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 Chair, 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 responsibilities, Lea also serves as the Executive Director of Cruces Creatives.
Jon Simmons (Board Vice-Chair, 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.
Margaret Neill (Board Treasurer, 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.
Patrick DeSimio (Board 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.
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.