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Mayor Keller Announces New Hires

New team members provide support to City departments and the community

April 14, 2022

The City continues to grow its team, adding new members who will focus on important initiatives for Albuquerque’s growth and local business environment. Manny Manriquez joins the Aviation Department as Innovation and Commercial Development Manager, and Carissa Vender joins Economic Development as Small Business Liaison.

“Creating new opportunities for our city through the Sunport and making sure that small businesses have the support they need are key for Albuquerque,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We’re putting the right folks in place to focus on these areas so we can set our city up for success.” 

Manny Manriquez, Innovation & Commercial Development Manager, Aviation Department

Manny Manriquez was born in Oakland, CA and moved to Albuquerque at a young age. He earned his B.A. in political science and Asian studies at UC Berkeley and his M.A. in International Affairs at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. For nearly 20 years, Manny’s academic and professional careers have focused on various policy issues—especially commerce, trade, next-generation mobility, and national security.

After graduate school, Manny worked in Washington, D.C. for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Nonproliferation and International Security managing science and technology engagement projects in the former Soviet Union. He then worked at the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association’s (JAMA) D.C. office for 9 years, first as Director of Government and Public Affairs, followed by six years as the office’s General Director and JAMA’s chief representative in the U.S.

Manny returned to New Mexico with his wife and daughter in 2021. He’s a long-time, old school country, folk, rock’n’roll, and heavy metal guitar player and vocalist. He also enjoys hiking and biking, and exploring the wide-open spaces of New Mexico with his family.

Carissa Vender, Small Business Liaison, Economic Development Department

Carrie has been a resident of Albuquerque for 38 years, moving here when her father was stationed at Kirtland AFB. Holding both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Architecture from UNM, she has worked for several local architecture firms, gaining experience in government and private sector work.

Taking the leap into what she refers to as “accidental entrepreneurship”, Carrie left architecture in 2006 to found Cake Fetish Cupcakes and later Rebel Donut which she sold in 2019. She still bakes, and in her passion for creating beautiful communities, can often be found renovating an old house.

Carrie will combine her experience in design and entrepreneurship with her genuine admiration for Albuquerque and the city’s small business community.