I was born in Jackson, Tennessee in 1951. My family moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1958 where my father was a building contractor. I lived in a typical Rio Piedras neighborhood with Puerto Rican friends from different social classes, becoming fluent in Spanish. Having grown up there, the nation is dear to me and I still am “Boricua” at heart.
I was educated at Methodist schools, graduating from high school in 1969. I left Puerto Rico to attend Emory University for two years, studying liberal arts, political science and history. I earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts and of Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design, focusing on affordable housing, other social and visionary projects and energy efficiency.
I enlisted in Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and came to Albuquerque in 1976 to serve two years at the Design and Planning Assistance Center (DPAC) at the University of New Mexico. DPAC is a legal aid-like service for nonprofits and individuals that cannot afford an architect of planner. AT DPAC I designed two passive solar projects, self-help homes for seven Portales farmworker families (constructed collectively!) and a detox center for Taos & Picuris Pueblos. I have been focused on public service architecture and housing since then.
Albuquerque has been home for over forty years, always within today’s District Two boundaries. I have been a licensed NM architect since 1981 and NM general contractor since 1984. I worked for several prominent Albuquerque architects before operating my own office from 1991-2009, with focus on public libraries, senior and community centers, schools and affordable housing. Our 6-10 employees practiced sustainable design and included public participation in the design process.
I am a member and served as New Mexico President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In 2017, I was honored with election to the national AIA’s College of Fellows (FAIA) for my public service architecture career. I’m a LEED (Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited architect.
I was a Big Brother for eight years to a great young man who I have stayed friends with now that he is an adult.
In 2005, I was elected to the City Council to represent District 3. In 2011, a redistricting occurred and I subsequently was elected to the “new” District 2.
I am happily married with a daughter who is a community planner, and a son who is a machinist. I enjoy live music, bicycling, and hiking in the Bosque and mountains of New Mexico.