Carol Wight- Chief Executive Officer (505) 343-9848 x 13
At 21, Carol opened her first restaurant. By the time she was 30, she owned three successful restaurants with 150 employees. Utilizing her entrepreneurial skills and restaurant expertise, she became an international consultant in destinations like Abu Dhabi and Tokyo.
Carol became the CEO of the New Mexico Restaurant Association ten years ago and enjoys being an advocate for the industry.As CEO, Carol is the leader of the NMRA staff. She is responsible for carrying out the mission and vision of the organization and for implementing programs and services that are a benefit to NMRA members.
Victoria received her Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management from New Mexico State University in 1999. She completed a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management in 2004 and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership at the University of New Mexico.
As the Executive Director of the Hospitality Industry Education Foundation and the Development Director for NMRA, Victoria Martínez is responsible for the development of the newly formed Hospitality Industry Education Foundation. She manages all hospitality industry training and educational programs for NMRA. She is a certified ServSafe® instructor and alcohol server instructor. She oversees the scholarship program and administers the ProStart® Program.
Mary Brown- Membership Administrator (505) 343-9848 x 14
Mary received her bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from the University of New Mexico and a master’s degree in Human Resource Development from Webster University. She has over 6 years of experience with Non-Profit Membership Associations.
She is responsible for addressing questions regarding member benefits, membership retention and processing new memberships and membership renewals. Mary is also a liaison for various committees and programs, such as the Board of Directors and the FISIF program. In addition, she coordinates and executes events for the Association as well as provides customer service to other NMRA programs.She has been with NMRA since 2011.
Cindy Ploen- Director of Finance and Administration (505) 343-9848 x 16
Cindy has 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry and has held positions from cashier to general manager. She has an associate degree in accounting and has been with NMRA for six years.
As the Director of Finance and Administration, Cindy is responsible for all financial aspects of the Association including payroll and billing receivables. She also updates member accounts, manages office supplies and handles IT situations.
Ashley recieved her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of New Mexico. She has three years of experience in communications and five years of experience in the restaurant industry.
Ashley is charged with member and non-member communications. She is responsible for publishing the Association's magazine, the Southwest Restaurateur, and the e-newsletter, Que Cookin'. In addition, she maintains and oversees the Association's website and social media. Advertising inquiries should be directed to Ashley's attention.
Allison has worked with the New Mexico Legislature since 1994. She began her relationship with the Legislature as a secretary for the then Senate Ways and Means Committee chairman. She went on to work as an analyst for a lobbying firm, then for the Senate Majority Leadership, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, and started her own government relations business in 2006. At NMRA, Allison handles all aspects of government relations. She is the staff lobbyist and prepares NMRA Position Papers.
She graduated from the Swiss Hotel Association School, Les Roches in 1991 and completed her Masters of Science degree at New Mexico State University in 2005. At NMSU she combined her education in hospitality and tourism with her experience with the state legislature by writing her thesis on Tourism Policy Development.