SANTA FE ― A seventh-generation New Mexican with a long background in government and community service has been named Division Director for Economic Development, Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced Friday.
Mark Roper has been the team leader for community, rural and business development for the Department since October 2014. He has also worked in radio marketing, communications and government.
As head of the Economic Development Division, Roper will oversee programs for economic assistance, job training, MainStreet, International Trade, and Science and Technology. Roper replaces Therese Rivera, who retired from state government in January.
Roper is a Raton native who also has lived in Roswell and Albuquerque.
“Mark has deep knowledge of the state, its culture, politics and economy,” Secretary Keyes said. “Mark has provided great leadership to the division in his work with the regional reps, his oversight of LEDA projects, and his relationships with local governments. He has my complete confidence.”
In addition to his work in economic development, Roper was a licensed electrician and HVAC mechanic. At the age of 26, Roper served as an elected city official in Raton and served on the New Mexico Municipal League Board of Directors.
Roper wants to take his leadership role in economic development and grow jobs in every corner of New Mexico.
“My small-town roots help me understand the needs and plight of rural New Mexico,” Roper said. “I want to see my home state prosper and give communities the tools and resources they need to build a sustainable economy.”
Roper has been involved in some of the agency’s biggest deals – Facebook, Intel, Flagship Foods, Lavu, 3D Glass and Advanced Network Solutions. He also has shown he can think out of the box with the shepherding of the first-ever loan from LEDA to an innovative airship company in Roswell.