Albuquerque Business First is shining a spotlight on the Land of Enchantment's successful business leaders who are members of ethnic minorities or who identify as LGBT. We asked the public to recommend qualifying executives for our Diverse Business Leader awards and asked those nominees to submit applications including further information about themselves. Applicants were evaluated on leadership, success, impact and community.
Timothy Chavez, one of our honorees this year, holds the title of tribal councilman at the Pueblo of Acoma in addition to being president and CEO of Keres Consulting Inc. Founding the professional services company in 2001 is his biggest professional achievement so far, he said.
"As a Native American, I am able to appreciate what our Creator has provided," Chavez said. "Keres and I have benefited from ... government business development programs. Keres has leveraged these opportunities to get our foot in the door and prove our value. We carry these opportunities over to other aspects of business, which contributes to a circle of development for other people of diversity."
By opening his own business, Chavez was aiming to follow in the footsteps of his grandmother. She operated a store out of her home on the Acoma Reservation and was known for having the only working doorbell on the reservation at the time, he said. Keres Consulting graduated from the SBA’s 8(a) program in 2012 and has continued to grow since.
Chavez also volunteers for numerous local charities, including Roadrunner Food Bank, alongside his employees.
Join Business First on Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. for the awards luncheon at the Sandia Golf Club to honor our Diverse Business Leaders honorees. Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales will be the keynote speaker.
This year’s judges are Michael Canfield, president and CEO of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and Indian Pueblos Marketing; Matt DiGregory, CEO of Home on the Range Inc.; and Beth A. Mohr, managing partner of McHard Accounting Consulting.
New Mexico's top 10 American Indian-owned businesses, ranked by revenue on Albuquerque Business First's latest List, brought in a combined $106 million in 2016.
"It is great to be a minority business leader in New Mexico," Chavez said. "Our state thrives with diversity. It strengthens our tourism, it emboldens our business leaders and it values our cultures and histories and stories. I can’t think of any other state that has the diversity of professionals New Mexico has."
New Mexico is a minority majority state and has a nonwhite population of 61 percent, as of a study done in 2014.