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Mayor Keller Appoints Local Entrepreneur and Nonprofit Founder as Economic Development Department Deputy Director

Lisa Abeyta brings years of experience in economic development advocacy and small business support

Dec. 17, 2021

Today, Mayor Tim Keller announced the appointment of local entrepreneur and business advocate, Lisa Abeyta, as the City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department’s (EDD) Deputy Director. Abeyta brings years of professional experience in technology innovation, economic empowerment for small and minority-owned businesses, and breaking down barriers to government and nonprofit services.

“We’re looking forward to having Deputy Director Abeyta join the team, bringing her unique expertise as an economic developer and innovative thought leader,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Her experience in technology and lifting up small businesses ties in directly to our economic development strategies and initiatives, and will have a positive effect on the City for years to come.”

Abeyta is well-known in the Albuquerque community as the founder and chief executive officer of CityLife, an organization that connected people with cities through a complete end-to-end mobile and cloud platform where cities, developers, civic hackers, nonprofits, schools, and enterprise could publish mobile apps with seamless open data integration. In 2017, she was named as the 7th most influential person globally in the GovTech industry, and earned multiple awards for her leadership in technology, as well with women entrepreneurs and women in tech.

“I am honored and excited to be a part of the City’s team that works hand-in-hand with the community and its stakeholders to bolster Albuquerque’s economy,” Deputy Director Abeyta said. “This is my home and I’m ready to hit the ground running and build an economic ecosystem that allows all residents to thrive.”

Abeyta also cofounded Hautepreneurs, a peer network and online business accelerator for women entrepreneurs, and HauteHopes, a nonprofit accelerator for women entrepreneurs. She has served as a member of then-Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s Small Business Advisory Council, as well as three years in a leadership role for the CityAlive economic mobility initiative. Abeyta continues to provide insight through her membership with the initiative's Data and Communication group.

“Deputy director Abeyta brings a specialized business perspective to the department that will be an asset as we continue to boost Albuquerque’s economic recovery,” said EDD Acting Director Damian R. Lara. “Her leadership and entrepreneurial skill set will compliment initiatives the City has launched, as well as future programs and plans to build a robust local economy.” 

Abeyta fills a position vacated by Deirdre Firth, who retired from the deputy director position earlier this year.