About Us2019-12-10T14:19:12-07:00

Leadership Team

Felicia has primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling financial-related activities of the corporation. She serves as a business partner to the corporation on the organization’s financial, budgeting, partnership compliance, and administrative processes.

Felicia Abeyta

Chief Financial Officer
fabeyta@steamingaheadforsuccess.org

Felicia has primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling financial-related activities of the corporation. She serves as a business partner to the corporation on the organization’s financial, budgeting, partnership compliance, and administrative processes. She is a former Vice President of AmBank and graduated from the two-year certificate program through Western States School of Banking (New Mexico). Her experience also includes serving as Coordinator of both the Learning Assistance and Career Services Centers at NMSU where she taught courses such as Freshman Year Experience, GMAT/GRE preparation, Upward Bound courses to high school students and partnered with industry professionals to provide workshops and seminars on financial awareness, career planning, and academic achievement. She graduated from Cobre High School (targeted community of this nonprofit) and holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications and an MBA from New Mexico State University.

Maria Elena is responsible for day-to-day overseeing of the administration, programs and strategic planning of the STEAMing Ahead for Success.  Other duties include fundraising, marketing, educational and community outreach, sustainability, and implementing appropriate resources to ensure that the operation of the organization is aligned to the mission.

Maria Elena Garcia

Chief Executive Officer
megarcia@steamingaheadforsuccess.org

Maria Elena is a results-driven, innovative professional with over 25 years of educational leadership experience in strategic planning and organizational development. She has led multi-year, multi-million-dollar resource and strategic initiatives from concept through proposal writing, budget preparation, implementation, data analysis, and sustainability planning. She is lead author of a Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Family and Community as Partners in Education (2016), a peer reviewed publication developed in collaboration with Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. As a managing consultant for McREL International (private, non-profit research and development, Denver, Colorado), she led large-scale, state, national and international projects focused on systems improvement in schools and districts based on research and best educational practices. She has worked as a science and math program manager at Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory in collaboration with U.S. Department of Energy, where she developed K-12 science and math programs that encouraged minorities and females to enter STEM fields. A strong desire to come “home” to give back to her community and a passion to provide students access and opportunities led her back to her NM roots. She graduated from Cobre High School and holds a B.A. from Western New Mexico University and an M.A. from the University of New Mexico.

Leadership Team

Felicia Abeyta

Chief Financial Officer
fabeyta@steamingaheadforsuccess.org

Felicia has primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling financial-related activities of the corporation. She serves as a business partner to the corporation on the organization’s financial, budgeting, partnership compliance, and administrative processes.

Felicia has primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling financial-related activities of the corporation. She serves as a business partner to the corporation on the organization’s financial, budgeting, partnership compliance, and administrative processes. She is a former Vice President of AmBank and graduated from the two-year certificate program through Western States School of Banking (New Mexico). Her experience also includes serving as Coordinator of both the Learning Assistance and Career Services Centers at NMSU where she taught courses such as Freshman Year Experience, GMAT/GRE preparation, Upward Bound courses to high school students and partnered with industry professionals to provide workshops and seminars on financial awareness, career planning, and academic achievement. She graduated from Cobre High School (targeted community of this nonprofit) and holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications and an MBA from New Mexico State University.

Maria Elena Garcia

Chief Executive Officer
megarcia@steamingaheadforsuccess.org

Maria Elena is responsible for day-to-day overseeing of the administration, programs and strategic planning of the STEAMing Ahead for Success.  Other duties include fundraising, marketing, educational and community outreach, sustainability, and implementing appropriate resources to ensure that the operation of the organization is aligned to the mission.

Maria Elena is a results-driven, innovative professional with over 25 years of experience in instructional and strategic leadership and organizational development. She is well-versed in enhancing organizational systems within public schools and nonprofit organizations at the local, state, national, and international levels. She has led multi-year, multi-million dollar resource and strategic initiatives from concept through proposal writing, budget preparation, implementation, data analysis, and sustainability planning. As a science and math program manager, she planned and designed K-12 science and math programs that encouraged minorities and females to enter STEM fields. A strong desire to come “home” to give back to her community and a passion to provide students access and opportunities led her back to her NM roots. She graduated from Cobre High School and holds a B.A. from Western New Mexico University and an M.A. from the University of New Mexico.

Jacqueline Kearns Wyant

Chief Organizational Program Officer
jwyant@steamingaheadforsuccess.org

Jacqueline has primary responsibility for day-to-day overseeing of the programmatic activities of the organization including regulatory compliance, helping to manage and shape organizational and business strategy, policies, program evaluation/research (including data collection and analysis).

