LOS LUNAS — With a career spanning 40 years in accounting, Cheryl Cates brings decades of experience to the village of Los Lunas as the new finance director.
Cates, who lives in Belen, began her career with the village last June as an accountant before being promoted as the finance director in January.
“When I was very young, I stumbled into (accounting) by accident and found out I was really good with numbers,” Cates said. “Since then, I’ve stuck with it and went from there.”
Prior to working with the village, Cates was the finance director of Delta Group Electronics, a multimillion dollar manufacturing company, where she worked for 13 years.
“I had spent 95 percent of my career commuting to Albuquerque, and I wanted something closer,” she said. “My husband recently retired, so I wanted to spend less time away from home.”
Cates said her work as the village finance director is mostly in-line with the work she did for the manufacturing facility, a private industry. Though, adjusting to working in a public sector has been a challenge, but it’s been an interesting one at that.
Within her new role, Cates hopes to continue building a viable budget to help advance the council’s goals “within my ideas of being conservative to make sure we stay healthy financially.”
Cates said her favorite part of her new position is the people she gets to work with.
“I enjoy the work, but I really enjoy the people here. Everyone is very supportive and very pleasurable to work with,” she said. “I’ve been in some really bad situations over the years, but this is just really one of the most pleasant work environments I’ve ever been in.”
In her free time, Cates enjoys doing beadwork and spending time with her husband and their dog, Annie.
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.