LOS LUNAS — Victoria Archuleta was recently hired as the new senior economic developer for the village of Los Lunas.
Archuleta, an Albuquerque local, was previously the program director for Leadership New Mexico, a nonprofit organization focused on identifying current and emerging leaders throughout New Mexico to enhance their leadership skills and deepen their knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing the state.
“Leadership New Mexico is an incredible network of folks,” she said. “I got to learn alongside some of the state’s top leaders and it’s how I got introduced to the folks at Los Lunas.”
Prior to that, Archuleta worked in the tourism and hospitality industry. Through this, she handled corporate accounts, meeting and event planning and helped host city wide and national events.
Archuleta, who was hired by the village in mid August, said she jumped on the opportunity to work as the new senior economic developer.
“Los Lunas is growing at a very exciting rate and I heard so many amazing things about the culture and community,” Archuleta said. “Everyone has been very welcoming and supportive and meeting the leaders and residents in the community has been a lot of fun.”
Archuleta said being an economic developer has you doing a little bit of everything and the role can be different for every community. For Los Lunas, she said the three industrial parks have been the biggest point of interest for attracting external companies and investors.
“I do believe that we are a business friendly environment and we have welcomed big companies, growth and change,” she said.
Archuleta said Meta, as an example, is a huge corporation which helped put Los Lunas on the international map, especially since they’re expanding.
“It’s proof of concept that Los Lunas is a great place to do business and grow your business,” said Archuleta. “But also, I really want people to know I am not forgetting or overlooking the small and medium businesses that are the heart and soul of Los Lunas, because it’s not just about attracting companies. It’s also about supporting the retention and expansion of what’s already here and who’s already here.”
As such, Archuleta inspires to sustain an ecosystem where all businesses can thrive and benefit from the ripple effect of each other.
“I think there’s an opportunity for everyone to win,” she said. “Rising tides lift all boats as the saying goes.”
Archuleta said one of the main aspects of the job, and one of her favorite parts about it, is connecting people that need to meet and collaborate with each other to move business forward.
“Connecting folks has been very rewarding. There are a lot of outstanding leaders in different companies and organizations, and there’s also a lot of new leaders so re-connecting the different players in the community is important,” said Archuleta. “It’s just a matter of just getting everybody in the same room. Everybody wants the same things. We all want the best for our young people, and we all want to see them thrive in our community. We just all need to meet and reconnect with each other.”
Archuleta is also passionate about attracting businesses to Los Lunas that can provide long-term benefit to the community.
“A really good, high-paying job can completely change the trajectory of a family. We 100% have the talent and workforce here, we just need to generate more opportunities,” said Archuleta. “In the morning, you see all the traffic leaving Valencia County to go into Albuquerque for their jobs. In some future, I would love to see traffic turned around. I want Los Lunas to be the place people want to come to for a really great manufacturing or tech job.”
Archuleta said her goal in the coming months is to meet with more business leaders of small, medium and large corporations alike, as well as local business owners, to get familiarized.
“I want to be a resource. I want to be able to help our business owners of all sizes, so I welcome individuals to reach out. Let’s grab coffee, talk about your needs, goals and how we can work together as a community to try to solve any issues and move things forward.”
Archuleta can be reached through email at [email protected] or by calling 505-839-5654.
“I am open and available to be contacted,” she said. “And if I’m not the person that can directly help a person or company, I’ll do everything I can to connect them with the right person or organization that can.”
Archuleta replaces previous village of Los Lunas senior economic developer Kristen Gamboa, who now works at PNM as their economic development specialist.
Gamboa, who began working with the village in December 2020, played a significant role in bolstering Los Lunas’ economy by promoting businesses, creating partnerships and attracting new businesses to the area, a big one being the Amazon fulfillment center.
Gamboa was officially brought on by PNM in July. She said she is very excited for the opportunity to help build out PNM’s economic development team and tackle new challenges, but she will definitely miss Los Lunas.
“It’s been an amazing, wild ride,” said Gamboa. “I don’t take any of it for granted and I will always be Los Lunas’ number one, biggest supporter for anything and everything.”
Felina Martinez was born and raised in Valencia County. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2021. During her time at UNM, she studied interdisciplinary film, digital media and journalism. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, the School of Dreams Academy and the town of Peralta.