Jacqueline has designed comprehensive professional development programs and facilitated trainings for groups ranging from 12 to over 1200. Areas of expertise include leadership development, mentoring, systems improvement, program design and project management. Jacqueline is a successful grant writer for projects ranging from $5,000 to $5 million. She has served as program developer and project manager for a $5 million, 3-year grant with the NMPED for state-wide professional development for all educators. Jacqueline has also worked for McREL International in Denver where she managed a $1.5 million grant to publish eight research documents on successful programs and policies in supporting underserved students of poverty and color. Her experience as teacher and elementary principal have led her to design teacher and principal mentoring programs at the local, state and national levels (e.g., NAESP PALS Program; PA Inspired Leadership Initiative; and NJ Leaders to Leaders Program). She has done extensive doctoral work and research at Lehigh University in Organizational Leadership focusing on the relationship of mentoring and novice school principals’ development of key leadership skills. Jacqueline holds a B.A. and a M.Ed. from Purdue University and a C.A.S. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University. Growing up in a family of scientists and engineers, she has a passion for promoting the joy of engaging in STEAM activities. Jacqueline credits a few significant mentors in her life who helped her on her journey of lifelong learning and she will lead STEAMing Ahead for Success Mentoring Experiences for teachers, students, and industry professionals.

Board of Directors

Salvador “Sal” Beltran, III

PRESIDENT

Sal Beltran is a Project Manager at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. With over 25 years of industry experience, his responsibilities include the management and oversight of the REI2 Project, valued over $600M. Mr. Beltran previously held Project Management positions at WTP, and has served in various EPC roles; construction subcontract management, project controls, strategic planning, site services and operational management. Mr. Beltran has been employed with Bechtel for over 15 years. Prior to joining Bechtel, Mr. Beltran was the Strategic Planning Manager for DynCorp and Fluor Daniels at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Mr. Beltran holds a BA in Business Administration from Eastern Washington University and was a Distinguished Military Graduate. Mr. Beltran is a former Army Officer and proudly served our country as an Army aviator.

Mr. Beltran has been very active in the communities he has lived, serving on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Board of Directors for Hospital Foundations where he also chaired the scholarship committee, School District Planning Committees, and city Recreation Foundations.

Dr. Joanne S. Ihrig

SECRETARY

Joanne S. Ihrig, Ph.D was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Joanne attended the University of Denver, receiving a B.A. and M.A. and the University of Colorado where she received a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. Dr. Ihrig taught both elementary school and French and English at the secondary level. As an administrator, she served as a superintendent of schools in West Grand School District, Clear Creek Schools, and as assistant superintendent in Aspen School District. Dr. Ihrig has also worked as a principal consultant for the Mid-Continent Regional Education Laboratory (McREL International) located in Denver, working with school districts throughout the country on systemic change and leadership development.

At the higher education level, Dr. Ihrig served as Director of the Educational Leadership Department at the University of Denver. Currently, she is the on-site coordinator for the Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Denver.

Joanne is married, has three grown children, and lives in the foothills overlooking Denver.

Deborah Vigil

Ms. Vigil, currently works as a school counselor for Deming Public Schools, one of the targeted school districts identified for services. Her responsibilities include the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports system at her school. She assists students in developing appropriate social skills to help optimize their overall learning and be successful both emotionally and academically. In 2012, she was recognized as Deming Public Schools Professional Staff Person of the year. Her experience includes working as a social worker for Deming Public Schools and the State of New Mexico. As a manager, she supervised all aspects of Child Protective Services staff in Luna County and regularly provided child abuse prevention training to the community. Debbie has dedicated her career advocating for and serving youth and building relationships with the communities in which she serves. Ms. Vigil graduated from Silver High School, in a targeted community, and her educational background includes a MA in Counseling and a BS in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Western New Mexico University.

Elizabeth M. Provencio

Ms. Provencio serves as a lawyer for the City of San Antonio. Her practice reflects more than twenty years of multi-state litigation and representation of cities. Ms. Provencio was born in Silver City, New Mexico, and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkley in 1993 and J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1997. She is married to Trey Martinez Fischer and they have two amazing daughters, Francesca (age 9) and Camilla (age 7).

Jacqueline Kearns Wyant

Jacqueline’s areas of expertise include leadership development, mentoring, systems improvement, program design and project management. Her experience as teacher and elementary principal have led her to design teacher and principal mentoring programs at the local, state and national levels. Jacqueline is a successful grant writer for projects ranging from $5,000 to $5 million. She has served as program developer and project manager for a $5 million, 3-year grant with the NMPED for state-wide professional development for all educators. Jacqueline has also worked for McREL International in Denver where she managed a $1.5 million grant to publish eight research documents on successful programs and policies in supporting underserved students of poverty and color. She has done extensive doctoral work and research at Lehigh University in Organizational Leadership. She holds a B.A. and a M.Ed. from Purdue University and a C.A.S. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University.