Kristin Hsueh

AmeriCorps Serve New Mexico Executive Director


Kristin Hsueh joined AmeriCorps and Serve New Mexico team in February 2024 as the Executive Director.  She is excited to rejoin the team after having previously served as the Outreach and Events Officer for the Serve New Mexico (previously known as the New Mexico Commission for Community Volunteerism).  Kristin is looking forward to working with the amazing Serve NM team and Commission to bring increased awareness of the importance and benefits National Service can have in a community, to the individual members, and to those that they serve.  Kristin will continue to promote the AmeriCorps programs and the benefits of volunteerism throughout the state of New Mexico.  In addition to her commitment to National Service, Kristin has worked over a decade in Museums in roles including being an AmeriCorps site supervisor, Educator, Volunteer Coordinator, and Museum Director.    In her spare time, Kristin enjoys gardening and exploring the outdoors with her husband, two dogs, and two goats.

Nixo Lanning: Keynote Speaker

Deaf Interpreter, ASL Instructor


I am Deaf person and native from California, born and raised in the Bay area. I have been in New Mexico for 16 years now. I have 3 educational backgrounds, a BA recreational degree, Masters degree in sports administration from the University of New Mexico & I attended an outdoor leadership program in Greenfield, Massachusetts that included a gamete of outdoor certifications like backpacking, kayaking, etc. I also hold Conservation certification in Wilderness First Responder, CPR/First Aid Instructor along with “A” in Chainsaw.  I am a well experienced world traveler, I love adventure and new and exciting opportunities. I love anything that produces that feeling of adrenaline. I have a love for many different arenas in sports and work. I am always seeking a new thrill and challenge from what is to come in life.

Melani Buchanan Farmer, PhD

Educator, Wellness and Community Advocate


Melani Buchanan Farmer is a passionate advocate for education equity and community empowerment. With over 25 years of experience, Melani is dedicated to creating inclusive and equitable opportunities for all.

As an Instructional Manager in the Public Schools, A Nonprofit Founder and Director, and CrossFit Affiliate Owner and Coach, Melani leads initiatives to bridge the gap between educational institutions and the communities they serve, and a holistic lens to include the connection with wellness at all ages. Her work focuses on building partnerships, fostering collaboration, and developing programs that empower students, families, educators, and community members.

Melani's commitment to equity extends beyond her professional role. She is actively involved in a number of community collaborations ranging from city boards, NM Special Olympics, and Team Bravo’s Veteran support nonprofit. Her efforts aim to dismantle barriers to promote access to resources for long-term success and systems change.

A dynamic speaker and facilitator, Melani has presented at numerous conferences and workshops on topics related to community engagement, diversity, equity, and wellness. Her engaging presentations inspire action and challenge participants to think critically about themselves and that connection to others.

Melani holds a doctorate from the California Institute of Integral Studies, focusing on wellness and systems change through transformative studies.  She is driven by a vision of a world where every individual has the opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of background or circumstance.

Thenera Bailey, PhD

President/CEO of SISGI

Black Desk Thenera 2_edited

Dr. Thenera Bailey is the President/CEO of the SISGI Group. She has an accomplished career as a trainer, consultant, nonprofit leader, grantmaker, and technical assistance provider to nonprofits/NGOs, programs, government agencies, corporations, and school systems throughout the country. Her work as a strategy consultant has included leadership of projects for clients such as the American Heart Association, Habitat for Humanity International, American Diabetes Association, Schultz Family Foundation, Jumpstart, New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, Connecticut Department of Higher Education, AARP Foundation, America’s Service Commissions, Kettering Foundation, AmeriCorps and many more national, state, and local organizations. Her consulting projects cover a variety of areas of expertise and services, including organizational development, strategy and innovation for social good and social justice, JEDAI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion), learning, facilitation, and instructional design, leadership development, and capacity building. 

Sharon Tewksbury-Bloom

Founder and CEO of Do Good, Be Good


Founder and CEO of Do Good, Be Good, Sharon is a professional facilitator with extensive experience working with AmeriCorps as a former service member and as an AmeriCorps Project Director. Sharon received her master’s degree in Organizational Development and Knowledge Management from George Mason University’s School of Public Policy. Sharon lives in Flagstaff, Arizona and spends her free time volunteering at the community theater, local history museum, and hiking the Arizona Trail. After finishing grad school, Sharon and her husband spent a year road-tripping across the United States and Canada, volunteering for a week in each community they passed through.

Michelle Velarde

Division Director Employment Services Operations, New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions


Ms. Velarde has eight years’ experience as an accomplished career development and education professional. She is responsible for the agency’s partnership efforts in the 25 Workforce Connection Offices across the state. Recognized for contributions in the field of workforce development, career services and organizational development. She is proficient in the areas of employer engagement and career placement.  She is acknowledged for creating partnerships with State, Federal, and not-for-profit agencies. Her areas of expertise include rapid recruitment, program management and career advisement, staff training and workforce partnerships.

Anthony Jenks

Regional Manager, New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions


Anthony is a Regional Manager with The Department of Workforce Solutions managing employment services managers and staff in the Eastern and Central Regions of the state of New Mexico.  Anthony has been with NMDWS for 9 years. During his time with NMDWS Anthony has also served as a Career Consultant in the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, An Area Supervisor and Area Manager in the Central Region.

Rachel Donovan

Owner of Albuquerque Meditation Services, LLC; NM Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission

Rachel Donovan

Rachel Donovan is a native Chicagoan relocating to NM in 2004. She is owner of Albuquerque Mediation Services, LLC.  She sits on the NM Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission and is also the Co-Chair of the NM State Bar ADR Committee. 

Rachel is a mom, sister, friend, volunteer, public servant, mediator for the courts, and past Chaplain for police and fire where she was awarded 'Chaplain of the Year' for 2020.   

She is a published author with her first book, "He Is Enough, God Needs People Who Don't Scare Easily." She also has several written and published blogs and posts for several different organizations.