Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is the governing body of the Coalition; the Board is comprised of elected officials from the Barelas community. Board members serve a three-year term.
Regular meetings of the Board of Directors are held on the second Wednesday of each month. Meetings generally start at 6:00pm at Casa Barelas (1024 4th Street).
* We are currently seeking nominations to fill four (4) positions in a governance capacity for a three-year term. For more information or to express interest please contact Eric Griego, President at 505-259-7600
2015 Board of Directors
Eric Griego, President. Eric is currently Chair of the BCC, where his focus is fundraising and helping coordinate the Barelas MainStreet project. He is a lifelong Barelas resident, former Albuquerque City Councilman, State Senator and former Assistant Secretary for Community Development at the NM Department of Economic Development. He is currently a strategic consultant and a Fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Center for Health Policy at UNM, where he studies the relationship between local economic development and health outcomes.
Chad Gruber, Vice President. Chad is an attorney whose practice is located in Barelas.
Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Secretary. Teresa has been a Barelas homeowner for two decades. An Associate Professor of philosophy at Gallaudet University, the world’s only bilingual university for deaf and hard of hearing people, she has presented her work in applied ethics all over the world in four different languages (English, Spanish, American Sign Language, and International Sign Language). She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of New Mexico, where she is writing a monograph on the ethics of signed language interpreting. In addition to her academic and creative writing, Teresa blogs for the Albuquerque social media website Duke City Fix as Barelas Babe, where she offers her perspective on art, culture, and social change, especially with regard to disability.
Andrea Plaza, Treasurer. Andrea has lived in ABQ for over 20 years, and is a long-time advocate of the immigrant community, focusing her work in the areas of adult education and economic development. She is the Director of Encuentro, an immigrant opportunity center in the Barelas neighborhood and hopes that Encuentro can play a positive role in the community by bringing together newer and older residents to celebrate their histories and contributions to our city.
Ophelia Adelai-Cornet. Neighborhood Resident, Artist/Teacher.
Christopher Frechette. Christopher is a 3rd generation Catholic French-Canadian from Rhode Island. He has an M.A. and teaches French and Spanish at CNM. He married into a 3rd generation Catholic Mexican-American family and has been coming to New Mexico since 1992. He is interested in the mechanics of sustaining community and traditions, as well as being a good neighbor. He has volunteered with the BCC since 2008.
John Garcia. Community Member, Consultant.
Bernadette Garcia de Rodriguez, MBA. Bernadette is a current board member of the BCC and has participated with the organization in various capacities since 2007. She currently supports the Fundraising and MainStreet Project committees. She is a 20 year resident of Barelas, former Barelas business owner, former non- profit executive director for STEPS Dance Academy (a cultural arts organization) and is in the process of revitalizing her grandmother’s business, B. Ruppe Drugstore in the Barelas neighborhood. She is currently a International Event Logistics Analyst at Sandia National Laboratories and volunteers with various community organizations centering on her passions for community, culture, Hispanics and the arts.
Lucas Pedraza. Lucas Pedraza is a graduate student at the Community Regional Planning program at the University of New Mexico. He has six years of experience working in socioeconomic research at several universities in New York, Chicago, and Albuquerque. A resident of Barelas, he has been assisting the Barelas Barelas Community Coalition with its affordable housing and economic development efforts for the past three years, and has served as chair of the Barelas Main St. program for the last year. As a student and researcher Lucas is driven to help communities achieve long term, sustainable success defined by the community’s vision and goals.
Francisco Uvina. Francisco Uviña Contreras received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture, minoring in Art History in 1994 from the School of Architecture and Planning (SAAP) at the University of New Mexico. Francisco received his Masters of Architecture and Masters Certificate in Preservation and Regionalism in 2009 from the University of New Mexico. In the present Francisco serves as the Interim Director for the Historic Preservation and Regionalism Graduate Certificate Program at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico.
Robert Vigil. Neighborhood Resident, Church Deacon. Robert is a lifelong resident of Barelas and has been working with the community for 25+ years.