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Winds Of Change Are Blowing...

on March 7, 2019 - 4:54pm

Visitors and residents are welcomed to Los Alamos Sunday morning by the stone sign at the entrance to town. Photo by Carol A. Clark/


Los Alamos Daily Post

The leaders at the helm of at least 11 local organizations have retired or moved on in the last few months.

Longtime residents say this exodus definitely sets a record.

“My husband and I have lived here for nearly 50 years and have never seen so many changes in a short period of time like this,” Terry Foxx told the Los Alamos Daily Post. “Even our doctors seem to be turning over every 3 to 5 years … it used to be they would stay until retirement.”

Organizations in town experiencing turnover in top personnel lately:


Of course, the change with the greatest impact on the community, indeed the entire region, is the recently awarded management and operations contract at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In November, Thom Mason took over as LANL director from Terry Wallace, who has stayed on as director emeritus. The National Nuclear Security Administration awarded the contract June 8, 2018 to Triad National Security. Following a four-month transition period with Los Alamos National Security, the new contract took effect Nov. 1 and includes a five-year base with five one-year options, for a total of 10 years if all options are exercised.


At a special meeting Tuesday morning at Crossroads Bible Church, 83 percent of the shareholders of Los Alamos National Bank (Trinity Capital Corp) approved the bank's merger with Enterprise Financial Services Corp. LANB was founded in 1963 by local investors. The merger takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

The Family YMCA

Linda Daly retired in October after serving at the helm of The Family YMCA since 1999. Following a comprehensive national search, Rob Wilkinson of Texas was hired as the new Chief Executive Officer in early November. Wilkinson has 19 years of experience in leadership, strategic planning, philanthropy and program development with the Y.

Self Help, Inc.

For nearly two decades, Executive Director Ellen Morris Bond was the face and voice of Self Help, Inc. She retired last August, turning over the reins to Maura Taylor.  

“I like bringing a new generation into the nonprofit world. I feel really good about leaving Self Help in Maura’s hands,” Bond said at the time.

Los Alamos Family Council

After 17 years serving as executive director of Los Alamos Family Council, Joy Beery retired in November 2018. A search for someone to fill Beery’s shoes is underway, and in the meantime, longtime Program Director Cheryl Pongratz is serving as acting executive director.


After nearly 18 years of service, Pauline Powell Schneider departed the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization (LARSO) in July. Linda Boncella took over but will be moving out of state for her husband's new job, so the search has begun for a new executive director.

Zia Credit Union

Zia Credit Union CEO David Woodruff recently announced that he is resigning to take a position with a company in Maryland. Paul Johnson, the Chief Financial Officer at Zia has been appointed to replace Woodruff as CEO.


Alan Kirk stepped down in November from the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board. He co-founded JJAB March 17, 2004 and has served as chair ever since. Kirk lived in Los Alamos for 60 years. He and his wife Pat have moved to Albuquerque. Wednesday evening the board elected its new executive team including Jordan Redmond as chair, Nicole Ferry vice chair and Sharon Hurley Treasurer.


After 24 years, Debbie Weber retired in February 2018 from the Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service. Wendi Wolfe is the new executive director. Wolfe most recently worked as director of nursing at Sombrillo. Among her activities at the state level, she serves as a nurse educator on the New Mexico Board of Nursing and is a deputy medical investigator for the Office of the Medical Investigator.

Teen Center

Longtime Teen Center Director Sylvan Argo resigned in February to accept a position as grant manager at the LANL Foundation. Assistant Director George Marsden was appointed to lead the organization and began his new duties Feb. 27. He has worked at the local YMCA since 2013.

There are a few more retirements on the horizon including longtime Los Alamos Historical Society Executive Director Heather McClenahan scheduled to leave her post in April.