Our Vision

The Center envisions Raton and Colfax County as a sustainable and resilient regional community. 

Our Mission

To provide leadership, build partnerships and enable the innovation necessary to reestablish local food and energy production, strengthen educational systems and establish placemaking in our communities while promoting Northeastern New Mexico as a destination for rural living and tourism.

Our History

The Northeastern New Mexico Educational Foundation was incorporated in 1997 to provide higher educational opportunities to under-served adults in rural northeastern New Mexico. Between 1998 and 2008, we helped people obtain associates, bachelors, and masters degrees. In 2008, we gave our facility to Highlands University. Highlands left Raton in 2015. We've worked to get our building back for Raton and this area and are now we're  back in a whole new way - as The Center for Community innovation- where we now fight for Raton's economic future.

Our team has begun networking within the community to forge relationships and bring a new vision to the forefront. Working with community partners, The Center has several initiatives underway including bringing renewable energy to Raton, establishing a community kitchen that is set to open in 2017, creating a co-working space and resources for work-from-home individuals, supporting Growing Great Kids, providing educational opportunities and assisting local organizations to grow and find a voice online by leveraging social media and digital marketing.

Our Team

Kristie Valerio-Medina
is Vice-President of the Board, appointed to the Board in 2015. She is currently Principal of Raton Public Schools' mid-school and co-owner of the historic El Raton Theater in Raton.
Dave Spradlin
is CEO of Springer Electric Coop with its main office in Springer, New Mexico and is Secretary of the Board. He has served on the Board since its inception in 1997.
Linde Schuster
serves as a member of the Raton City Commission and works as a speech pathologist in private practice in northeastern New Mexico. She is a Director of the Board, appointed to the Board in 2015.
Geoff Peterson
serves as the Executive Director, coming to The Center with an extensive background in Operations Management and a passion for food, worms, soil and aquaponics.
Jessica Barfield
serves as the Director of Marketing and Education. Jess brings a lengthy list of degrees, skills and experiences, along with creative energy that helps us thrive.
John Davidson
served as Executive Director of The Center from mid-2015 to December, 2016, when he assumed the role of Development Director. One of the co-founders of NENMEF, he served as President and Chair of the Board from 1997 until 2006. John served on the New Mexico Commission on Higher Education for ten years. He is a retired attorney and author.
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Copyright © 2020 Northeastern NM Educational Foundation, dba Center for Community Innovation,
a 501c3 nonprofit corporation located at 130 Park Ave., PO Box 1712, Raton, NM 87740
The Center for Community Innovation is supporting efforts to build a more resilient community. We are supporting the development of local food systems, the localization of our economy, support for micro-entrepreneurs,  the establishment of an energy independent Raton, and the promotion of our region to individuals seeking a sustainable, rural community to call home.