is a researcher and writer for Arrowhead Center, exploring new directions for programming and communicating with the organization’s many stakeholders. She is involved in program development, funding, and reporting, as well as strategic planning initiatives for Arrowhead Center and the broader NMSU System. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member in Doña Ana Community College’s English Department. Becki earned her B.A. in Psychology from Wilkes University; and a M.A. in Anthropology and Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from NMSU.

Becki can be reached at


Peter Knapp

Senior Program Manager

Peter Knapp is Arrowhead Center’s Senior Graphic Designer and Visual Communications Leader. He develops and implements brand identity strategies, website development, print layout, and design conceptualization. He earned his bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on Graphic Design from NMSU and has over ten years of experience. Mr. Knapp is an advocate for branding and identity and creating a mark that will give the final product an original look with creativity and sophistication.

Peter can be reached at or at (575) 646-1775.

Mariana Bucio-Martinez

Mariana Bucio-Martinez

Communication Specialist

Mariana serves as a Communication Specialist within Arrowhead Center, tasked with enhancing the institution's brand presence and social media outreach. Her responsibilities include graphic design work and collaboration with students on marketing projects in a professional capacity. Mariana is a graduate of New Mexico State University, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on Graphic Design and a minor in Marketing.

Mariana can be reached at 


Patricia Marquez Knighten

Director Innovation Commercialization, Office of Intellectual Property

Patricia joined Arrowhead Center to support and expand our innovation and commercialization initiatives. She brings diverse business and program development experience, having worked in small business, high tech start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, federal research laboratories, and government. She has been the key business liaison for technical teams in the aerospace, environmental, nuclear, and information technology industry sectors and has planned and implemented projects for economic development and technology transfer and commercialization. She has a B.S in Management/Logistics from Weber State University and a Master’s Certificates in Project Management and Lean Six Sigma from Villanova University.

Patricia can be reached at and by phone at 505-918-5974.


Vanessa Mills

Vanessa Mills is the Accountant of Arrowhead Center Inc., a 501(c) 3 corporation component of NMSU. She manages the financial and administrative operations of the non-profit corporation. Vanessa has worked in the non-profit community in Las Cruces for the last three years where she earned her experience on accounting, reporting, and compliance of the non-profit sector.  She received her Bachelor of Accountancy from New Mexico State University and is currently pursuing the CPA license. 

Vanessa can be reached at or at (575) 646-1993


Kristin Morehead

Kristin Morehead manages the Arrowhead Innovation Network and the AIN Ventures program, assisting with research, production and implementation of projects, partnerships and initiatives conducted through Arrowhead that support entrepreneurship.  She also oversees NMSU’s role in the New Mexico Small Business (NSMBA) Program, in partnership with Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories.  Kristin holds a Master’s in Anthropology, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration from NMSU.

Kristin can be reached at or at (575) 646-5575.


Carlos Murguia

AIF’s Associate Fund Manager

Carlos Murguia serves as AIF’s Associate Fund Manager, a general early-stage seed fund that primarily focuses on New Mexico’s regional strengths in agriculture, biotechnology, health/devices, information technology, engineering, energy, and water technology industry sectors. He is responsible for overall program operations, including the development and implementation of business support programs and industry ecosystems to help startups maximize growth and success. Carlos also serves as the Director of the Foster Innovation Exchange and the Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship at Arrowhead Center. Carlos has established partnerships with different organizations to support entrepreneurship and provide prototyping services to entrepreneurs in the Paso del Norte Region. He received the New Mexico State University Alumni Association Fall 2017 Outstanding Graduate Award for the Graduate School and is a New Mexico Angels board member. Carlos is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, a Certified SCRUM Master by the Lean Six Sigma Institute, and was recently selected as a Hunt Aspen Fellowship awardee.

Carlos can be reached at or at (575) 646-2025.


Alejandro Najera-Acosta

Program Specialist, Sr

Alejandro Najera-Acosta serves as Program Specialist, Sr., for NMSU’s Arrowhead Center. He is a Ph.D. student at New Mexico State University (NMSU) pursuing a major in Industrial Engineering, and a minor in Applied Statistics. Growing up in an industrialized environment as is Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, Alejandro has experience managing systems, procedures, implementing control plans, mentoring, designing, and planning from professional expertise, teaching, research, and service. He has worked in different synergistic research projects, being involved in fields such as manufacturing, product design & development, sustainability, quality assurance, statistical methods, Six Sigma, design of parameters and tolerances. Additionally, he has served as a liaison between NMSU and the UACJ supporting academic collaboration. Alejandro received his B.Sc. in Industrial & Systems Engineering and M.Eng. in Manufacturing with Product Design Specialization from the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ). He has been granted the Business Award for Academic Excellence by COPARMEX Juarez, recognizing the generational highest GPA for local main universities, and recently he received the Love Learning Award. 

Alejandro can be reached at or at (575) 646-2025.


Dr. Ed Pines

Professor in Residence

Dr. Ed Pines is a Professor of Industrial Engineering at NMSU since 1994.  His teaching and research is in the areas of engineering management and systems engineering.  Before entering the academic world, he was an industrial engineer and manager in aerospace and electronics manufacturing.  At Arrowhead Center, he is active in a variety of entrepreneur education programs.  He is an Enterprise Adviser for the Arrowhead Innovation Network. Dr. Pines is a member of the Board of Directors of Quality New Mexico and President of the High Tech Consortium of Southern New Mexico.


