Thank you for attending Connect to Success. Please contact Albuquerque Economic Development's Existing Business Development Program team for more information on programs that can help your business: 505-246-6200 or www.abq.org

Event is generously sponsored by:


Connect to Success Workshop Agenda

7:30-8:15 a.m.

Check-in and Breakfast


8:15-8:30 a.m.

Programs and Incentives for Existing Businesses

Bob Walton, VP of Existing Business Development, Albuquerque Economic Development
Dennis Houston, Existing Business Consultant, Albuquerque Economic Development

Over the past 16 years, AED’s Existing Business Development Team has assisted more than 1,800 local economic-based businesses with expansion plans. Bob Walton and Dennis Houston will discuss how AED’s team can connect your business to resources such as state incentives, financing options, business-to-business networking, and other types of business assistance services.

8:30-9:00 a.m.

Best Practices in Hiring and Firing

Aaron Viets, Director, Rodey Law Firm

This session will focus on what employers should avoid in job applications and during interviews, and how to minimize risk when hiring and firing. Whether you have a staff of one or 100, you’ll gain practical knowledge and helpful advice.

9:05-9:45 a.m.


9:45-10:00 a.m.

Planning for Reform: What Tax Changes Mean to You

Mike Chelius, Tax Principal, REDW

Learn how the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will affect your business and you as an individual. The presentation will include a discussion of business planning opportunities, and attendees are encouraged to bring their questions.

10:00-10:40 a.m.

Workforce Connection and Your Business

Jerilynn Sans, Workforce Administrator, New Mexico Workforce Connection

This course will provide attendees with an understanding of the workforce system in central New Mexico, while explaining the services offered by New Mexico Workforce Connection for businesses and job seekers alike.

10:45-11:15 a.m.

Manufacturing and New Mexico

Jennifer Sinsabaugh, CEO, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership

New Mexico MEP provides expertise in results-driven methodologies, best practices, and innovative technologies. Hear an overview of manufacturing in our state, and find out how your small- to mid-size business can take advantage of New Mexico MEP’s network to increase competitiveness and profitability.

11:20-11:50 a.m.

Closing Remarks

11:50 a.m.


Connect to Success is presented by:


Connect to Success Speakers


Bob Walton

Vice President of Business Development, Albuquerque Economic Development, Inc.



In his role with AED, Bob assists local companies with their plans to grow and expand. He is a manufacturing executive with over 35 years of experience, primarily working for Fortune 100 companies. He spent three years in Tokyo and Seoul as general manager of the AlliedSignal Turbocharger businesses. Throughout his career he was responsible for the construction and start up of over 3 million square feet of manufacturing facilities in the United States, Venezuela, Haiti, Mexico, Japan and Korea.



Dennis Houston

Existing Business Development Consultant, Albuquerque Economic Development, Inc.


Dennis Houston’s executive career as a controller, chief financial officer and corporate officer has spanned over 30 years and includes positions in private industry working at Envirco, Ktech Corp, and General Technology Corp. He has supported Albuquerque Economic Development and the City of Albuquerque in local existing business development program efforts for the past 12 years. Dennis has a bachelor’s of business administration degree from UNM’s Anderson School of Management. He is a Certified Management Accountant and serves on the New Mexico Public Accountancy Board.



Aaron Viets

Director, Rodey Law Firm


The coauthor of the New Mexico Employment Law Desk Reference, Aaron Viets is certified by the New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in employment and labor law. He advises clients on litigation avoidance, reviews employer policies and handbooks, and presents seminars for other lawyers and for clients on discrimination and wage/hour laws. Aaron has tried cases in both state and federal court, and has argued cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He is listed in Southwest Super Lawyers and Chambers USA-Leading Lawyers for Business for his expertise and experience in employment law.




Mike Chelius

CPA, Tax Principal, REDW


A certified public accountant who focuses on tax issues, Mike Chelius works with business owners in many areas including the real estate, medical and construction industries. Mike is a member of the New Mexico Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He also serves as the treasurer and director of the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce Board and is a 2009 graduate of its Leadership Sandoval County program. Mike has served as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico, where he taught a course on individual tax preparation.



Jerilynn Sans

Workforce Administrator, New Mexico Workforce Connection – Central Region


Jerilynn Sans brings many years of experience to New Mexico Workforce Connection with first-hand knowledge of workforce development programs such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA), policy development, program management and overall workforce services. As workforce administrator, Jerilynn strives to ensure the New Mexico Workforce Connection continues to foster a strong economic environment while growing industries, and developing highly competitive and profitable businesses.



Jennifer Sinsabaugh

Chief Executive Officer, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership


The New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership is a nonprofit agency of the U.S. Commerce Department that helps small- and mid-sized businesses create jobs, become more profitable, and save time and money. In her role as CEO, Jennifer Sinsabaugh directs efforts to build manufacturing in New Mexico by standardizing production, reducing waste and providing continuous improvement. Jennifer is an authority on creating and implementing strategic initiatives that result in company growth. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and an M.B.A. in technology management, both from the University of New Mexico.