Rainforest Mentors

New Mexico Rainforest University Center provides Site Mentors to be available as an interface for any questions and to serve as a connection point for resources related to your entrepreneurial endeavors or training.

Please reach out to Cecilia Pacheco, Marketing and Ventures Assistant, STC.UNM at cpacheco@stc.unm.edu to further connect you to the appropriate mentor.

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Cecilia Pacheco

Site Mentor - UNM Main

Cecilia joined STC.UNM as an Innovation Intern in April 2017. She was brought on to STC’s staff as a Marketing and Ventures Assistant in July 2018. In May 2019, she transitioned to an Economic Development & Project Specialist position where she provides various forms of support to both STC.UNM and the Air Force Research Lab regarding marketing, commercialization, and economic development endeavors.

Cecilia has a B.L.A with a concentration in Spanish and Clinical Studies as well as an M.B.A with a dual concentration in Organizational Behavior and Strategic Planning and Policy from the University of New Mexico and Anderson School of Management.

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Susan Cornelius

Site Mentor - UNM Valencia

Susan Cornelius is the Principal of Accelerate2Solutions, an innovative, small, high tech company focused on creating successful, lean start-ups. Susan has coached more than 71 companies, and created seven start-up companies, ranging from $500M to $150,000, helping them emerge as successful high tech, and life and health sciences companies. Susan brings 30 years of experience in start-ups, mergers, acquisitions, and successful, entrepreneurship in healthcare, research, enterprise software service solutions, medical devices, national defense, and high tech sensing devices for homeland security.

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Vanessa Roanhorse

Site Mentor - UNM Gallup

Vanessa Roanhorse, CEO, Roanhorse Consulting, LLC. Vanessa is an inclusive solutions-driven problem solver committed to liberating all peoples and delivering impactful mechanisms for social, environmental and economic change. She launched Roanhorse Consulting in order to work with unheralded populations to achieve and aspire their self-determination by forging communities of practice, creating equity through entrepreneurship, and encouraging economic empowerment from within. Vanessa got her management chops working for 7 years at a Chicago-based nonprofit, the Delta Institute, focused throughout the Great Lakes region to build a resilient environment and economy through creative, sustainable, market-driven solutions. Vanessa oversaw many of Delta’s on-the-ground energy efficiency, green infrastructure, community engagement programs, and workforce development training. Vanessa is a 2019 Village Capital Money Matters Advisory Board Member, sits on the local Living Cities leadership table, is a Startup Champions Network member, is an Advisor for emerging Navajo incubator, Change Labs, Advisor for Native Entrepreneurship in Residence Program, is a governing council board member for Siembra Leadership Highschool in Albuquerque and is the co-founder of Native Women Lead, an organization dedicated to growing native women into positions of leadership and business. Her academic education is in film from the University of Arizona but her professional education is from hands-on experience leading local, regional and national initiatives. Vanessa is Diné strong - Tó’áhání (Near the Water Clan), born for Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan). Her grandfather on her mother’s side is Tábąąhá (Water’s Edge Clan), and her grandfather on her father’s side is Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water Clan).

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John Chavez

Site Mentor - UNM Los Alamos

Mr. Chavez has served as the President of the New Mexico Angels since 2008 and has been an active angel investor since 2003. Mr. Chavez is also the Managing Director of Phase One Ventures, a start-up fund out of Santa Fe, NM, and Managing Director of New Mexico Start-Up Factory I and II. Outside of the Angels, he is the President of Tafoya and Brainerd Partners LLC, a nationwide business development-consulting firm. Prior to his work in consulting, Mr. Chavez was appointed Cabinet Secretary of the Taxation and Revenue Department by New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. During his six-year tenure as tax secretary he also served as the President of the Federation of Taxation Administrators for one year.

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Stacy Sacco

Site Mentor - UNM Taos

Stacy teaches entrepreneurial studies at the Anderson School of Management, serves as the Director of the UNM Small Business Institute and is President of Sacco Connections, a management consulting firm. Stacy previously held senior marketing management positions at several Fortune 500 companies in Orange County, Calif., for over 20 years, and locally, at the CNM Workforce Training Center, Kirtland Federal Credit Union and the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce. Stacy holds an MBA from Pepperdine University, a bachelor’s in marketing from the University of Arizona, and toured two years with the global leadership program Up With People.