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The Board of Directors of Cruces Creatives is a team of entrepreneurs and makers with diverse backgrounds in business, the arts, science, and engineering. This team is responsible for developing the strategy and overseeing the execution of the Cruces Creatives vision.


Lea Wise-Surguy (Board President, Co-Founder)

Lea is the co-founder and the driving force behind Cruces Creatives. She is a graduate of NMSU, having earned an MFA in sculpture and managing the sculpture yard for three years. Her personal commitment to makerspaces comes from her work as a conceptual sculptor and tool user, and her belief that makerspaces strengthen lifelong learning, and play important roles in fostering vibrant communities and local economies.

In addition to her Board responsibilites, Lea also serves as the Executive Director of Cruces Creatives.


Jon Simmons (Board Vice-President, Co-Founder)

Jon is a serial entrepreneur and experienced maker. He enjoys woodworking using hand and power tools, casting, digital and analog electronics, including Raspberry Pi development. He also builds culturing systems for plants, animals, insects, and microbiology. He is proficient in small scale production system design and optimization for Linux, Mac OS, and Windows platforms. He creates gaming systems that transform people and builds equipment that performs useful and unique functions.

In addition to his Board responsibilities, Jon also serves as the Shop Manager of Cruces Creatives. He has a B.S. in Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Patrick DeSimio (Board Treasurer and Secretary, Co-Founder)

An inveterate tinkerer with words, ideas, and the economic machinery of organizations, Pat serves as Cruces Creatives's grant writer and Chief Strategy Officer, working to keep the makerspace economically viable and maximally accessible. He holds bachelor's degrees in English and business administration and a master's degree in rhetoric and professional communication from New Mexico State University.

As a maker, Pat writes award-winning folksongs and makes functional-enough wooden furniture.


Michael Harris (Board Member, Co-Founder)

Michael is the founder and president of Visgence, Inc., a Las Cruces company that specializes in designing and building networking solutions for organizations of all sizes and complexities. Cruces Creatives benefits greatly from his expertise in all aspects of computer networks, hardware, and software. Michael has a Masters Degree in Computer Science from New Mexico State University.


Nancy Hastings (Board Member, Co-Founder)

Nancy Hastings teaches Technical and Scientific Communication at New Mexico State University. She received seven fellowships through the Daniels Fund and the NMSU College of Business to develop case studies for the undergraduate business curriculum with an emphasis on ethical decision-making and critical thinking.

For twenty-five years she was an approved artist for the National Endowment for the Arts' Community/Schools Program in Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico. She twice received the Leonard Randolph Small Press Award for her small magazine, Whole Notes. Nancy is a co-founder of the Mesilla Valley Artisan/Crafters Guild.


Jordon Kopreski (Board Member, Co-Founder)

Jordon was born in Mount Holly, NJ and moved to Las Cruces in 2009. Since that time, he has become an active member in the Las Cruces community as well as the New Mexico State University Main Campus, where he is currently working on a masters degree in public administration. Jordon enjoys tackling short-term projects and finding solutions to assist others along life’s journey.

In addition to his Board responsibilities, Jordon also serves as the Volunteer Coordinator of Cruces Creatives.


Jeff Moore (Board Member, Co-Founder)

Jeff is the founder and president of Desert Informatics, Inc., a Las Cruces company that provides software consulting, primarily in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology space.  Previously, he was responsible for information architecture at Hoffmann-LaRoche and designed and built scientific information systems for the National Cancer Institute.

Jeff also serves as the Chief Technical Officer of Cruces Creatives and is responsible for information system architecture and integration. He has a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Idaho.


Margaret Neill (Board Member, Co-Founder)

Margaret oversees all library operations for the City of Las Cruces, including the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, Munson Center Branch Library and the Sage Cafe Branch Library.  She has a strong background in information technology and earned a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Sciences from Syracuse University.



Micah Pearson (Board Member)

Micah has over 20 years’ experience in Information Technology and Fine Art and Graphic Design. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and participates in multiple state task forces focused on criminal justice reform.


Micah also serves as the Chief of Operations for Cruces Creatives.

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