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About CCI

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 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 networks 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 the online SkillSharp workforce training module to the community for free, establishing the Coal Camp Kitchen, 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. In addition, we run Explore Raton, the city's tourism and relocation promotion brand.

Meet Our Team


Kristie Valerio-Medina
Board President

Appointed to the Board in 2015. She is currently Principal of Raton Public Schools' mid-school.


Dave Spradlin
Board Secretary

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 Shuster
Board Director

Serves as a member of the Raton City Commission and works as a speech pathologist in private practice in northeastern New Mexico. She was appointed to the board in 2015.


Geoff Peterson
Board Director

Formerly the Executive Director and now board director, coming to the Center with an extensive background in operations management and a passion for food, worms, soil and aquaponics.

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Travis Harris
Board Director

Appointed to the board in 2021.


Patricia Duran
Executive Director

Brings an extensive experience in economic development, public relations, event planning, graphic design and media, marketing and advertising, and journalism. She co-pastors Mesa Church with her husband in Raton.

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Danielle Vanderpool
SkillSharp/HiSET Manager

Danielle brings ten years of experience working with youth, and community partnerships in Colfax and Union Counties.  Danielle has expressed that dinner time with her family everyday is a highlight of her life.  She also enjoys working with her community and helping others with resources.


Kim Davis
Coal Camp Coordinator

In charge of running the Coal Camp Kitchen.


Caleb Bradley-Pierce
Visitors Information Manager

Runs and maintains the Raton Visitor Information Center on behalf of the City of Raton.  Originally from Conroe, Texas. Caleb has a passion for technology and graphic design.

Looking to join the CCI team?
Call us at (575) 245-9000