Alexxis Renteria

Communication Specialist

Alexxis Renteria serves as the Communication Specialist for Arrowhead Center. In this role, Alexxis works to build and maintain Arrowhead Center’s brand and website. She serves as a graphic and web designer. As well as a team leader of students who develop marketing and branding materials in a professional environment. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Graphic Design which was represented in her thesis, from New Mexico State University. Alexxis has also earned an Associates of Applied Science for Advertising Graphics and Design from El Paso Community College.

Alexxis can be reached at  


Sandi Ringwood

Program Manager for Innoventure

Sandi serves as the Program Manager for Innoventure at Arrowhead Center, where she oversees the K-12 Youth Entrepreneurship Programs, including Innoventure Junior, Camp Innoventure, and  Innoventure Challenge. Sandi draws from her extensive experience as a teacher, center director, and director of education, to implement the Innoventure Programs. She earned her bachelor's degree in education from Northern Arizona University (NAU).
You can contact Sandi at or by phone at 575-646-3543.

Wayne L. Savage

Executive Director of Arrowhead Park

Wayne is a 1980 graduate of NMSU’s Industrial Engineering program, and a 1994 NMSU Ingeniero Imminente awardee. He has over 30 years of experience in semiconductor manufacturing, high purity gas and chemical production, economic development consulting, and construction management. Returning home to New Mexico in 2007, Wayne has served in a variety of capacities contributing to the successful startup of Spaceport America and the growing commercial space industry, having represented both the New Mexico Spaceport Authority and client/tenant interests.

Wayne chaired the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Commercial Space Committee for four years and remains active in reaching out to the industry and others to attract new companies to our community.

Wayne can be reached at or at (575) 646-2596.


Aaron Stoddard

Program Manager

Aaron serves as a Program Manager for Arrowhead Center, focusing on coordination, communication, and outreach activities. For his role, Aaron relies on his extensive experience in event planning, program management, and logistics coordination for efforts that serve the small business community. He received his bachelor’s degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management and a Master of Business Administration from NMSU.

Aaron can be reached at or at (575)-646-4965.

Carissa Trujillo

Carissa Trujillo

Program Specialist | Instructor

Carissa Trujillo is a program specialist and lead instructor for Arrowhead Center’s Sprint accelerator programs. She has an NMSU Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing and a minor in Accounting. Over the past ten years, she has worked with several non-profit organizations and educational programs both nationally and internationally. Carissa is passionate about giving back to the community and helping to empower New Mexico small business owners. She has assisted over a hundred entrepreneurs throughout our great state and has also served on Las Cruces’s non-profit organization board.

Carissa can be reached at 


Milica Tenic

Economic Development Officer, Sr. 

Milica is a senior economic development officer for Arrowhead Center with expertise in government contract and grant opportunities. She oversees the NM FAST and NMSBA programs providing support and coaching for technology focused startups. She focuses on supporting small business owners and innovators who seek non-dilutive federal investment for their new products and technologies through the SBIR/STTR programs. Milica’s interdisciplinary technical training was supported across federal agencies and she leverages her expertise to help entrepreneurs with solicitation matching, proposal development, proposal package review, budget drafting, and technical assistance across disciplines. She holds B.S.’s in Environmental Science and Biology from Loyola University Chicago, and a MS in Biological Sciences from Washington State University.

Milica can be contacted at or (575) 646- 3516.



Ana Cristina Vargas

Marketing Communication Specialist for Studio G

Cristina Vargas serves as a Marketing Communications Specialist at Arrowhead Center, where she concentrates on promoting programs such as Studio G, the University Center, and others. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and has over a decade of experience in the field. In her role, Cristina collaborates with cross-functional teams to create engaging content, manage social media channels, maintain website pages, plan events, and execute marketing campaigns. Additionally, she mentors clients seeking marketing and branding guidance, ensuring their success in the competitive market landscape.

Cristina can be reached at 


Shasta Younker

Program Specialist, Sr. for Studio G

Shasta Younker is a Program Specialist, Sr. for Studio G at Arrowhead Center. She has a Bachelor of Arts and Science with a Masters in Agricultural Business from NMSU. Over the past four years, she has worked with students interested in Entrepreneurship. She helps them connect with advisors and businesses with knowledge in the startup process, opening the line of communication, and bridging the gap between the workforce and business. Shasta strives to help students achieve their goals and see their projects come to life while assisting businesses all over New Mexico to enhance their programs. Shasta and her family enjoy riding horses, going on trail rides, shooting archery, and playing soccer.

Shasta can be reached at 

John Waller

John Waller

Program Specialist

John is a program specialist supporting NM FAST, University Center, and NMSBA. He focuses on creating informational material, presenting in webinars, and maintaining the accuracy of guides given to clients seeking non-dilutive federal funding. He also helps drive innovation by supporting the creation of a commercialization curriculum for students interested in entrepreneurship and assisting small businesses connect to subject matter experts to help find solutions for technical challenges of the business. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Columbus State University and a M.Sc. Biology from New Mexico State University.

John can be contacted at or (575) 646- 3516


Dr. Kramer Winingham

Program Director

Dr. Kramer Winingham serves as a Program Director for Arrowhead Center and is the Director of NMSU’s National Science Foundation I-Corps Site. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration with specializations in Finance and Information Systems, and a Doctorate of Economic Development from NMSU. His doctoral thesis “Economic Development through Technology Transfer” developed a novel approach to technology transfer incorporating design thinking – this approach is applied to commercializing NMSU technologies at the Arrowhead Center. He currently serves as CEO/President for two companies commercializing technologies. He also owns and operates a property management company.

Kramer can be reached at or at (575) 646-7151.


Meet Our Board of Directors!

Meet Our Arrowhead Center Inc. Board of Directors!

Meet Them Here