Kathleen Burke - Vice- President, Board Member
Kathleen Burke is the Associate Director of Street Safe New Mexico, where she is a leader in
human trafficking prevention and advocacy for sex trafficking survivors in New Mexico. She is a
member of the New Mexico Human Trafficking Task Force and Albuquerque’s Southeast Area
Community Policing Council, where she is a voice for the community in the U.S. Department of
Justice police reform effort. Kathleen was a National Delegate for Bernie Sanders at the
Democratic National Convention of 2016. As a committed and high-profile Progressive activist
in New Mexico, Kathleen places a high priority upon issues of transparency and improvement of
the electoral process in New Mexico.
Bob Perls - Founder, Executive Director
Bob moved to New Mexico when he was five years old and raised a family in Albuquerque and Corrales. He attended Albuquerque Public Schools, Pomona College, where he earned a B.A. in Government and University of Maryland where he earned an M.S. in Healthcare Management with honors. Bob started his own medical technology company, Monitech, Inc., at the age of 24 and sold it in 2008 after 25 years of operation. In addition, he was elected to two terms to the New Mexico House of Representatives representing parts of Sandoval County, did consulting for a Governor of New Mexico on ways to create jobs through renewable energy and ran unsuccessfully for Congress and the PRC for a total of 13 years of political, elected and campaign experience. He co-founded a charter school in Albuquerque, NM called Public Academy for Performing Arts. Bob spent 2009 working on two start-up companies, one in telemedicine and one in cybersecurity. He became a U.S. Diplomat in January, 2010 and served in Germany, Canada, Pakistan and The Gambia. He returned full-time to New Mexico in the spring of 2015 and lives in Corrales with his wife Joan.
He is fluent in German, tries to speak Spanish and is an avid cyclist, skier and martial artist. He is married and has four grown children.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1(505) 259-2377
Barry Bitzer - Board Member
Barry brings a long, successful political resume to bear, often in unconventional fashion. On Capitol Hill, he was a senior aide to the late Congressman Steve Schiff and communications director for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. He served until 2008 as chief of staff to ABQ mayor Marty Chavez, and wore a variety of hats in the administration of Governor Gary Johnson – most notably as Deputy Secretary of Human Services and Director of the Child Support Enforcement Division. Barry’s recent stint as development director at the NM BioPark Society featured a campaign for a $17 million per year GRT revenue stream to overhaul and expand the Zoo, Aquarium, Botanic Garden and Tingley Beach. A 1985 UC Berkeley Political Science graduate, Barry currently works as a Church administrator and as a science teacher at Legacy Academy. He also serves on the NM Environmental Improvement Board.
Dennis Montoya - Board Member
Dennis W. Montoya is the Immediate Past State Director of New Mexico LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens. He is the current President of the Sons of the American Revolution, Albuquerque Chapter, and the State Secretary for that organization. He is a former Ward “D” Chair for Sandoval County Democratic Party and a former member of the Democratic Party of New Mexico’s Platform and Resolution and Affirmative Action committees. He at present serves on the DPNM State Central Committee. Mr. Montoya previously practiced law for about 25 years in the State of New Mexico, for the last 18 years of his practice time focusing on employment law, criminal defense, civil rights and personal injury. He currently teaches mathematics and in the past has taught mathematics, science and Spanish at the high school and college levels. Mr. Montoya is from Lucero, Mora County, New Mexico.
Senator Bill Tallman - Board Member
Bill Tallman is a retired City Manger with over 35 years of experience as the Chief Administrative Officer of several mid sized full service cities mostly in the Midwest and Northeast. Bill is the past President elect of the Connecticut City Management Assoc. He has published articles in the Public Management magazine. As an active member of the Municipal Leagues of Pennsylvania, Illinois and Connecticut, Bill has testified before many state legislative committees Bill is a past member of the Corporation for Regional Development, Quad City Civic Center Authority and the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments.
Bill received his M.A. degree in Public Administration from The University of Cincinnati and his B.A. degree in Political Science from Syracuse University. Bill’s most recent position was Deputy City Manager of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Since retiring eight years ago, he has served as a pro-bono mediator in metro court, been an active board member of several non- profits and been very active in the Democratic Party before being elected a New Mexico State Senator, District 18, in 2016.
Melissa Ontiveros - Board Member
Director of Thriving Families at Community Action Agency Southern New Mexico. Where she developed a hybrid mentorship/navigating program. Working through a systemic approach to break down barriers and support families in meeting their goals. Melissa’s contract work includes working with the State of NM’S TUPAC Department and JEDI leadership work with Constellation inc. Melissa’s leadership and experiences range from various direct service roles: Community and Program Development, Department of Health, Health Promotion program manager overseeing eight counties in New Mexico’s SW Region; Case manager at YDI’S Gang Intervention and Prevention program, School Counselor at Van Buren Middle School, Mental & Behavioral Therapist for NM State BSC Program, Multi-Systemic and Problem Sexual Therapist at Families Youth INC.; Developmental Specialist, Early Childhood Education, and Registered Behavioral Technician at Aprendamos Intervention Team.