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Mayor Keller Announces New Hires and Promotion

Critical roles filled in City departments to support the community.

ALBUQUERQUE – The City has filled three key roles to support department initiatives and operations. Leslie Keener will serve as the director of the city’s Transit department In the Economic Development Department, Monica Mitchell was promoted to Deputy Director and Savannah Hoover was hired as a Senior Economic Developer.


Leslie Keener, Director, Transit Department

Leslie, originally from Indiana, joins the City of Albuquerque Transit Department with over 20 years of experience in railroad operations. After earning her Bachelors of Science in Industrial Management from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix, Leslie began her professional career with BNSF Railway. Throughout her 20 years in the field, she served as Roadmaster in El Paso, TX, Manager Maintenance Planning for the Texas/Gulf divisions, Manager Roadway Planning for the Southwest Division, Director of Administration for the Southwest Division, Director of Engineering Support, and finally as Terminal Manager in Belen, New Mexico. In her free time, Leslie is an avid marathon runner and enjoys spending time outdoors.


Monica Mitchell, Deputy Director, Economic Development Department

Monica has played a key role in the department for the past three years and is currently leading the Build Back Better Regional Challenge proposal on behalf of the City. She also spearheaded the grant distribution to small businesses to aid in COVID relief, the creation of the Minority Business Development Agency Center, and the opening of the Small Business Office. Monica’s passion for her community has engendered strong relationships that have resulted in opportunities to the City through business expansion and retention, job creation, and fostering an entrepreneurial atmosphere. She has over 15 years of experience in marketing and financial services as well as small business experience. Monica has an MBA with a concentration in International Business Management and a BBA with dual concentrations in Marketing and General Business Administration. She is also a certified Project Management Professional from the Project Management Institute and has completed her certification on Leading Economic Growth through the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education program. Monica currently resides in Albuquerque with her husband and two daughters.


Savannah Hoover, Senior Economic Developer, Economic Development Department

Savannah has spent the last decade solving difficult problems with creative solutions. As an entrepreneur, attorney, artist, and community advocate, Savannah will bring a range of experiences to her new role. Prior to working with the City, Savannah worked as an attorney serving local small businesses and entrepreneurs at a private law firm in Albuquerque. She has previously worked with tech startups, cannabis professionals, sports teams, and creatives to protect their businesses, particularly their intellectual property rights, through effective business formation, strategic expansion, and thoughtful partnerships. She holds her license to practice law in the states of New Mexico and Texas. Savannah graduated from the University of New Mexico with her Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees and holds an interdisciplinary studies degree in outdoor adventure leadership and journalism. During graduate school, she explored the intersection of technology, business, law, and the creative economy and how to reduce barriers to those spaces for women and BIPOC communities. Prior to graduate school, Savannah ran her own marketing business serving real estate professionals, nonprofits, and creative entrepreneurs. In her spare time, she is an artist and a writer.