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Mayor Keller Announces Three New Leaders in Economic Development

Bringing experience in key areas of film, business development, and small business development when economy needs it most

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Today, Mayor Tim Keller announced three new hires in key positions in the City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department. Karen Criswell will lead the Albuquerque Film Office, Jennifer Myers will be the new Economic Development Manager, and David Sayers will lead the Small Business Office.

Mayor Keller added, “The Economic Development Department boosts job creation in Albuquerque by growing the film industry and supporting small businesses. Although we are waiting to fill many vacancies across City Hall, getting back up to full staffing in the Economic Development Department is going to be essential to helping our economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. These additions to our team bring leadership and experience in their fields and will be key in shaping that strategy to revive our economy.”

Karen Criswell, Film Liaison, Albuquerque Film Office

Karen Criswell has been named to lead the Albuquerque Film Office as the Film Liaison. In her role, she will lead and coordinate film production and media business development as well as create strategies for building and sustaining a strong entertainment presence in the Albuquerque community. She replaces Amber Dodson, who departed the City of Albuquerque to lead the New Mexico Film Office for the State.

Karen's experience includes 18 years as Vice-President of Operations for Dreamworks Studios (now, Amblin Entertainment Partners) in Los Angeles. She has an extensive background in the industry, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. As the CEO of her own company, Koncept Management, she has provided consultative services to a variety of creative clients including BLKBX Creative Group, Kilograph, and Gnomon - School of Visual Effects, Gaming & Animation.

Jennifer Myers, Economic Development Manager, Economic Development Department

Jennifer will serve as the Economic Development Manager for the City of Albuquerque’s Economic Development Department. She will work primarily on the economic development incentive programs for businesses.

Jennifer graduated magna cum laude from University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Administration. She began her career as a Business Development Manager at Albuquerque Economic Development. Since then, she has worked in a variety of companies and industries with in the private sector, such as Account Specialist at RiskSense, Inc., a Cyber Security firm; Operations Support Manager at ClosedWon, a implementation partner; and Assistant Director for the Government Sales Division at Speridian Technologies. Her most recent position was a Consultant for the New Mexico Economic Development Department as the Compliance Officer for the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP).

David Sayers, Small Business Office Manager, Small Business Office, Economic Development

David Sayers will serve as the Small Business Office Manager for the City of Albuquerque’s Economic Development Department. His duties include; providing technical assistance for small businesses and entrepreneurs, help businesses navigate the City of Albuquerque licensure, permitting and procurement process, and direct business owners to resources available in New Mexico.

David grew up in the Four Corners area in the small town of Bluff Utah and has been living in Albuquerque for 10 years. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. David has lived and worked in New Mexico for over 15 years, and has experience as an entrepreneur and is very familiar with the small business community most recently working at DreamSpring (formerly known as Accion) as a commercial lender.

The City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department is led by Synthia R. Jaramillo, and is working to build an economy that works for everyone.