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Mayor Keller Announces Director of Economic Development and Director of Parks & Recreation

Mayor Keller Announces Director of Economic Development, Synthia R. Jaramillo and Director of Parks & Recreation, David J. Simon, bringing fresh perspectives and deep experience to lead critical city departments.

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Today Mayor Keller announced two new appointments to his leadership team. Synthia Jaramillo will lead the City’s Economic Development Department and David Simon will lead the City’s Parks & Recreation Department. Jaramillo joins the administration after serving as the Chief Operating Officer for the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce where she worked for 17 years. Simon comes to the City after nearly six years leading the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque and many years as Director of New Mexico State Parks.

“Synthia has the deep business development experience necessary to work with our local small businesses as well as larger companies that may call Albuquerque home one day. As part of a new generation of leaders, Synthia will help us achieve our goals of creating an innovative economic engine in Albuquerque,” said Mayor Keller.

Jaramillo will be the first woman to serve as the Director of the Economic Development Department.

“Dave has ably led the Jewish Community Center to its most successful years ever. He has a wealth of experience working in state parks as well, which will translate nicely to his new role,” stated Mayor Keller.

Synthia Jaramillo, Director of the Economic Development Department

Photo of Synthia Jaramillo

Ms. Jaramillo is an accomplished small business and community leader with extensive management experience. She is a recognized thought leader in entrepreneurship, community growth, small business growth and community empowerment. She has completed extensive graduate-level executive training at University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College, where she received cutting-edge leadership and strategic business and non-profit executive training. Ms. Jaramillo has worked with corporations, government, community groups and institutions, and was recently invited by Square to facilitate a localized town-hall type meeting in the Bay Area that included executives from Square, Twitter and Google. Ms. Jaramillo is also a recent graduate of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Graduate Program at the Stanford School of Business, only one of four New Mexicans to ever be invited to this prestigious program.

David Simon, Director of the Parks & Recreation Department

Photo of Dave Simon

Mr. Simon served as Executive Director of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque since 2012. He led a significant turnaround, delivering the strongest fiscal years in the organization’s history, strengthening programs, eliminating long-term debt, increasing community service and visibility, and completing $700,000 in facility/capital improvements. New Mexico Business First named Dave “CEO of the Year” (Non-Profit category) in 2016.

Prior to the JCC, Mr. Simon has 27 years of experience in the parks and conservation field, including holding senior public service leadership positions in New Mexico. Mr. Simon was Director of New Mexico State Parks (2003-2010), Assistant Commissioner at the New Mexico State Land Office (2002), and worked 16 years with the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association in Washington, D.C. and the Southwest. Dave is a past Chair of the City of Albuquerque Open Space Advisory Board, former Rio Grande Chapter Director for the Sierra Club, a former Board member of the New Mexico Parks and Recreation Association, and President of Eco Think LLC, a nature/outdoors-focused consulting practice.

Mr. Simon holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Mexico (2004) and a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University (1985).